Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Bah Humbug...

Sorry not to sound so festive, but had some news via an e-mail on the 19th that has fair taken the shine off christmas and the new year.

If you have followed the blog you will know that in late september we started to experiance a problem with the drive train. To cut a long story short, it would appear that since an incident on the maiden run, when the builders were on board, we have run with two of the three prop blades damaged and the bellows and rotor on the water lubricated stern gear not compressed as per specification.

We started to hear a severe knocking, which originated from the carbon flange on the water lubricated system.

The builders were fantastic, initially changing the prop and when this did not alleviate the problem changing the cutlass bearing, shaft and PSS Shaft seal. Initial trial runs appear to indicate all is well. Time will tell !

The aforesaid missive was to inform us that examination of the parts removed indicated wear caused by ingress of materials such as grit into the bearing causing the vibration and thus knocking of the flange.This is not a build or warranty issue apparently, but "wear and tear" and we are to be invoiced for labour and parts incurred.

Fair spoiled our christmas.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

She is ok!

We have made two visits to Yelvertoft in the last couple of weeks, both short and sweet as she was very cold!  We decided to leave no heat on which we hope will mean no condensation and so far so good.  The only issue was on the first visit the central heating header tank pipe had been leaking, this is a reoccurring problem but John tightened the clips up and all seems to be ok again now, but we have left a bowl under it in case it does drip again.

We also called at Whalin Upholstery to collect a Houdini bung that Darren had made for us.  It fits like a glove so he is making us two more.  We also took him the dinette seating and he is going to make us some wedges to go behind the cushions which in theory should bring the back of the dinette seating out slightly and make it more comfortable.  We did say that there was no rush for either but he has rung today to say they are ready for collection!

We have been to York and Lincoln recently and I thought I would share these photos with you.

We would like to wish all our blog readers a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

A trip to see the seals

We are settling into life at home, John is feeling much better, his cold has nearly gone!

Yesterday we went to Donna Nook to see the Grey Seals, it is one of the largest seal colonies in the UK.  Its a seal watchers paradise at this time of year as the seals come in to give birth and the bulls also come in to mate, so there are lots of seals on the dunes.  We saw lots but there are still many more to arrive so we may go back in a couple of weeks.  Its an amazing sight, but its not just the sight, the sound is also very eerie, we saw a couple of bulls fighting as well as many pups, some which were only hours old.   As the tide was coming in, we could see more arriving in the distance.  Whats weird is this is a bombing range for the RAF, as you can see on some of the photos below (they do stop at this time of year).

Lunch time

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Ended the season as we started it

Yesterday we had a quick trip to Beacon to see their latest narrowboat Post combustion, which is nearly finished.  Again they have achieved another lovely boat and I am sure the new owners will be very pleased.

We then travelled to Brinklow Marina to meet up with Doug and James (Nb Chance).  We met Doug and James on our first day on Triskaideka, and travelled for part of the day with them back in June.  We spent a lovely afternoon onboard Chance, enjoying some wonderful home made cake, (by Doug), we met some of their friends Janet and Gerald from NB Toulouse, we then all went into Rugby to an Indian Restaurant, Titash, for a superb meal, we had a really good evening with lots of chatter and laughter.  A wonderful way to end our season.

Today we topped the diesel up this morning and then spent the day winterising and cleaning the inside of Triskaideka.  We left the marina at 4pm and travelled back home.

James, Doug, Ali, Gerald, Janet & John

Triskaideka, winterised

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Beginning of November

On Monday we made our way back to Debdale Wharf and were lifted out again ready for Sam on Tuesday morning.

Sam and Neil arrived and after discussions about the gear box Sam checked it and then replaced the prop shaft, stern gland and cutless bearing.  There was groves on the prop shaft and the graphite surface on the stern gland had small chunks out of it.  Beacon have arranged for these to be tested to see if a cause can be ascertained.  I will update the blog later when we know more.

After Sam had finished Triskaideka was returned to the water and we went on a test run.  Everything seemed ok so we dropped Neil back off and returned to Foxton.

We spend the evening in Bridge 61 as it was quiz night.  We had a good night, just what we needed, and Sam makes a good quizmaster!

On Wednesday we cruised to Market Harborough, its was very quiet and we only passed one boat coming from Harborough.  We used the services in the basin and whilst waiting for the water to fill, I rang, as the office was closed, to see if we could have a mooring, we were told we were ok to moor so we did right infront of the Waterfront 

Whilst mooring up a couple we met whilst coming up the Atherstone flight came across to see us, they have a permanent mooring in the basin.   We did the usual catch up and they invited us over for a drink later.  We walked into Market Harborough, had a wander around found a lovely Bisto Cafe for lunch, if we had realised how large the sandwiches were going to be we would have shared one, they were huge, with a side salad and coleslaw, but really tasty.  After doing a bit of shopping, John having a hair and beard cut we returned to the basin, I felt terrible by the time we got back, John has kindly shared his cold with me.  I really couldn't be bothered to cook and we were so close to the Waterfront we decided to eat there, five steps from the boat and we were inside.  The food is really good, we had eaten there before and again we had a lovely meal.

On Thursday we returned to Foxton as everything still seemed to be ok, no noise or banging we decided to go up the locks.  I opened the road swing bridge for us and the Canal Boat behind us, they had been charging us down over the last couple of miles so we thought we would let them go ahead.  It also meant they would get to the swing footbridge in Foxton first so could open that for us!  On arrival in the basin the coal and diesel boat Callisto was just going into the first lock, after a chat with Mark & John who was helping Mark up the locks they said they hadn't been able to find the lock keeper, I wandered up a couple of locks and could see him at the top of the flight, so walked up to book in.  He told us to go up next, but when I got back down the Canal Boat was at the lock gate, so we let them go up in front of us although I did tell them they needed to book in with the lock keeper.  We had a good run up the locks, there was a boat coming down who had to wait in the middle pound and another behind us.   Once at the top we moored up.

On Friday our plan was to head back to Yelvertoft, but when we got up it was throwing it down, really heavy rain, so we decided to wait and see what it was like later.  It cleared about 11:00 so we decided to head off but only to go half way, or if it started to rain again stop.  The colours of the trees are fantastic, and this is a lovely stretch of canal, the views are lovely, the photos don't do it justice as it was still cloudy.  We got to Welford Junction where we were planning on stopping and John suggested we carried on to Yelvertoft, so we did, we did have a couple of rain showers, one which was quiet heavy so I retired inside for a while, we made it back just as it was getting dark.

So that is our first season aboard Triskaideka, we have had a fantastic time (if we ignore the last few weeks), there is nothing that we would change about the design, so we don't think we have made any huge blunders, it works well.  There are somethings we bought on board that have never been out of the cupboard so they will be going home and not returning (but not many).

We have done 830 miles,   542 locks, 23431 yards of tunnels and most importantly met some really lovely people along the way, we have travelled canals we have not done before and had time to enjoy everything along the way.  Did we make a mistake, do we regret it, never - can't wait to get back out in the spring.  Triskaideka is booked in to be blacked at the beginning of April and then we will be off for our next cruise.

We will spend the next few days, cleaning polishing and getting Triskaideka ready to be left for the winter, I will then drag John, kicking and screaming back home, where I will try to find some work for the winter, or at least do some voluntary work, while John enjoys his first winter as a retiree!

Our last few photos for this year.  Our blog will return with us in the spring.

Sunday 30th October

Whilst doing very little on Sunday we had a surprise visit from Dave & Angie from NB Lady Esther, they were out for their Sunday walk and as they thought we were around Foxton came to find us.  We met them in the summer on the Grand Union.  We had a good natter and catch up, unfortunately they were a bit early for the cake as it was still in the oven!   It was lovely to see you both and thanks so much for coming to see us, hopefully we will meet again next year, when you will have your new paint scheme, which we need to see on your blog!!

On Sunday evening Jane and Paul came to meet us and we had a lovely evening with them, eating at the Foxton Locks Inn with a little drink to wash it down!

Friday, 28 October 2011

The saga continues ....

As planned Sam arrived on Thursday morning and replaced the prop, which was damaged.  We were soon back in the water and took a trip up to the next winding hole to see if everything was ok.  After about 1/2 mile the knocking started again.  We cruised back to Foxton and met Sam again, he had been in contact with someone who is familiar with the stern gland and he made a few adjustments but it did not solve the problem.  After lots of deliberation it was decided that we need to come back out of the water again and a new stern gland, prop shaft and cutlas bearing fitted depending on delivery and availability this should be done on Monday or Tuesday.

We are back at Foxton for the weekend, I can think of much worse places to be.  It has been a lovely day today, following the rain yesterday.  I went into Market Harborough on the bus to stock up on shopping earlier and had a wander around. 

Pictures from our moorings

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

We are suspended!

We awoke to a lovely chilly morning.  After filling up with water we descended Foxton locks and moored up at the bottom.  We went for lunch at Bridge 61 whilst the washing was drying and then walked towards Debdale Wharf looking for a suitable mooring closer to the wharf.  Foxton to Debdale isn't far and the only places to moor had boats on, so on arrival at Debdale we went and asked if we could moor on the wharf ready to be lifted out tomorrow.  They said 'yes' so we walked back to Foxton and then cruised back to Debdale.  We moored, got the satellite set up, then watched a boat being put into the water, then another, then we were asked if it was ok to lift us out tonight rather than the morning, so we are now on sleepers rather higher than normal! 

Sun rising

Foxton Locks



& away!

Tonight's mooring! 

1.5 miles 10 locks 

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Quick Update

Following Sam's visit on Monday we are booked into Debdale on Thursday for Triskaideka to come out of the water.  We have pondered and scratched our heads, as has Sam, Ali & Neil and hopefully Thursday will   bring some conclusion.  So we are still at the top of Foxton locks and will go down tomorrow.

Today we had a visit from Helen, Isabella and Harry.  Isabella had great fun feeding the swan with Uncle John and then when the heavens opened on our walk back down the locks to the car, she had the best fun off all jumping in all the puddles, so much so that she had to have a change of clothes before the drive home!  It was lovely to see them all.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

A cake, a birthday party and a cruise

I went home for a couple of days on Wednesday, everything was fine with the house.  Whilst there I did Isabella's Thomas birthday cake, I was happy with the cake but despite two attempts at his face I still thought he was a little scary and would have made a good halloween cake, but Isabella seemed happy with him, the fat controller was good though, even though I say it myself.   On Saturday we went to her birthday party, lots of young children (about 25 of them), it was really good and they all enjoyed themselves.

Today we set out for a couple of days cruising, we left the marina, heading for Foxton, as thats as far as we can go with the current restrictions.  We were hoping and praying that everything was ok with the stern gland but we hadn't gone far when it started knocking.  We decided to carry on, as we thought that it may need to 'bed in' after the recent adjustments, but no joy, it continued to knock and was as bad as ever.  We have made it to Foxton and Sam (the engineer) is coming to us again in the morning.  There were lots of gongoozlers at the locks, but unfortunately not many boats for them to look at due to the restrictions.
Fat Controller

Scary Thomas Cake 


& the headless fat controller as Isabella ate him!

Along the Leicester line

It was a 'tad' chilly' this morning

Welford turn 

15 miles