Thursday, 22 June 2017

FIRE IN THE HOLD

Hi Everyone

Well that's 99% of the River Trent behind us we are doing a little detour off the Trent and down the River Soar to Loughborough only take a couple of days sentimental really as my Dad always spoke of the place with awe as he took an engineering degree there.
Lincoln and Boston were worth the visit though  Boston we thought was a disappointment. We remember going there a about ten years ago and thought then what a quaint place it was But now all the quaint shops are East European Supermarkets, the only other shops are hairdressers, Barbers, Bubble pipe coffee shops or the ubiquitous Charity shop I thought Peterborough was bad but Boston being smaller is in one word Awful it has just been taken over.
Lincoln is lovely though again not as quaint as we remembered I know we cannot live in the past but surely we should retain some of our heritage  soon all we will have left is a few Postcards to remember it by. The east  of the country really seems to be getting overrun by the Eastern Block, I know that we are a tolerant and hospitable nation and long may we be so But when it comes to our heritage being taken away along with our district customs and dialect it time to stop and think.
Leaving Lincoln and Boston behind we set of back down the Trent into Newark making go speed we were ready for a few days off in Newark However at the last lock before Newark the lock keeper informed us that due to the FESTIVAL moorings are very sparse, On arriving we could see why there wasn't enough room to moor a canoe however we did spot a Narrowboat that was gesturing for us to pull alongside which we did and since then we have become great friends of Mary and Sean who we have been meeting up with on a regular basis. the Festival was POP with groups like UB40, Storm Patrol and Oasis, they may mean something to some of you but nothing to me, But on the whole it wasn't bad because we were over the other side of the river the noise was quite acceptable and the music not bad AND to us on the river it was free.
From Newark to Nottingham the Trent was as usual wonderful we are above the tidal section the river just meanders along it is wide and slow so beautiful and majestic arriving in Nottingham we spent the first two nights on what is revered to as the steps outside the County hall and next to the cricket ground  plenty of moorings, shops, museums and fishing nice place
leaving Nottingham it beautiful weather we were all set to have a gentle cruise to Sawley where we are at the moment However yesterday morning we set off after about an hour cruise Noreen nipped in to make a brew and came back with the news that we had a burning smell in the boat Noreen took the helm and I went to investigate I soon realised that we were in trouble and that yes we had a problem in the engine room. Under these circumstances "Don't panic Mr Mannering " I through the isolator switches for domestic and Engine switch the engine off and glided Buggerlugs to the tow path After lifting the engine covers I found that the 175am Domestic alternator was very hot not being able to find the cause I decided to run the engine with the covers off that lasted about ten minutes when the bloody thing just burst into flames now we were buggered ( It  reminded me of when I was at school in the music class we sang a song ""Fire! Fire! Fire! down below its bring a bucket of water boys there's fire down below I wanted to sing it start singing but thought better of it. again Noreen took the helm and guided it into the side whilst I got the fire extinguisher and dealt with the fire, on inspection this time, we did have a problem but at least now it was obvious what it was as the alternator was now a smouldering mess. It was now time for a brew and give the job a "coat of looking at" As this alternator has now been in the hands of three experts I considered it time to close the door on it, my decision is to now charge the batteries using the Power pack, disconnect the alternator removing the van belt and isolating the wiring and leave it until we get back and let Danny have look. that was yesterday and touch wood everything is working  sort of??????
But in true Hodgkinson spirit we continue until something else happens But hey I keep saying if everything goes according to plan how bloody boring would it be....

Stay safe,,, Stay well.
Buggerlugs


The Steps in Nottingham

Nottingham central Arch


The Glory Hole Lincoln leading to the river Wethem


Noreen getting measured for her roll as Captain

The Boston Stump
Its is the biggest Parish Church in Britain
Called the stump because seen from the surrounding fens it looks like an
old Tree stump


Taken by our friends Mary and Sean
who we met in Newark



Friday, 9 June 2017

The River Trent

,,Hi

As I said earlier we were to arrive at Keadby on Tues ready to go down the River on Weds prior to going down the river you have to have a briefing from the Lock keeper its just a case of telling what time you are going, what the tide will be doing and the weather conditions. I started to become concerned when the lock keeper checked to see we had Navigation lights and that they all worked.
We  were going down on a late slack tide leaving at 16.40, which to me seemed on the late side as it  normally takes  about 5 hours on a slack tide to reach Torksey Lock , that  meant  that we would be arriving at Torksey Lock at around 21.30 which even at this time of year is getting dark. 16.30 arrived the wind was still blowing at 18/20 mph feeling a bit apprehensive we sailed out of the lock and onto a very low river wind blowing like hell I was warned about the dangerous sand banks we weaved and dodge (as much as you can do with a 60ft 18ton narrowboat)   narrowly avoiding the sand banks that had suddenly appeared due to the low tide. We missed them all. After 2 hours of riding a slack tide we eventually found that river had started to behave itself however the weather was still gloomy with no moon the sun disappeared behind a huge bank of heavy cloud and would no be seen again until the next day, as it was now quite dismal not dark but that awful dusk when everything becomes distorted in dim light the river was quite full of debris have trees, tons of garden waste and the usual flotsam and Jetsam of any commercial waterway
I was now getting concerned that there was a chance in this dim light with that part of the Trent being mainly farm land and the beginning of the Fens it is quite featureless so maps are not a great deal of use about half a mile from the turning you pass under a railway bridge where there is an island that you have stay to the port side once passed that we had the turning in our sights Noreen on the bow giving directions and keeping us clear of the mounting Flotsam and Jetsam we sailed in a very quiet deserted mooring. Big high fives all round and we settled into a peaceful nights sleep.
I would recommend that trip to anyone really exciting fun.
We have now travelled down the Fosdyke canal into Lincoln, Mooring are few and far between so we have had to go into Brayford Pool that is now a CRT (marina sort of) we are here until Sunday then we go down the river Witham 31 miles to Boston I do believe that this is as far east as you can go by narrow boat I know some have gone straight through and across the wash with the aid of a pilot BUT well if I wanted to do that I would have bought a Coaster
Stay well
God Bless
Buggerlugs



The M18 IN SIGHT

UNDER THE M18

THE GAINSBOUROUGH MIDDLE ARCH
though be now things were getting dim
  

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

sMALL ACHIEVMENTS BIG STEPS

Hi everyone

I am now convinced that all boat yards/Marinas have the same method of working and management I know that this is not universal and maybe it is only the ones that I visit. so far this trip I have been held up for three days because waiting for a simple job like buying paint all because the guy a few domestic problems Family must come first I know that so I will dismiss that one, then another two days because a part that was ordered took three days to arrive they say because of the courier I say because they forgot to order it and now we have been in this boat yard three days just waiting to do a 5 hour job. before coming here I ordered 5 110 batteries no probs I have 6 in stock. could I have assistance to fit. no probs I will assign someone to assist you. 
great we thought and headed down river to do the job, on arriving we found that there was no mooring for us so we have sat three days on a slipway though they did manage to give us a shore line and electric when I ask if I could have the batteries I had ordered I was inform that his assistant had sold two of the  AHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!. Here we go again so I spent a day clearing the engine to make better access to the battery bank and the next day waiting for batteries to arrive, Yesterday morning I was informed that they had arrived so I went over to the office to collect them NOW we are talking about 5 110 leisure batteries each one the size of two car batteries I ask if they had a truck to get them to my boat I will find you one the lad says and returns 30 mins later with an very old truck with four flat tyres having vented my displeasure at this young man and pointed out to him the pure impossibility of transporting this half to loan on THAT LOAD OF SH----, it was then refered up the chain of command were a decision was made to put them on the pickup, the young man could not drive so I did that Ahhhhhhh!! I was then loaned the same young man to assist with the fitting. For those who have never fitted Batteries on a boat let me explain the fitter ME has to accommodate himself in a little hole 5ft wide 7ft long and 3ft deep however in that space you have an engine, with all its accoutrements making a total area of  3ft wide  6ft long and 3ft deep now the batteries live in a cosy little space that you have to arc lights to see it. Now I am the fitter and to save me having to extradite myself from this glory hole everytime I need to take one battery out and put one in, you have a loader who sole job it is, is to take the old battery off me and then pass a new one.  this was going so well until after the second one he was called away to hold the rope of a boat going into dry dock AHHHHHHHH! however before he went on this errand of mercy I insisted he carry the remaining batteries so I could reach them.
After two and a half hours of cursing I eventually arrived at the stage when you turn the battery isolator switch ON keeping all fingers crossed that nothing blows up UREKAH nothing did then the engine on and everything works I was elated. feeling like King Kong Noreen and I rebuilt the engine room replacing all the panelling
To celebrate this achievement we decided to have lunch out and do a bit of shopping. the sky was looking very grey and overcast so we donned our heavy coats its only about a 30 min walk into the town BUT it is surprising just how wet you can get in 30mins we were both wet though to our nickers shoes socks everything was soaked our Brolly  was blown inside out and our teeth were chattering.
into Lidl where we left a trail of devastation behind us and another trail of slippy floor signs
As we left Lidl we decided as it was cold, wet and windy we would have lunch in the best Ice Cream Parlour in Yorkshire where we made a bedraggled spectacle. though we were welcomed and had a great lunch I celebrated our achievement by have a whopping great big TUTI FRUITI .
That was yesterday it is now 08.00 and we are going to get ready to fill up with Diesel and put water on then we are off to Keadby Where we join the River Trent

God Bless everyone
Buggerlugs

My celebration Ice Cream

Friday, 2 June 2017

ANOTHER RESTING PLACE

Hi everyone

Buggerlugs has developed a few problems, one of the three alternator's has decided that it has had enough and wont work it just happens to be the domestic one and fortunately it was purchase here in Castleford less that 12 months ago so we are getting that sorted under warranty it maybe due to the fact that the batteries have neared their end of life and they are not holding the charge overnight  So once I have refitted the Alternator (hopefully today when I get it back) we are heading off to Thorne where I have secured a birth for a couple of days and where I will get my NEW batteries fitted
The unfortunate thing is that it has all come to a head in Castleford where the world stands still, they have only just discovered the WW2 has ended, post is delivered by Donkey cart, and in general life is very slow, that to most people sounds Idyllic however when you are waiting three days for a spare to be delivered to complete a repair it becomes very frustrating (The alternator took 1 hour to test discover what was wrong and order the part then it has taken so far three days to have it delivered)
IF it arrives today it will take 45mins to fit the part I can then pick it up and get underway to Thorn there I will fit it back in place. as the engine will without it and do batteries at the same time.
I do hope that I havnt bored the pants of those who havnt a clue what I am talking about, at times I wonder if I do??
Whilst moored up here in Castleford its quite convenient as the shops are within walking distance and its quiet so all in all its comfortable  except we have had to watch our power usage though the Solar panels are good and with all this sunshine they are proving invaluable.


Jubilee Bridge Castleford

Biggest Building in Castleford, still working though grain now comes by road


The Weir Don't worry we use the lock on the navigation cutting


Cheers everyone
Comments welcome we feel like Missionaries out here in Yorkshire

Buggerlugs 

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Time Out

Hi All

Our quick visit to Leeds was as usual great we found our usual mooring occupied but the one next to was empty so we were fine as we only had a couple of days we Did the City, the Market and the the food halls. In Leeds Trinity shopping centre there is a food hall that is many kitchens selling every type of food there is from all over the globe I can get Vietnamese Noreen can have Moroccan and we both eat at the same table, fabulous place. the market is still an eye opener as there again is every type of food and ingredients available. well worth a visit if you are passing though, I also find in Leeds you cannot get lost the station and the canal moorings are in the same place if you are walking up hill you are going aay from it walking down hill well that's towards it, Simple

Buggerlugs and her crew are having some time out, we have found a very quiet mooing at Lemonroyd  a few miles outside Castleford, No shops, No Pubs, No people Yet, however the few people that are here are Boaters and the boats are very widely spaced however this is the bank holiday weekend so anything could happen again that's a good reason for staying still, out on the water this weekend will be chaos there will be little plastic chickens (fibre glass Cruisers) all over the place all thinking that they are pirates so its best to lie low, And what glorious weather we have to do it in today and yesterday have been scorchers today we temps of 26/30 with no breeze it was to hot for fishing, even painting was a struggle as the paint was setting as I put it on its really HOT.
We have also been trying to digest the horrors of the Manchester murders, as I am from Manchester and Noreen Salford we have many family and friends there. on the Night and morning after Noreen spent hours on the phone checking everyone was OK and thanks to God they are. I am not going to rant about it what would be the use we all know the horror of it all we all have our points of view lets just pray that all those that were directly involved will recover.

I expect we will leave here Tuesday morning as I need to call at Castleford Boatyard I have ask Shane to mix me up some "Buggerlugs Green" as I have some touching up to do. We will do our final shop in Castleford before we push on down the river Trent to Lincoln  always stock up before you go on the river shops are few and far between

Noreen on the Helm River Aire & Calder


Its great to have so much water around you
You can feel the freedom,
Again the Aire and Calder


Friday, 19 May 2017

LAST LEG TO LEEDS

Having spent five days in Skipton three on my own Noreen went over to Wales to stay with Maryanne as she was on her own, anyway I was getting quite stir crazy. I did get some fishing done and caught up with some painting I even managed to sell a few pieces, John also went back as he a Doctors appointment but unfortunately the outcome wasn't conclusive and has to go back again next week. As we are daily putting more distance  between ourselves and appointments, John decided to do a quick return sort out his appointments and catch us up later.
Yesterday the Domestic battery indicator light came on indicating that something was wrong I also lost a great deal of power from the bank of leisure Batteries. We got through the night by turning all the 240v off and just using the 12v lights, water pumps and  Toilet. So this morning I called in to a boat yard that was so far in the past I thought the owner would come out with a wooden leg and a Parrot on his shoulder, He didn't he was a very helpful young man, having spent 30mins exposing the engine it was decided that all three alternators were functioning correctly and the batteries were holding a charge No decision was made to the reason why the warning light had come on??
So we continued with the journey doing the Bingley five rise, the Bingley three rise and another four locks and seven Swing bridges, except for the two hour wait to go down the Bingley five everything went well Moored up for the night in Shipley the warning light is still on but no other problems I sure I can sort it out, eventually
Stopping at Rodley tomorrow and catching up with Les and Linda who are friends from Fettlers and Scarisbrick Les was a mechanic on the Marina and Linda worked with Noreen I am very interested on the Wide Beam he is in the middle of fitting out (maybe he knows what's wrong with the warning light????)
We will be relieved to get into Leeds as that will end the monotonous regularity of the swing bridges we seem to be stopping ever ten minutes for another one. Talking of the hard work. I have been talking to a number of Hire Boaters who had seen a few TV boating programmes and thought how lovely it all looked and were shocked at just how much worked was involved one couple had hired for two weeks and were returning the boat after the first week as the lady could just not manage she said "I am just not fit enough its actually dangerous for me" She wondered how Prunela Scales did it
I said we all know that they have a crew of twenty doing it for them. I believe that the progamme makers have a lot to answer for. I do however like the Boating on TV it depicts the better side the quiet peaceful life a holiday without any rush BUT they should also show it in its fullness and it is not for the faint hearted

Be Good
God Bless
BUGGERLUGS
One of Lock Gates of the Bingley five rise I took that from the boat
the gate stands about 30ft above me

The Blue Bells in the foreground gave the woods a very beautiful
Glow

The Early sun breaking though and dappling the water

What

Friday, 12 May 2017

In Skipton

We have actually arrived in Skipton the sail up from Gargrave to Skipton  I believe is one of the prettiest on the system, we found good moorings (opposite Morrisons and near the water point. As we all know being close to a water point with so many hire boats about can be thwart with danger but we all had to learn and as there is a swing bridge directly the water point then boats cannot get any speed up so any knocks are only slight and I have made precautions by using all available fenders on the canal side.
Arrived here yesterday John went on a recce and found a tiny little Micro pub which was fantastic beer to die for had a very nice night last night Today has been spent carrying out maintenance and a repair on John's water pump, Tonight being Friday we all went to "Busy Lizzies" CHIPPY one of the  most famous in Yorkshire.
looking forward now to a restful weekend may even get some painting done

God Bless
Buggerlugs


Noreen and Kath are considering if its worth it?????????