Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Newark-on-Trent to Gunthorpe

Yvonne re-joined me for this part of the trip,

Friday, December 24, 2004

Leaving Sirius for Christmas with my relatives.

My mum and I moved Sirius from the British Waterway's mooring in the centre of Newark to the new King's Marina. They had space for us to moor for a couple of days over Christmas Day / Boxing day, as we were going to spend Christmas with my family. Before we left I thought I had a problem with the bilge pump.. (the things you learn about your boat as a newbie!)

I have two pumps, one was working and the other (I thought) was pumping water into the Bilge to clean it out.. so I went and found a chaldery open on Christmas eve, they were just having their Christmas Party, but I was still able to buy a new bilge pump and piping.

When I got back to Sirius and started trying to fit it, I suddenly realised that the pump I thought was used to bring water into the bilge, was infact meant to pump it out, it had just come un-attached, and hence was circulating the water! So, as soon as I re-attached it, we must have pumped out gallons of water! You live and learn as they say.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Dunham Toll Bridge to Newark-on-Trent

Well, after Yesterday's experience we had planned to get up and leave early this morning, but, it was blowing an absolute gale, and we were not sure if we were going to be able to navigate at all. We decide to wait a bit and see if the wind calmed down, which by 10am it had a little, so we set off, being very wary of the corner around Dunham Dubs!

We called ahead to Cromwell Lock, and by the time we got there they had prepared the lock for us to go straight in. It felt good to finally be on non-tidal river at last!

Another day with not many photos being taken, but I did take a couple of photos in Newark about 20 minutes after we had moored up (6pm), as you can see, it was dark, and we had decorated her with some red Christmas lights :)

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Torksey to Dunham Dubs...

Now, the plan for today was to get from Torksey to Cromwell Lock, but, unfortunately luck was not on our side. It was just my mum and I travelling as Yvonne had gone back home yesterday evening. We set off at 9am, on another cold winters morning, by about 9:30am we had reached Dunham Dubs, which is a sort of S bend in the river.

We were chatting away, and both noticed what we thought was a duck bobbing in the water.. as we drew close we realised it was a bit of wood, so I steered to avoid it, and as I did so, we ran aground. As we were going against the flow of the river, we were pushing quite hard, and hence managed to get ourselves well and truly wedged on the inside corner of the bend.

After a few failed attempts to reverse off, we called British Waterways to ask their advice. A very friendly BW person drove down to check we were ok, and not likely to tip over as the tide went out. He said he thought it would be fine, and luckily, he was right.

So we just had to sit it out, for some strange reason, although we had nothing to do for the whole day, I didn't take a single phone on that day, so I have no photographs of actually being stuck!

Eventually at 5:30pm the tide had come back up enough for us to reverse off, and turn around so we could go back and moor at Dunham Toll Bridge.

One side effect of a 70' narrowboat getting stuck on the bottom of a tidal river is that as the tide went out, because we were only stuck at the front, the back of the boat sunk lower, and she twisted slightly! Various signs of this, were things like the only door in the middle of the boat not closing.. and some of the floor boards have popped up in the middle.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Gainsborough to Torksey

We had thought about setting off at about 2:30am as the tide rose, but I woke up at 2am to find there was a thick fog outside, so I decided to go back to sleep. We woke up at about 9am to the sound of a pile driver thumping foundation piles into the ground. The sun is shining, but there was a cold frost last night, so the top of Sirius is frosty. My mum bought a few bits from the local shops, then we all ate some porridge, which helped warm us all up!

The journey to Torksey went well, there are lots of power stations on route, which I told quite a few photos of, you will see one below.

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Monday, December 20, 2004

And we are off !

My Mum, Yvonne & I arrived in Goole at about 3pm on Sunday, and spent the afternoon getting settled in. We decorated one side of Sirius with some Christmas lights, and will do the other side when we can reach it safely :)

In the evening we went to the local marina club house and had a quick drink before all going to bed.

On Monday we spent the morning fueling up, buying coal for the stoves etc, and then at about 12:30 the gravel barge Galdys Lillian can along side us, we tide onto the side of them, and then started our journey :)
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They towed us at about 10 knots, probably the fastest Sirius has ever gone :)

The plan had been to get to Torksey Lock, but unfortunately they had a message from the quary to say that the conveyorbelt had broken, and so they decided to take as as far as Kidby, we reached there at about 16:10, so it was already getting dark.

We then carried on under our own steam, albeit too fast for the engine, and we overheated, and the engine cut out in the middle of the river, with the tide flowing out we quickly started to drift backwards out of control!! Panic stations!! Anchor! After a few tense minutes the Anchor had turned us facing up stream and dragged us onto the river bank.

We waited 15 minutes and then restarted the engine, after a few minutes we managed to pull the back end away from the bank, and pull the front end off, we were away again, but this time, a little slower!

We then kept going until the first morning we could find, which turned out to be many hours later in Gainsborough, infact it was 23:30 when we arrived, so by then we had got very used to navigating in the dark with the moon light!

We are now going to wait until about midday before setting off again, the tide should turn at about 3pm, and then for 2 hours we will be going with the tide, so we should go a lot further today, fingers crossed!

Friday, December 17, 2004

Sirius will soon be on her way down to Reading

Well, it's been a while since I have had any news worth posting on here. Sirius is now ready to be moved, she has had a lot of work done on her, and will now look like a different boat from the outside, I will try and upload some photos next week!

I am intending to paint Sirius in a dark red colour, she has been fully stripped down and has had a couple of coats of undercoat, which I have not yet seen, but I have been told she currently looks rather pink!

I am going to be bringing her down from Goole to Leicester next week starting on Monday, weather / tides etc permitting, so if anyone see's a 70' pink boat on that stretch, give me a wave :)

Monday, October 25, 2004

The Rudder has been repaired.

This weekend I went up to stay on Sirius for the first time, and Yvonne came too, also to stay, and to see Sirius for the first time! While we were there we saw the rudder that Alan Pease had repaired for me.

A before and after photo can be seen below:

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Monday, October 18, 2004

Rudder repairs.

Sirius should by now have had her bottom blacked. Last week Alan took Sirius's rudder back to his workshop to repair it. He sent through a couple of photos yesterday. It's certainly looking a lot better than it did before!

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Friday, October 15, 2004

Sirius Dry Dock Survey Photos

Here are a few of the photos taken which Sirius was in a Dry Dock having a survey.
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A couple more photos inside Sirius, the Engine again and the second stove (surrounded with clutter) in the Engine room.
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Survey Day.

Well, I drove up to Castleford on Wednesday evening, I had intended to leave work in good time, but in the end I did not leave the office until gone 10pm, which meant I arrived in Castleford at about 1:20am feeling very tired!

I stayed in a Travel Lodge (note to self the Premium Inn around the corner was cheaper!) and this morning I drove over to the Hargreaves dry dock.

On arrival I found that Sirius was not in the dry dock, and infact, another boat called Sagacity was in the dry dock, after having it's bottom blacked the day before.

A couple of hours later, the guys at Hargreaves had sorted things out, and Sirius was at last dry docked.

The Surveyor Bill then set to work checking the Hull, along both sides and on the bottom, not the most pleasent part of his job! The thickness of the steel was between 8mm and 4.6mm, which apparently should be fine for another couple of years, after which some replating may be required.

Bill then had a good look at the Engine, and determined that there were quite a few problems with the engine, starting with the electrics, the fuel leads should be re-routed and the exhaust pipe needs repairing.

Bill also pointed out quite a few smaller items that would require attention to ensure Sirius would passed a safety certificate inspection.

Because of the additional work, I offered the owner a lower price, and we came to a satisfactory mid point :) which I think is a fair price for this condition boat.

I will post some photos in the morning!


Friday, October 08, 2004

Nicholson Waterways Guides

These guides seem to be recommended by everyone, I had a look at them today in the local bookshop, and these seem very comprehensive, so I'll probably get Guide 1, 3, 6 & 7 to cover my trip.

Waterways Guides Updates

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Bedroom, Bathroom and Engine !

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Photos of the living room and kitchen

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The first photos.

Here are the first few pictures of the outside of Sirius, as you can see, she needs a good bit of TLC.
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Could this website be mentioning Sirius?

I did a search on Sirius and found this website mentions passing a narrowboat called Sirius! TNC On Tour 2003 Page 1

Part of their tour is also the reverse of the trip I need to make to bring Sirius down from Goole to Reading.

CANALPLAN AC - Canal Route Planner

I found a site that enables you to plan your routes along a canal, might be of use for my trip. CANALPLAN AC - Canal Route Planner

Survey Date is booked.

Lynn has called me this evening to say that the survey has been booked for next thursday, (14th October) so I will need to book the day off work.

Apparently I need to be there at 9:30am, which could mean a 5am start :-O

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Visiting Sirius for the first time.

Well, I drove all the way up to Goole, to meet Alan Pease, who is the boatbuilder / broker selling Sirius.

We drove from Alan's boat yard to where Sirius is currently moored so that I could have a good look over her.

First impressions were that she was in the state already described by Alan and Lynn on the phone, no worse, no better :) As I looked around the boat, I did find a few things that needed some serious attention, but all in all she had not been cared for in a long time, and needed a good amount of TLC.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Found a boat called Sirius.

After a lot of hunting around and umming and arring about it, I found a boat up in Yorkshire called Sirius.

Sirius is being sold by the boatbuilder Alan Pease, his website can be found at Alan Pease Boats.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

The adventure begins.

I have decided to buy a Narrowboat, and thought I would log my experiences from start to finish using a blog! I hope someone finds it to be an interesting read one day :)

I have decided to see if I can keep a blog going about my experiences through the buying process, any restoration and then life with a canal boat. So watch this space :)