Monday, 22 September 2008

Holdups, hassles & headaches but still a great trip!

Poppy & Soona enjoying the view from the cratch

I set off on our Autumn cruise with every intention of updating this blog, if not daily at least every couple of days. Mmmm........ The best laid plans & all that. Ah well.

As friends & family know only too well I do have a problem with headaches & migraines, one of the reasons I retired early & when they strike I can't look at a computer screen.
Just before the trip I decided to change some of the medication I was on - it seemed to be working okay but the weight was (is) piling on so blaming the medication I decided to lay off it for a while but I ended up having alot of headaches & a few migraines . Needless to say I am now back on the tablets & having a good day today will attempt to bring us up to date.

Monday 8-09-08

We left Bluewater at 9am stopping just past Kirkhouse Green on the New Junction for lunch in warm sunshine & arrived at Whitley visitor moorings at 4pm. We couldn't find a space on the visitor moorings so we moored up a few hundred yards further along the towpath but not before a chat to the lock keeper informed us that the flood lock at Ferrybridge was closed.

Kirkhouse Green
Tuesday 8.09.08

Woke up to the sound of rain so a leisurely breakfast before donning wet weather gear & making the short trip to Ferrybridge- found plenty of space on the visitor moorings although we were soon joined by three other narrowboats. After a walk up to Morrisons to get some supplies & a paper we settled in for the afternoon. The sat signal was poor but we had quite a few programmes saved on sky plus so watched an episode of Rebus.
Just before bed we noticed that the cabin lights were dim & the waterpump seemed to be struggling. We assumed the batteries were low as we had only done a couple of hours cruising & decided to run the engines am if still unable to get up to Castleford.

Wednesday 9.09.08

After running the engine for an hour or so giving us lots of hot water but doing nothing to enliven the batteries we decided that as the flood lock was still closed for at least another 24hours & we were in need of a sanitary station ( no facilities at Ferrybridge) we'd go back to Whitley lock, use the facilities then cruise back to Ferrybridge & that would surely charge the batteries.

No it didn't. b****r.

At this point our ignorance of boat electric systems was all too apparent & we were considering buying a generator but to be able to do this you need to know were the generator 'shops' are & we didn't have the power to use the laptop to do a search & my phone battery was almost flat so I rang Hannah to see if she can find us a dealer via google but no joy. They all seemed to be suppliers of industrial gennys.

But good news on the flood lock , we were told the lock would be open at 8.30am Thursday :)

Ferrybridge Visitor Moorings

Spotted this on the walk back from Morrisons in Ferrybridge - Note the broken seat in the background.

Thursday 10.09.08

We were at the lockgates 8.30 sharp somewhat relieved to be on our way again.

Leaving Ferrybridge (hurray!)

Dwarfed by tanker Rix Owl at Bulholme lock

We joined 5 other boats to go through Castleford flood lock (it is huge!) & got chatting to a couple on nb Luna Tiara. They were pushing on to Clarence Dock in Leeds & as the moorings have shore power we decided to to the same.
Castleford lock

We arrived in Leeds at 4pm & were soon hooked up to the mains & then wandered of in search of tea. 1st place we came to was the Palace pub & enjoyed a excellent meal & then back to the boat to enjoy watching some TV, messing about on the laptop etc etc. Anything that required electricity really!

Clarence Dock

Friday 11.09.08

Shopping & washing day, took advantage of shore power to put the washer on & then went into Leeds in search of some sealskinz gloves as handling wet ropes was making my hands sore.
Found just what I wanted in Millets, they are now on a long piece of elastic to thread through my coat sleeves, without this precaution I will surely lose one & at £25 I'm not taking any chances!
Also got a folding trolley from maplins for carrying the thetford cassette that has already been earning its keep.
On passing a pet shop we decided to treat the cats to a new scratching post as the old one was definitely shabby,

old scratching post

Poppy trying out new one

'this will do nicely, thanks'

Saturday 12.09.08

Having still not resolved the charging problem we decided to spend another day in Clarence Dock leaving the batteries to get topped up via the battery charger on shore power whilst we had a wander round Leeds.

On returning from a potter round The Royal Armouries Museum we spotted a boat I thought I recognised moored up a couple of pontoons down. It was nb Marbeck Phoenix & I certainly recognised the couple sat in the front deck enjoying a glass of wine as I had seen them around Bluewater Marina. We paused to say hello & introduced ourselves & before long the sorry tale of the batteries was mentioned at which point Harry let on he is an electrician & without much ado was in our engine compartment checking the batteries & it didn't take hin long to find a loose connection. Problem solved!! Thanks Harry ;)

So that was our 1st week, only got to Leeds as held up 2 days because of the floods & another 2 days because of the batteries not charging....

Week 2 tomorrow, hopefully

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