No Direction

No Direction is our 70ft Narrowboat which is now home to my wife Jayne and myself, it was launched on 4th February 2008.

We spend the Winters in a Marina and cruise in the warmer weather.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Lucky Escape.

Sunday 29th April 2012.

Last week I offered to move a 63ft boat from Aston Marina near Stone back to Kings Bromley, the move was scheduled for today, as it turned out plans changed and I wasn't needed, looking out at bending tree's and horizontal rain I had a lucky escape.

All this heavy rain has arrived just at the right time, it gives me an excuse to stay inside, keep the fire roaring while I watch Snooker on B.B.C. and drink tea.

The picture doesn't really show the struggle that's taking place here as a narrow beam Dutch Barge attempts to get onto it's mooring.  

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Crowds and Rain.

Sunday 22nd April 2012.

It was quite an event down at Fradley Junction today despite the very heavy showers, President and Kildare waited between middle lock and shadehouse lock until around midday then moved down and moored in the reserved space adjacent to the pub car park.

Letting off steam.

Beside the boats there was a gathering of vintage cars, a traction engine and a couple of trade boats selling wood carvings and sweets moored below junction lock.

Parked outside the Swan at Fradley.

The two cafes and the pub were doing a roaring trade with so many people around, President and Kildare left at 2 o'clock and tonight are at Hopwas, or so I've heard.

Steaming Past.

Sunday 22 April 2012.

Just a couple of pictures of Narrowboats President and Kildare passing the entrance to Kings Bromley Marina at 9.35 today.

Friday, 20 April 2012

The President Arrives.

Friday 20th April 2012.
On Sunday at midday the steam powered Narrowboat President and Butty Kildare are scheduled to pass through Fradley on route to London where they will take part in the Queens Diamond Jubilee Pageant, volunteers will be on hand to operate the locks and try and keep the peace, Fradley is hectic enough on a Sunday, add this pair to the mix and it should be fun.

All gone in 4 days.

Wednesday we had 7 duckings around, Thursday morning 6, Thursday afternoon 5 and 3 were left this morning, late afternoon she had 1 left, the crows are taking them, we have some crow deterrents arriving on Monday but it will be too late for this lot.

My mother is back in her bungalow recovering well from the replacement knee operation she had at Oswestry Orthopaedic, top hospital, when we are happy she is fully mobile again and doesn't need us to do a flying visit by car we can get out of the marina and off on our travels.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Friday The Thirteenth

Saturday 14th April 2012.
Kings Bromley Marina.

Yesterday, Friday the thirteenth was nearly an unlucky day for one of the female ducks, after being attacked by four drakes she was left half submerged and lifeless under a jetty, Sue Poynton the office manager spotted what had happened and managed to reach down under the jetty, drag her out by one of her legs then wrapped the poor creature in a towel, as Sue has dogs she came and knocked on our boat and asked if we would have a go at resuscitation, the duck was very cold, soaked with hardly any sign of movement

After twenty minutes with a hair drier there was a bit more movement and another hour wrapped in warm towels saw a big improvement, she could now stand up and flap her wings, eventually we placed her on the grass at the side of the boat and after another ten minutes grooming she entered the water and swam off.

Hair Dryer Treatment.

Where am I.

Warmed up and ready to go.

Friday, 6 April 2012

A Problem

Friday 6th April 2012.
Kings Bromley Marina.

Thirty minutes after leaving the drydock on Monday we experienced a failure of the domestic alternator which was a bit of a surprise as we only had 1070 hours on the hour counter.

On Tuesday I began the investigations and came to the conclusion it was the alternator itself at fault, an Email was sent to Beta Marine asking for their comments on such an early failure.

We considered ourselves fortunate it failed when it did and not miles away during the summer, feeling that we needed to carry a spare I checked on Ebay and found a brand new replacement being sold by a Mobile Marine Engineer based at Leek in Staffordshire, so I drove up and bought it.

This morning I fitted the new alternator and all is now well, depending on what Beta Marine decide to do (maybe nothing as we are 15 months out of warranty) I'll get the failed unit repaired and find space for it somewhere, keeping a spare part usually means it will never be needed. 

Replacement fitted.

If you have any electrical or heating problems then try Ed Shiers at Four Counties Marine Services, he covers the midlands and northwest.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Back At Base

Tuesday 3rd April 2012.

Yesterday we came out of Shobnall drydock and travelled back to Kings Bromley Marina,  as I wrote in a previous blog our outward journey last Thursday was smooth and fairly rapid, however yesterdays trip was just the opposite, lots more boats about.

Company at Alrewas lock.

At Fradley we waited 30 minutes behind an couple in a old Springer boat as they slowly went through Junction lock, first they dropped the end of a rope overboard and spent ages getting it back, then the engine stopped and that required the lifting of the deck to get at the starter switch.

The normal Fradley chaos made worst by people mooring on the lock moorings.

On the plus side the new Crowther propeller is performing well with no noise and a decrease of 100 rpm when cruising.

Early start for us tomorrow as I have the get my mother to Oswestry Orthopaedic Hospital for 7.15am  she's in to have a knee replacement which be done tomorrow, and will then be kept in over the weekend.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

All Done.

Sunday 1st April 2012
Shobnall Drydock.

Water level going down on Friday Morning.

The old air cooled Ruston Diesel which drives the pump to empty the dock
is a bit smokey due to a leak between one injector and the head, it's simply
worn out.

The dock has been cleaned up and painted since our last visit

Saturday I applied the first coat of Comastic blacking to the hull with a 4 inch brush, that took 10 litres and most of the day.

First coat on.

This morning the hull got a second coat applied with a roller, that used another 5 litres of blacking but only took a couple of hours.

Ready to go on Monday morning.

This afternoon I've been touching up a few knocks on the tunnel bands at the rear and tidying up, all finished by 3 o'clock. 

One thing you need to think about if you are using the dock and staying on the boat at this time of year is heating, as you can connect to mains power while in the dock we used an electric oil radiator, at night the roller shutters at each end of the building are closed so it's dangerous to use oil or gas central heating.