Sunday, 5 April 2009

Hot under the deck boards

Yup. We overheated today. Or, rather, Shadow's engine did. We'd just come out of Tatenhill Lock when I glanced down at the instrument panel and spotted the temperature gauge on the endstop. Oops! We stopped and I lifted the deckboards covering the engine. There was a certain amount of water vapour down there, but not nearly so much as when I gingerly opened the coolant filler cap a fraction.

For some reason the engine had decided to get hot, and there wasn't enough coolant doing the rounds to do its job. So little, in fact, that there wasn't enough to pass through the calorifier, evidenced by the coolness of what should have been the (domestic) hot water. After a while I opened the filler cap some more, and some more, and then removed it. There was coolant down there, but the level was rather low. I boiled up some water and slowly added it from the kettle, and sounds of bubbling came from within. The engine was clearly very hot indeed. Another kettleful. And another. Now the level looked where it should be, so on with the filler cap and start the engine. All seemed well, so we continued. The question now is, why did/does the engine lose coolant? Is it a perished hose or rusted Jubilee clip? A blown gasket? When looking around when hot, I noticed that there was some bubbling around the thermostat housing. Perhaps the gasket there needs replacing. I'm not convinced that's the primary cause of the loss of coolant, as it looked more like a result of high pressure caused by overheating.

leaving our mooring (the other side of the bridge) and the Bridge Inn, Branston

hirers getting in a pickle

I assume this means "No fishing", but why is it in what looks like Polish?

Jan spotted these blue tops out of their original environment

quarry between Branston and Barton

Wychnor Lock as seen through bridges 42 and 43 (but not, these days, 46)

weir at the point where the River Trent joins the Trent and Mersey Canal at Alrewas

Jan steering into Bagnall Lock (no, she didn't hit the bridge)

Hunt's Lock, with Keeper's Lock beyond

our mooring for the night at Fradley, below Junction Lock

unusual narrowboat Protanic emerging from Junction Lock ...

... with wheel steering

obligatory night-time shot of The Swan, Fradley ...

... and one more

We're now tied up on the 48 hour moorings one lock below Fradley Junction. As we'd had a salad lunch we went to The Swan for a meal. We both had braised steak, which was completely excellent. £7.25 (each) very well spent. I had the bread and butter pudding (£2.99), which, again, was obviously made on the premises and was also first class. The best meal out of our cruise so far. (The Black Sheep was good too.)

Working backwards: we made a late start having watched the Grand Prix from Malaysia. When it looked unlikely that the rain-stopped race would restart I switched the TV off, removed the aerial from the roof, and got going. We had queues at the locks today - has the cruising season started, then? I'm going to get up early tomorrow and zoom up the locks here before anyone else is awake. Ha har!

Still earlier today: we woke up to a cold boat and frost outside. I lit the fire. A thick fog hung over the fields to our right, but the sun soon broke through. By the time we gave up on the GP all the fog had gone and it was quite warm. We've been lighting the fire every evening and not usually bothering in the morning (today being an exception). If it has been a bit cool for Jan doing her work in the morning, we've switched the central heating pump on without firing up the gas boiler. There's been enough heat from the engine to warm the radiators and make an appreciable difference inside.

Bloggers' boats spotted: Waterlily moored just two boats behind us now, and Harnser, moored one lock below. No sign of life at Waterlily: if you had been on the boat this weekend we must have arrived too late to see you, Nev.

Not sure how far we'll get tomorrow, especially if the early start comes off. We're still ahead of schedule, despite the unscheduled happenings, but we must start to think of a rendezvous for my brother and most of his family to join on Thursday. I will do, David! Unless you can suggest somewhere?

edited to add photos

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Anent the 'No Fishing' sign: I read some time ago that Poles were catching carp, a national dish, and eating them instead of throwing them back into the water, as they were supposed to do, thus making them very unpopular with keepers and other anglers.