Friday, 19 April 2013

Isn't it great living so close to nature

As they say that a picture says more than a thousand words I'll leave it at that. . . . . . . .

And so in signing off,

Day 180 in the Badger Sett Narrowboat -  314 miles and 102 locks further on from when we started.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Unscheduled visit to a dry dock !

Firstly, a huge thanks and recommendation from us for River Canal Rescue and Anderton Marina both of whom have been extremely efficient and helpful to us over this past week.

The drama started last Saturday, luckily, just after our last son and his girlfriends holiday had finished with us and they were on their way back home. (I’m not really all that hot on grammar, but the way I’ve written girlfriend(s) makes it sound like he came with a couple of them, but no, he isn’t that lucky, he’s just got the one. Here’s a picture of them and you’ll also see Binks in his safe place whilst on the boat. 
The plan was to have a few quiet days after a busy couple of weeks when KLONK CLANG (sounds like something out of Bat Man doesn’t it.) WALLOP and that was us, we weren’t going anywhere other than with the current. Luckily we were still up on the Trent and Mersey Canal and hadn’t gone down to the River Weaver that we were planning to do a few days later, so we just gently drifted the ten feet or so to the tow path side of the canal.

I thought a running repair would do so popped up to the Chandler's for some parts, but a few hours later it became apparent that fixing it wasn’t going to happen by my fair hand and we subsequently found out that we’d managed to bend the prop shaft somehow. We contacted River Canal Rescue on the Sunday morning and they were with us a few hours later as the chaps were already on a call. It wasn’t easily fixable, as I’d thought, so they arranged with Anderton Marina to come down to have a look, price up the work that then saw us get into their dry dock.

I haven’t seen many dry docks, so the one at Anderton Marina may not necessarily be unique, but I think it is an excellent idea nonetheless. For want of another word, it’s like a skip with an entrance at one end. Once you’re in they wind up a door, pump out the water, the skip (dry dock) floats and the boat inside is out of the water – SIMPLES


< Dry dock before

                            Dry dock after >

< The door at the front
                     Ready and waiting >
Whilst we weren’t planning to black the boat until next year, we thought we may just as well get it done whilst it was out of the water so at least that’s a job done and sort of cheaper as well as we’ve put the cost of the dry dock against the repair of the prop shaft anyway. 
< Before

                                          After >

These last eight days or so has also given our solar panels a good test as we haven’t been able to run the engine and haven’t bothered hooking up to a shoreline either so we’ve been living off the sun alone. Not bad when we’ve been pretty much out of any direct sunlight (when there has been sunlight !) and what there has been has been through a Perspex roof.


Should, with should being the operative word, be down on the River Weaver in a few days time and plan to spend the next two or three weeks down there so stay tuned and we’ll let you know how we get on.

And so in signing off,

Day 178 in the Badger Sett Narrowboat - 311 miles and 102 locks further on from when we started.


Friday, 5 April 2013

The Anderton Lift


We’ve had our sons over with us last week and this week so not much free time, but having done the Anderton Lift on the Trent and Mersey Canal / River Weaver,  I thought this would be worthy of a quick standalone blog.

It was built in 1875, was closed in 1983 due to structural problems and then restored at a cost of £7m and reopened in 2002. The lift links the canal and the river by the 50’ difference between the two.

Entry from the canal is via a small basin and through a lift gate into an aqueduct that separates the canal from the actual tanks you travel down/up in. Once the water has equalised, a second lift gate is raised and you move into the actual tank itself.

There are two tanks and they operate with one travelling up whilst the other is travelling down and meet halfway during the process. These pictures shows the ram under the tank next to us and below is another boat going in the opposite direction to us and then again at the end of their journey.





 Each tank weighs 252 tonne with water, plus of course good old Badger Sett on the day and obviously not forgetting Nicky’s contribution. I am of course honour bound not to disclose her weight, nor her age come to that as she had ANOTHER birthday last week. There are just some private things that are best kept to ones self though, but carry on reading my blogs and I’ll tell you in three years time when she’s fifty. (Doh! given it away for the mathematically advanced of you). Got a cake for her, well she actually made me an apple pie, but couldn’t do the candles due to our insurance policies stipulations about large quantities of naked flames not being allowed onboard.

The guy who was working the lift on the day gave us a bit of talk about the lift and two bits in particular stuck. The first being that a 100+ years ago the lift took three minutes to do a lift whereas today it takes eight minutes. The reason, good old Health & Safety.

The second interesting snippet was that the gear wheels (part of the old structure and not actually used in the operation now) have got chevron shaped teeth that better dealt with the loads the gears had to move. They were designed by a French chap called Andre Citroen, later to become of Citroen car fame and the best bit, he used the chevron design of the gears for his car logo. See the similarity.

Anyway, enough chat, just a few other pictures now of the adventure. Got to be done if you get the chance.

And so in signing off,

Day 166 in the Badger Sett Narrowboat - 304 miles and 102 locks further on from when we started.