Thursday, 30 October 2014

An unexpected problem

The improvements to the little bathroom area have started. The little sink has now been removed as we have never used it. The rotten chipboard panel is now out and has given space to get into the area above the swim & the engine cooling swim tank. This area has always been damp and I had always assumed that the damp was coming from the stern area under the wooden decking when it had rained. As the layers of rust were removed there was suddenly a bit of a spurt of water. Another scratch and the spurt turned into a geyser!
Oops! One large and two small holes at the top of the photo
 The swim tank had to be drained a little to get the top surface dry. All of the layers of rust were removed and had anti-rust treatment applied before a couple of layers of fibre glass (car body repair kit) were applied. The finished, cleaned fibre-glass repaired tank top was then painted with Danboline.
Looks better now!
The strip of swim to the right (in the photo above) has not been painted yet because it was not dry enough.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

The start of winter maintenance

Now that the holiday season is pretty much over and the good weather is behind us it is time to settle down and do a bit of maintenance.
The room that we (laughingly) call our bathroom is very small. This is almost an understatement. It is about 2 feet wide and about 4 feet deep. There is a shower tray and working shower. This is a most welcome attribute and I have no intention of making any changes to that. I might move the rails (from which the shower curtain hangs to allow a little more room whilst one is in the shower - showering.
At the rear of the bathroom is a small avocado/greenish coloured (Yuk!) mini hand basin. We have never used it. To reach it you would have to stand in front of the Porta-potti loo and reach over it to use the sink. I have decided to remove it. The panel on which it is mounted was made of chipboard and the bottom of this panel has, at some time become wet. It is basically rotten! In the picture below you can just see the 'U' bend of the little sink, which is about to come out. Anyone want a small green wash basin? Never used!
The loo normally sits here
 In the picture above, the floor panel that the loo sits on has been lifted out, so that is the bottom of the boat down there in the rusty, slimy mirk. This is to be cleaned out on my next visit. The (now dry) dampness that has afflicted the wall panel can be clearly seen as can the holes through it.
The rusty lump is the engine cooling side tank
 The top of the engine side wall cooling tank are a bit rusty. The side panels are OK, it is just superficial rust. When the sink and the panel have been removed this will all be relatively easy to clean up.
Looking through above the swim tank towards the stern
But first of all the water pipes for the shower have to be capped off and the pipes for the sink removed.
At least it is an indoor job. It does not mater what the weather is doing, or even if it is daylight or night-time!

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Banbury to Lower Heyford

A very pleasant couple of days were spent in Banbury. Judy was able to browse the shops in the Castle Quay shopping centre whilst I was able to explore all the little back and side streets of which Banbury has plenty.
It gets a bit tight going through Banbury shopping ventre

Past the Castle Quay entrance

Under the museum bridge with Tooley's behind

Not too many watching the lift bridge operating

Waiting for the lock to become free
 As we leave Banbury we are again out in the rural Oxfordshire countryside.
The next lift bridge

A different style of bridge

The M40 again

Nell bridge from the lock
 Nell Bridge was the crossing point of the busy A41
It's a bit tight in here!
 But they had to widen it a bit, so they built the A41 bridge over and to the side of the 1787 bridge.

The old and the new Nell Bridge

The Cherwell Weir

Aynho Weir Lock

Judy bringing her in

Somerton Deep Lock

All 12' 6" of it!

A lovely peaceful spot just above Upper Heyford Lock

Upper Heyford Lock

Another narrow bridge at Upper Heyford

Now moored at Lower Heyford

Looking towards the Oxford-shire Narrowboat hire wharf at Lower Heyford

Claydon to Banbury

After a couple of days near Hay Bridge I needed a shower. Hot water necessitates the engine to be run, so I moved a couple of locks down to Claydon Middle lock.
Claydon Top Lock
 Incidentally - the house on the right in the photo is currently for sale - no road access, no electricity & no gas. I expect it will sell for a good price because of the location!
And now we are green again!
 At last it was time to paint the side green. Here is a photo after the first green has been applied.
Down through Claydon Locks
 We are now moving on towards Cropredy as we need water and rubbish disposal.
Old Ridge & Furrow fields abound

Approaching the north of Cropredy
 To the north of Cropredy there is an off-side group of boats in a long-term mooring area. There are also a number of shepherd's huts as well. Most of them are quite colourful.
The entrance to the new Cropredy Marina

Cropredy Lock

Leaving Cropredy behind

The M40 cris-crosses the Oxford canal many times

As we enter Banbury from the north.
Anywhere here will do for us to moor for a few days. The approaching Banbury Canal Day means we will have to move on before the weekend but shopping in Banbury is quite high on the list of things to do.

Fenny Compton to Claydon

For my wife
My wife is known as Jude - so this one is for you...

As you leave Fenny Compton wharf you pass the Fenny Compton Marina then into what is known as Fenny Compton Tunnel. When the canal was first built there was a tunnel at this point. The tunnel proved to be a bottleneck as it was very narrow, so the land above was purchased and the tunnel opened up to become a cutting.

The bridge at the start of Fenny Compton Tunnel
 The cutting is very narrow, I do not think that two boats can pass each other. Once out of the 'tunnel' you pass some extensive old (now defunct) railway structures. This is an old bridge that passed over the canal.
Old railway brickwork
 Then it is out into the sunshine and the first of the famous Oxford Canal Lift Bridges. This one is known as 141 Boundary Lift Bridge because it is on the Oxfordshire/Warwickshire county border.
Boundary Lift Bridge
 Constance was then moored for a day or two just above Hay Bridge, near Claydon. It was a nice and peaceful, out of the way place where I could run the generator without any possibility of causing annoyance to anyone.
C&RT maintenance boat
 This strange looking maintenance boat went by. If he had attempted to go any faster the water would have come over his foredeck.
Another coat of grey
 Claydon was an ideal place for painting and the weather was good. The previous grey undercoat was rubbed down and another coat applied.
looking better by the day!