This is a vertical support wall of one of the new roads. The thin groove is crammed with snails.
Now to bring this up-to-date.
We left Sheffield Basin at 0845 to set off for the top of the Tinsley flight. Our neighbour at the mooring, Ed, of Wandering Canuck, kindly wound the swing bridge for us. (We first encountered Ed at Barnby Dun a week ago; we have been bumping into him ever since.)
One of the top gates at Lock 9 has an interesting sliding balance beam extension to give more leverage. Sadly this is now welded up and unusable.
Shortly after leaving the mooring below the lock, where we had stopped for lunch and a quick visit to Tesco, the engine suddenly lost power. It died completely after a couple of seconds, giving me no time to steer to the bank. Fortunately this was on a canalised part of the navigation, so we drifted to the side and were able to tie the centre line to a strong metal fence post. Now I had to see what the problem was.
My first thought was that we'd run out of diesel. Unlikely, as I'd dipped the tank while in Sheffield and there was plenty there. Dipping now showed that there was still plenty.
I'd have to check the engine. When I took up the deck boards I was surprised to see a lot of water in the engine bilge. It's a bit difficult to tell from the photo - the water in the engine bilge is centre left, reflecting the sky.
So where had all the water come from?
The answer: from the torrents of water pouring over the top gates while descending the Tinsley Locks. There had been one such "gusher" which Jan had said did go onto the deck boards a bit. But why would that have stopped the engine, especially as it was an hour or two after the event?
I unscrewed the diesel filter/agglomerator drain plug and let some liquid flow into a container. Ah - there was some water as well as diesel. Perhaps the mini-flood had cascaded through the gaps between the deck boards and got between the filter and the agglomerator bowl. There is some sort of rubber seal, but could water have penetrated? Thinking about it now, no, it couldn't. Otherwise there'd be diesel leaking out, which there isn't.
Anyway, after all these checks I turned the starter to see what would happen. After a little more cranking than usual the engine fired up (hooray!) and kept going (hooray again!). I left it on a fast idle for half-an-hour to see if anything untoward happened, which it didn't, and so then we carried on our way.
The engine behaved impeccably for the rest of today's cruise (we tied up at the moorings at Kilnhurst. Rather windy - the boat's being buffeted more than at any other mooring so far).
Further thoughts: The diesel filler cap would have taken the full force of the water pouring down. What if the seal around the cap isn't very good? I think water could well have got in. The more I think about it now, the more I'm sure that there must be a layer of water swilling around the bottom of the diesel tank. Some of this must have been sucked into the injectors, thus stopping the engine.
Methinks it would be a good idea to remove this water before going onto the Trent. A job for the morning (I have a plan). (It would be nice if it would stop raining.)