Monday, 25 May 2009

Day3: Bank holiday bungle

After leaving the Baby Elephant behind, (ah) we set off for Crook to turn at the winding hole. There were a few boats still there from the festival over the weekend, everything looked very quiet – maybe they were all sleeping off hangovers?
Anyway after turning we set off the way we came, the weather was gorgeous at first, I was even decked out in T-shirt and shorts, but ended up needing a woolly jumper later on. Once we’d been through the deep locks, we veered off right onto a “disused arm” at Appley Bridge lock, and moored both boats up there.
We knew the weather was bad for tomorrow, so we decided to stay here both nights, what a beautiful place to stop off. BUT by this time we had WIND and RAIN, did we let it get us down? Nope. Did we feel sorry for ourselves? Nope. Did we carry on having a good time partying regardless? Yep. Oh and we decided to have two BBQ nights in a row.
That means wine, beer and all the trimmings along with it…
THE BUNGLE BIT: While we were sat doing nothing in particular I thought I’d hoover round, because when you get to the stage where you’re playing stepping stones between bit’s of muck. It’s time to do something about it.
“Play safe” we thought, as in run the engine at the same time JIC. I’d almost finished when, silence, and I hadn’t switched the dam thing off yet. This silence was immediately shattered by various alarms going off all over the place. Of course the most important thing at this point (never mind if the boat’s on fire) was establishing who’s fault it was, but we couldn’t agree on that one.
Hmm, next move, switch everything off except the fridge freezer, leave the engine running to charge up the batteries,, hum-de-dum it’ll be ok. But hang on, why did they go flat when the engine was running anyway?
Dave went “down in the depths” to checked for the likes of loose connections,, there weren’t any. We’d worked out that with the engine running (whilst merrily hoovering). The alternator should’ve been charging the batteries faster than they were being drained and obviously wasn’t. (Worrying thought with a freezer full of goodies). So we surmised that was the source.
The old chestnut “Is there a doctor on board?” came to mind, (but there wasn’t one). Yes the alternator is powerful enough, yes the batteries and inverter are ok, that means they’re all supposed to play nicely together right? We kept an eye on the Volt Meter thingy and it took HOURS (engine running) just to get up to 12V…
It was time to ring Engineer Tom (the man who can), he agreed it was most likely a dickey alternator. So what now? We found out it would be ok as a temporary measure to swap it over and use the starter motor alternator. An “alternative alternator” then? (This had been discussed already), but nope it turned out NOT to be an option because the lead / wire thing wasn’t long enough to reach across.
Out of desperation Dave even considered using jump leads for about half a second. Then decided it was too dangerous It would give TT the potential to become a floating time bomb as well as a pain in the bum. Dammit, we’re going to hear that engine a lot while we’re moored up then.   
Ah well, did we let this get us down? Sort of. Did we feel sorry for ourselves? Sort of. Did we carry on having a good time partying regardless? YEP. It seems like we can’t take TT anywhere for longer than a night or 2 without there being some kind of trauma.
Reminds me of when someone (a human) makes a gaff and you hear those golden words:
“Oh I can’t take him / her anywhere.”
Well in our case it’s a drama queen of a boat. Anyway while the engine rumbles on (we’re going nowhere), the weather’s picked up a bit so here’s a few photos:
Must’ve been something interesting going on here, John and Dave “Tinkering about on Tickety Boo” (too). Meanwhile Debs pretends to be as engrossed as they are, when really she’s whishing they’d hurry up so she can make a brew…
Holiday 049
         The view from where we’re at…
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The REAL canal below us…
Holiday 052 

Holiday 051
Someone trundling along…
Holiday 048
The sun stayed out for the BBQ (no brolly required), it was lovely, so was the red wine, mmm…
PS: Bet that fridge freezer goes off before we get up tomorrow morning…

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