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Thursday, 5 September 2013

Trouble and strife.

Well today has been the day! My shower went well you will all be pleased to hear. The water pump worked fine and the water started straight away and the shower pump worked first time and continuously. I have boxed it all up now so that was phase one completed. 1. Tunnel light moved. 2. Paint work touched up. 3. Checked bilges for water. 3. Fixed kitchen cupboard door. 4. Serviced water pump. 5. Got shower pump working correctly.

Today was the day for engine hole work and associated stuff. To get me in the mood I started with an easy job and checked the heating header tank and bled the radiators ready for the cooler weather. After completing this I get into the engine, cleaning out the gutters of dust and fluff first so that they don't block the drains. I then got down into the small gap and started checking the cells of the batteries. This is a real pain in the neck form me. They seem to be okay and whilst in a contorted position I topped them up with water. I could hardly move as I climbed out and this was just when a boat moored next to me. I had a chat with the couple on board 'Slow Time' whilst I was straightening my neck and back. As we were chatting there was a crash and a groan and a lady had fallen off her bike. She was in trouble as she fell on her knee but her head hit the ground too. She was stunned and had blood on her face, her left eyebrow was very swollen as was just below her eye. The bleeding was soon stopped. She lay awhile whilst she got her wits together and we shielded her from the sun and cleaned up her face. There is an old British Waterways barge her in the Wharf that is a bike repair and sales for second hand bikes along with maintenance. She was with her husband and they wanted to go cycling together. She had been for lessons previously and had obviously fallen off before as her knee was already skinned. Her husband said that he would take her to casualty to be checked out. The eye was almost closed when she left and she will have a lovely shiner. I'm not sure whether she will be going cycling much.

After that excitement I went back down the pit and set to to check the gearbox oil. I then checked there was no water in the fuel filter and then took it apart to check the filter element and all was clear. I then thought I would check round the engine for water leaks as there seems to be always a bit of water in the bilges. I thought that it was the hose connection from the engine to the calorifier heating tank. I had nipped that up and it now looked okay. I noticed that there was a water mark beneath the skin tank where the engine cooling water is cooled. It has a cap on the end so I tightened it up and then saw that the cap was cracked and that was where the water was coming from. I had to partly drain the engine so that I could take the cap with me to get another. I checked on the computer for hardware stores etc and there were none close by. I therefore took it with me and walked to Sherbourne Wharf. I needed it otherwise I wouldn't be able to run my engine to charge my batteries or go and get water before I run out. I was lucky as the engineer was there and rummaged through his box of bits and came up with the right thing. I was begining to think I would have to call out RCR, which is like the canal AA!

The crack is clearly evident.

I think I was lucky that it didn't give way all together and empty my engine of cooling water.

When I got back I put everything back together and now I had my worries that the engine wouldn't start or run for long as there was air in the fuel and the water. It started first time and to my ear it seemed to run more quietly. I was therefore more than happy to have avoided the hassle that could have been. I then decided to have a beer in the last of the sun as a reward and had a natter with the boats next to me. 

I had decided to go for a top up of water tonight as I don't want to run out and it is calm but tomorrow it is supposed to be wet and windy here. I left the berth at 1830 thinking that nobody would be on the move at that time. No sooner had I got the hose on on the water point just over from the wharf than a little boat came round Old Turn Junction and headed straight for my berth! Bugger. Very kindly the bloke next to my old spot explained the situation and the new boat was short so was able to fit on the end berth. Lo and behold then another boat was seen coming up the Farmers Bridge Locks so I decided to stop the water and cast off back to my berth. Mind you if they had taken my berth I would just go up the dock a bit and come back tomorrow. Getting back to the potoon went surprisingly well and no damage done. I decided to reward myself again with another beer whilst I was watching Macy having her evening perambulation around the wharf. By now it was cooling off and neither of us stayed out long. It is supposed to be wet and windy tomorrow but there was a lovely sunset. Unfortunately the photograph doesn't do it justice.

Red sky over Birmingham. Lets hope the omens are good.

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