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Jean & John's 2nd Jemima trip - September 2010

Sunday 12th September

Picked Jemima up last night just north of bridge 22 on the Macclesfield canal. Had some fun backing John's car down the lane to the bridge! Left the car on a patch by the lane just off the road. Spent the night there.

Went down to Bosley top lock mainly to top up with water and empty the toilet - now replaced by a bigger one. Then returned to Macclesfield stopping just south of bridge 41 for the night. Some rain in the morning, quite a bit of sun in the afternoon.

We are a bit concerned about the smoke coming from the engine compartment after she has been running at fairly high speed for an hour or so. Have not yet determined where it is coming from, but it does seem to have a smell of engine oil.

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North of Bridge 22

Where we found her, near Bollington

Jemima D with Jean at the tiller in the morning sunlight

Off in the morning sunlight

A Heron on the bank

A heron

Going past a swing bridge (47)

Going past the swing bridge (47) near Lyme Green

A tree in the evening sunlight

A tree in the evening sunlight

Monday 13th September

Moved up just north of bridge 37 first thing and moored for the day and night. Realised that the first place we tried to stop (just south of the bridge) was a water point so restarted and moved on, unfortunately disturbing a nearby sleeping resident.

Jean went by train to Wolverhampton to work. John purchased a bathroom mirror cabinet in B&Q and fitted it.

Jean in a dress at the tiller

Lady at the tiller

Tuesday 14th September

Had some problems turning Jemima around, had the tiller hard to starboard and the engine running reasonably fast, was half way round (across the canal) turning to port when she decided she was going to turn to starboard instead (probably due to wind), we were running out of space, another boat was coming and to cap it all the rain started to bucket down! We gave in and carried on north to the next place to turn round. Came back and moored by the water point north of bridge 37 (there is one each side) and waited for the rain to stop.

Filled up with water then carried on to the boatyard south of the bridge and filled up with diesel. 42.4 litres, engine running hours 2171.6. There was some difficulty with the diesel backing up in the filling tube, the guy thought that the tank vent might be blocked. Some diesel spilled into the canal, we discovered the effectiveness of “spraying dispersant on the oil spill” - i.e. squirting washing up liquid at it.

Carried on south though a sunny afternoon to south of bridge 53 before Bosley locks for the night.

The “smoke” after the engine has been running for some time seems to be coming from the oil filler caps on top of the engine. There was also a wisp of the same coming from around the dipstick. Presumably this is a build up of pressure in the crank case perhaps due to gasses blowing past the piston rings.

The gearbox seems more temperamental than we remember from before, particularly getting it to engage in reverse.

End of day running hours: 2175.1

Wednesday 15th September

Engine checks: Engine oil was on minimum, topped up to just below maximum, rear gearbox dipstick 1/3 of the way above minimum, forward gearbox dipstick up to maximum.

Showered, watered and emptied loo (quite heavy but manageable by Jean) then set off down the Bosley locks. Fairly straightforward, we took 1 ¾ hours to the bottom, apart from a couple of confusions with boats coming the other way appearing to go to the left to pass.

Carried on to Congleton. Had a minor collision with a boat coming through bridges 68 and 69, did not see them until quite late as we came round the bend and had difficulties getting Jemima to engage in reverse. Why is it that you go down long stretches of canal and not meet a boat coming the other way, then you meet a boat (actually two boats) where the canal narrows?

Weather mostly dull with little bits of sun and rain but quite windy which caused problems with navigating at times.

Ran fairly slowly all day, with pauses for locks, no worrisome “smoke”.

Moored just past the Biddulph Line aqueduct. Managed to find points where the piling hooks would work, but still cannot really get the hang of them. In most places they just seem to pull out and we cannot find any way to get them to lock.

Started to rain quite hard so we decided to stay put and light the fire!

Gearbox rating plate

Getting to know the gearbox

End of day running hours: 2179.8

Thursday 16th September

Engine oil: just below maximum.

Spent the morning in Congleton then carried on to Scholar green and moored just beyond bridge 87.

Did some investigation of the gearbox. The gearbox performed as expected up to a certain speed. It is designed to fail to the forward drive condition, in other words if the hydraulics in the gearbox fail the boat will still have forward propulsion. When starting the engine the prop shaft can be seen to rotate until there is enough pressure to engage neutral.

Above a certain speed the prop shaft slows down even though the engine is going faster, in both directions. It seems as if the clutches in the gearbox can only transmit so much torque. After that they start to slip and, due to sliding friction being less than static friction, they transmit even less torque and the prop shaft slows down.

Consequently, putting the engine quickly to full speed in either direction results in not much thrust. The quickest way to get maximum thrust is to speed the engine up not too rapidly to the speed before the gearbox starts to slip.

We tried going a mile with the prop running at the highest speed we could get, it took very nearly 20 minutes, i.e. 3 mile/hour. This gave rise to the engine oil “smoke” again. 2 mile/hour seems to be what she can cope with these days.

End of day running hours: 2182.4

Jemima-D moored just south of the Biddulph Line aqueduct

Jemima-D moored just south of the Biddulph Line aqueduct

Underneath the aqueduct

View of the aqueduct from below

Friday 17th September

Woke up to a clear sky and watched the sun rise and stream into Jemima.

Engine oil: just under maximum.

Set off south with no incidents. Had only about 25 minutes to wait at Harecastle tunnel. It seemed to take ages going through, rather boring really. We probably slowed things down even though we were going at about Jemima's maximum speed.

Stopped for lunch at Longport and walked up to Burslem. Tried to find a replacement bulb for the ignition light which has blown, without success.

Filled up and emptied at the junction with the Caldon canal then carried on south on the Trent and Mersey. Moored for the night opposite the cemetery just south of bridge 115. Mike visited us and we discussed engines, gearboxes and electrics.

Weather was dry, quite sunny but getting colder.

End of day running hours: 2188.8

Moored near Scholar Green with train in background

Moored near Scholar Green with train in background

Cabin with sun streaming in

Cabin with sun streaming in

Waiting to go through Harecastle Tunnel

Waiting to go through Harecastle Tunnel

Going through the tunnel

Going through the tunnel

Saturday 18th September

Had our Saturday morning lie in and read of the Guardian!

Engine oil: ¼ below maximum.

Set off south to Barlaston passing lots of football supporters going to watch Stoke City play West Ham. Moored by The Plume of Feathers in Barlaston to await the arrival of Sue and Mike.

Weather was sunny becoming cloudy and started to rain a bit when we moored.

Mike brought his tools, John took the lid off the gearbox and adjusted it in accordance with the manual - with helpers and an audience! This seemed to cure the problem off the gearbox not driving at higher engine speeds.

End of trip running hours: 2192.5

We had a most enjoyable week.

Football supporters walking along the towpath

Football supporters on their way to watch Stoke City play West Ham

Co-op members in front of Jemima-D

Old and new friends

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