Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Stranded at the Black Country Museum

Captains Log       3rd Leg of the World Cruise.

Canal Date                        5th March 2012

Travels                               Black Country Museum to Compton

Miles 11                            Locks 28

Wednesday 29th February 2012 Black Country Museum

A relatively quiet night, we are very close the main road and Dudley Centre. It is very reassuring to know that you are behind a locked gate. We went across the road to the chip shop and had a very low calorie lunch! I turned my attention to a recently acquired set of 4 - 6 volt traction batteries. That turned out to be a bit of a marathon. The problem was trying to make all of the connections with the bits I had on board. I eventually managed it and fitted them in place. They are very much smaller & lighter than the yellow batteries. Let’s see if they last any better. We had a bit of a play with the telescope. We looked at Jupiter and saw 4 of its moons, Venus, Mars and had a good look at the moon.

We had an email from BW saying that the Wolverhampton flight is closed until further notice due to a fire so we will stay here a bit longer until we find out what is happening.

Thursday, 01 March 2012 Black Country Museum
The locks are closed at least until tomorrow lunch time. If they remain closed after the weekend then we will travel through Netherton tunnel.
I spent much of the afternoon in the engine bay having another go at aliening the 240v alternator. It looks close enough but the drive belt still makes a noise.
BW informed us that the locks could re-open on Monday morning. In that case we will wait here.

Friday, 02 March 2012 Black Country Museum
The batteries went totally flat this morning. Is it something I done yesterday or are they just old tired batteries? Some further investigation is required! It’s a dull & grey morning, not too cold but it is cool enough to cause us to light the fire.
After lunch I sent some time in the engine bay again. I checked the connections and voltages to the 6 volt batteries. No fault found there.

Saturday, 03 March 2012 Black Country Museum
The batteries lasted until we got up before collapsing completely; they only had 1 hour’s charge last night so I will leave them on until we move on Monday and give them a proper charge.
The weather has changed this morning, it is dull and grey with continuous drizzle.
We went into the museum. We paid on the internet to save a bit of money. There was no need at all to pay; we could have just walked in without any issues at all. The museum has not changed much since our last visit; however it was very much quieter and easier to have a good look round. We did of course; manage to have a bag of chips and a pint. We have a ticket for the rest of the year. I doubt we will use it again.
After the beer & chips I just had to have an afternoon nap. The weather was much better than the forecast. It was supposed to be rain all day and we had mainly sunshine and only had a few light showers.

Sunday, 04 March 2012 Black Country Museum
It is much colder and heavy rain with signs of sleet this morning, exactly as forecast. The batteries were flat again this morning. Not looking good at all. We shall be moving tomorrow so I will find out then if they are any good.
After lunch we went back to the museum for a last look. We bought 2 engraved whisky tumblers to match the beer glasses. We watched the chain maker and the brass foundry. It was very cold and we were soon back on board in the warm. I hope the weather is better tomorrow.

Monday, 05 March 2012 Boat Movement (at Last)
Start Location Black Country Museum
Finish location Compton

A bright start to the day although it was bitterly cold, made considerably worse by the strong winds. We set off from the museum site at 10.00. While I was sorting out my gloves, I managed to crash into a narrow with some force. Certainly strong enough to set the dog barking and strong enough to get Pam ruining to the counter to see what I had hit. There was very little traffic about. I know it is still very early in the season but the locks have been closed for a few days and I expected a bit of a back log. We then went on to start the two miles for locks, all 21 of them. As usual every single lock was against us. We had a boat chasing us manned with four people. When we arrived at the bottom we had caught up another boat. That is why every lock was against us! Once we turned off the BCN and onto the Staffs & Worcs it became plain sailing, although by this time we did have the sun low and in our faces. We arrived at Compton at 5.00 and as soon as we had moored up we walked into the village to do a bit of fresh food shopping. We picked up fish & chips on the way back and feasted on them onboard.
A longish day by our standards and with 22 locks Pam was knackered and I was tired (Its hard work watching all those heavey gates opening and closing .

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