Sunday, 11 November 2018

Elan Valley


We  had a trip out to Llandrindod Wells a Victorian Spa market town in the centre of Wales. Where  Roly & Bev who showed us around 'their patch' which included the Elan Valley.

The Metropole Hotel 


Sea serpent sculpture in Llandrindod Lake Park.



The Elan valley has a total of 6 dams that make reservoirs to keep the population of Birmingham, 76 miles away from going thirsty, pipes and aqueducts were used to transport the water by the victorian engineers without the need for any pumps along the way. 



Aqueduct




It's always a pleasure to watch red kites floating across the sky's while cruising the southern waterways.
Here in Mid Wales there is the opportunity to see up to 600 turn up to the feeding station at Rhayader.


En route to the reservoirs we saw squadrons of the birds on their way for their daily feast at Gigrin farm



Refreshment in the Llanerch Inn after a days exploring.
Back on the boat we watched the autumn rugby internationals . New Zealand beat England by a point after a dubious decision by the South African TMO ( probably evening up the Owen Farrell tackle decision that didn't go SA's way last week).

Sue is away to look after her mum for a while, which leaves me free to get on with some boaty jobs.




Friday, 2 November 2018

Shugborough ...

..mansion is a National Trust property we haven't visited before, we did stroll the grounds a few years ago before it became part of the NT's portfolio. 

It's only a short walk from our mooring at Great Haywood  crossing over the Trent via the Grade 1 listed  Essex packhorse bridge.


We are usually more interested in what goes on downstairs (we know our place) than the grand upstairs rooms, which were paid for in part by George Ansons naval exploits plundering Spanish Treasure ships in 1740's.




Front entrance

Rear


Folly built as a ruin.








Library

Office


The Aston silver


The Kitchen








The Laundry


Iron heater


Servants  hall.










Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Trick or Treat

That is another season of cruising nearly over, it is strange that it seems to of flashed by and on the other hand it seems like an age since we were in Stratford on Avon.

We have been back in the marina for the last week, while there I have been catching up with some maintenance tasks, the engine boards have been painted, inside hatch doors and rear doors varnished. I also changed the two engine alternator belts, the one below was in a sorry state. 


I bought new ones from the local car parts shop for £6.99 each, Midland Chandlers wanted a whopping £18.50 for each one.


This activity has been intermingled with some time out with friends.








We are now back out on the canal chugging along the T&M towards Tixall for a few days, it's cold enough for hats gloves and thermals - for this crew at least  - who have not been in temps hovering around zero for a couple of years. Which has reminded me that it is time to renew the antifreeze in FL's cooling system.

Early morning bovines



This could almost be canal art for Halloween 

Trick or treat!

Friday, 28 September 2018

New box of cogs.

FL's mechanical Technodrive gearbox has always been a clunky beast when engaging forward or reverse, I have hankered after a hydraulic box for ages.

The drive plate had started to rattle and protest loudly over the past couple of months and needed changing.

As this requires the gearbox to be removed to get at it I decided to bite the bullet and get a PRM150 fitted at the same time. This type of box requires an oil cooler fitted into the engines cooling system too. The engine has to be lowered by 10mm to align it all.

I collected all the parts from Kings Lock chandlery, Charlie the engineer at Canal Cruising did the fitting.


New drive plate.

Hydraulic gearbox and oil cooler.



FL's wrecked drive plate. 

PRM fitted to bell housing



Gearbox fitted and working.

Gearbox oil cooler 
What a difference it has made to forward and reverse gear selection, now engages quietly with no clunkyness. 

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Red Tide

Just back from a break on the gulf coast of Florida with friends and daughter, unfortunately for us a few days in, a Red Tide struck which affected a 175 mile stretch of coast  from Naples to Dunedin.

The authorities have cleared up 100's of tons of dead fish from the shoreline, you can imagine the stench in the Floridian heat. Along with the smell the algae blooms give off airborne toxins that make you cough.

Red tide aside we still had an enjoyable break.



LuLu's






At the Double Tree


A silver lining to remind us of home.


A breakfast Bloody Mary with bacon.

At the Dali museum


The Conch


The Salt Rock 

PJ's Oyster bar


Inter coastal waterway

Caddy's Pub

Another Irish bar.


I first used this fishing pier 35 years ago 

Now condemmed