Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Container ship on the Grand Union; stern gland tightening

Kathryn D. came on the dot of 0930 for the promised coffee tea; we had a good long chat. It was lovely to see you, Kathryn, and may you continue to recover ever more speedily.

Tied up in front of us, but heading south, were Muleless and Oakapple, so I introduced myself to Gary and Della and Richard and Sharon. It was good to see you, and I'm sure our paths will cross again sometime.

I had another go at adjusting the stern gland. By "adjusting" I mean, of course, tightening. I had put an ice cream tub drip catcher under the gland; after yesterday's four hours' running it was full. Screwing down the greaser had stopped the dripping so the gland can only be leaking water when under way. When we stopped at Weedon Bec I found the drip catcher full to overflowing again, so I tightened the gland even more. I felt the resistance to rotation of the prop shaft before, during and after tightening - it felt moderately stiff at every stage, but the adjustment nuts got suddenly harder to turn so I slackened them off a flat. Is this right? Should I get a two litre ice cream tub of water from the gland after just a few hours' running? How close can the two "plates" get before I should replace the packing? There is now about 1 cm gap.

It was just after 1100 when I washed the grease off my hands, put on my hat and coat and steered into Blisworth Tunnel. There was another boat just exiting at the far end, otherwise we were the only boat in the tunnel. This meant I could steer to avoid the worst of the torrents of water. The tunnel seemed drier than last year - or am I just getting used to it?

Before the entrance, tied under the trees, was this curious container vessel.

It looks like the barest of modifications have been applied to turn a container into a canal boat. The only windows seem to be in the front doors, but I couldn't see the top so perhaps there are roof lights. I somehow doubt it. It also looks slightly too wide to be a "narrow" boat.

Propulsion is from an outboard motor, but where is the steering position?

I'd love to see a boat review in one of the waterways mags! Adam?

We went to the Brinjol Indian restaurant in Weedon - good size portions but I have had tastier food elsewhere. Next time perhaps we'll do a "two for one" at the Heart of England.

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