Saturday, 31 March 2012

Greens Forge to Dimmingsdale

Captains Log  8th Leg of the (very much changed) World Cruise.

Canal date                     31st March 2012
Start Location            Greens Forge Lock (Navigation Inn)
Finish location          Dimmingsdale Bridge

Miles 7       Locks 13

While moored at Greens forge I became all clever and practical and made a cover to protect the tops of the new batteries. A simple but effective use of MDF.

Well, as forecast yesterday. The weather did not last. It was dull and grey on Friday morning. (Boo Hiss)
We set off at 10.00 with 6 miles and 13 locks to do it was not going to be a lazy day. I was surprised on how much colder it was today than the rest of the week.  On the plus side, there was very little traffic on the canal. We were approaching Bratch when there was a loud thud in the engine bay and the engine warning buzzer sounded. Not good news! We pulled in to the bank to investigate. As I was pulling the boat to the bank, the mooring pin came adrift and I went flying backward. Again, not good but at least I landed on the tow path, not the canal!!! I landed in a heap, flat on my back. Luckily, no damage or injury. Back to the engine problem. Both multi V drive belts have gone. I suspect that the 240v one has failed and wrapped it self with the 12v belt. The 12 volt alternator has a complete birds nest of rubber and string tightly wrapped round it. After a few minutes I managed to clear everything away from any rotating parts and continued our journey. The engine was just too hot to work safely on. We continued on to Dimmingsdale. I let things cool down before having another go in the engine bay. When I went into the engine bay, I was horrified how much belt was wrapped round the pulley. It was pulled so very tight I thought that the only way would be to remover the alternator and pulley. I know how difficult it is to remove the pully in a workshop, doing it on the bank was going to be almost impossible. I persevered and eventually managed to remove the tangle. Then came the fitting of the new belts. The 12volt belt was fine but the 240volt belt was just a bit smaller than the original. It was an abolute bugger to get on but it did eventually. After tightening and checking everything I ran the engine. Perfect – everything working, no funny noises, no wobbly pulleys, no squeaks or squeals from the belts. Another fine job well done. Almost as soon as I had done that It was time to go to our friends, Glynn & Ro for dinner. We had another fine meal as always. By the time we were back on board it was time for bed. Yet another full day. All this doing stuff  is in danger of becoming the norm.

We have now abandoned Plan A completely.
We were going to cross the Ribble Link and travel the Lancaster Canal. Simple enough you may think. On BW’s site they say you must book the crossing at least 5 days ahead. I tried to book a month ahead and the earliest crossing they could give me bearing in mind it is still march, was to be 19th July! And to make matters worse the earliest return trip would have been very late August. Absolutely no use to me at all. So it looks like we shall not be doing the Ribble Link and Lancaster Canal this year.

So its time to sort out plan B
This will take us over the Pennines and on to York before heading south, taking in Boston before heading back to Gods own Worcestershire. With B.W.  & the Ribble Link fiasco, we have gone from in a mad panic rush to get there to no plans at all so we will stay here at Dimmingsdale for the weekend.

I wonder if that will work or if BW conspire to stop me again?

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