Saturday, 18 January 2020

Happy New Year

Since my last post FL has been secured to her pontoon in the marina and wont be going on any outings until April.

Seen in Stone.

We went home for a few days over Christmas, we were well looked after by our daughter and beau.

It was nice to be waited on by our hosts who prepared a feast for us all on Christmas day. During our stay we also had meals out at the Mona Lisa and the Forge.  We also took in the latest Star Wars movie at the Palace cinema.

Night out in Laxey.
Tom and I visited the Manx Motor Museum among the exhibits were three types of car I have owned in the past, which really made me feel old.

Humber Super Snipe

Ford Zodiac

Jaguar XJ
If I had kept all the vehicles I have ever owned (33) I could have my very own motor museum scrapyard.


Back to a cold boat to see in the new year with hot chocolate and hot water bottles. 

It soon warmed up once the stove was lit.

Last week we took the Cap Finistere form Portsmouth to Bilbao, a nine hour drive got us to Mojacar.
I was Norman Stanley Fletcher & and Sue was Lenny Godber.(link)

Happy New Year to you all.

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Comments apology.

To all readers of this blog who have left me comments please accept my apology for not publishing/replying.

It's getting more and more Azure'd: For Microsoft, sorry ...

I have now found the section "comments awaiting moderation"  all  274 comments have now been published apart from the ones letting me know I'd  won a competition that I hadn't entered.

Thursday, 21 November 2019


Enthused by seeing the Taiko drumming at the start of each Rugby World Cup game Sue searched online for any touring ensembles, low and behold a group were playing at the Stafford Gatehouse Theatre.

Photography was not allowed during the performance, this photo is borrowed from the WWW.

World Festival of Sacred Music to feature Makoto Taiko ...

We had an excellent time at the Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers Concert, the pulsating beat of the music from the energetic baton-wielding performers sent vibrations into every atom in the room. It sorted out my tinnitus too.

Monday, 18 November 2019

Great Haywood.

There's more water around the Trent and Mersey canal than in it at the moment, making the towpaths mucky but gloriously squelchy for anyone with a pair of wellies. 

This time of year continuous cruisers have to keep an eye on C&RT planned maintenance lock closures. We are at Great Haywood, the T&M has been barred at Haywood lock since the 4th November for gate cill and balance beam repairs, the 22nd being scheduled completion date

A lot of equipment has to be brought in to do the repairs including pumps, scaffolding and fencing using five vessels in this case. C&RT have a lot of knockers, I have never been one of them, in my view, they have a un-enviable task of keeping the canal system open while trying to generate the means to do so through boat licence fees and charitable donations. They do receive some government funding, this is due to be phased out over the next five years, C&RT is expected to be self-sufficient by then.. we'll have to wait and see. 

Support vessels at Haywood lock (west end)

East end

The River Trent runs cheek by jowl with the canal here.

Essex packhorse bridge dates from 16C.

Swollen river Trent

How many boots.

I watched the Barbarians V Fiji game in the Hogarth in Stafford with my pal Gordon, £1.90 for a pint of Courage Best. This particular beer reminds me of my teenage years of convincing barmaids I was old enough to drink one.

Saturday, 9 November 2019

Loads of water.

The MCCC (Mojacar canal cruising club) arranged a visit to Elan Valley, a comfortable cottage was booked in Llandrindod for a couple of nights which just happened to be attached to the pub next door. 

Visitor centre.

Martin with Bev and Sue at Llandrindod Wells lake.
Some of MCCC enjoying a drink.

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Modification to FL's bum.

During our summer cruise, I noticed that there was vibration in drive at just above idle speed. I suspected the engine mounts were worn, I also noticed there was a bit of play in the cutlass bearing when I tugged on the prop through the weed hatch.

I had already had conversations last year with Peter at Canal Cruising in Stone, (my go-to outfit for engineering work) about changing the water-lubricated stern tube for a conventional grease-lubricated stuffing box.

It is a big job but one they have experience of doing, I have confidence in their workmanship so scheduled the work for last week.

Cutting out of the old cutlass bearing housing is required to fit the larger diameter shaft and bearing.

How it was, the Vetus shaft is 30mms diameter. The new shaft will be 1.5inches (38.1 mms) 

The hospital silencer and fuel filter were removed for access. The metal step was also cut off.

Propshaft and Vetus gland removed exposing the bearing housing.

Charlie cutting a hole in FL

Cutlass bearing cut out. 

Best not fill the dock yet. 

New stuffing box installed, using an alignment shaft.

Thrust plate welded in position and Python drive installed. I'll need to get in there and repaint the bilge.

The Python drive plate takes all the thrust from the prop this frees the engine mounts to just dampen engine vibes.

New propeller 
Filling the dock

One coat of Bilge paint.

All four engine mounts were replaced with HI-Hush items, a leaking flexible exhaust pipe was also renewed.

Friday, 18 October 2019

Quarter Final

Half hour to kick-off, why do I feel so nervous.... it's only a game!