Thursday, 23 October 2008
Wednesday, 22 October 2008
From my rather flippant post yesterday - an update
And more than 50 holiday-makers face having to cancel their boat trips this weekend while the mess is cleaned up.
Fertiliser was dumped into the Trent and Mersey Canal at Stenson on Monday when a tractor and trailer tried to cross a brick bridge running over the waterway.
Part of the bridge, which is on a private road between two farmers' fields, collapsed as the vehicles passed over it.
This caused the trailer to swing down and disconnect from the tractor before crashing into the canal below at about 1.30pm.
The tractor driver, thought to be a contractor, jumped from his cab and was unhurt.
The canal was blocked and British Waterways lifted the trailer from the water yesterday with a crane.
A round-the-clock clean-up operation is under way to clear the fertiliser from the canal.
British Waterways said it did not how long this would take but it was hoped the waterway could reopen by the end of the week.
The organisation also fears the bridge, which is a listed structure, may have to be knocked down if re-building it will not make it safe.
When a structure is listed, it means it is protected and any alterations respect its character. Demolition is allowed only after very careful consideration.
Caroline Killeavy, general manager for British Waterways, said: "The bridge is a listed structure, so if repair work cannot reconstruct the bridge to a safe, usable standard it may have to be knocked down entirely."
Mrs Killeavy said the fertiliser posed little threat to wildlife.
She said: "We caught the spill early and have been monitoring the water and can say there's very little chance of any risk to wildlife."
British Waterways said it would conduct a full investigation into how the accident happened.
But it did say the cause of the collapse was "due to the vehicle colliding with the parapets on the side of the bridge and the excessive load of the vehicle."
The combined weight of the tractor and trailer was 18 tonnes.
Police are not investigating further.
Marion Baldwin, company secretary for Midland Canal Centre, which runs Stenson Marina, said holiday-makers would be affected..
She said: "We get between 30 and 40 boats coming through the canal most days, so already there is quite a pile-up either side of the bridge.
"Not only that, but it doesn't look like the canal will be opened for at least a few days.
"We have over 50 people booked to use boats on the canal at the weekend and many of those will have to cancel because they just won't be able to get through.
"There's also a child's birthday party booked on one of the boats and that won't be able to go ahead, which is a real shame."
Tuesday, 21 October 2008
Monday, 20 October 2008
Thursday, 16 October 2008
Wednesday, 15 October 2008
We went up the Trent & Mersey for Leia's (and my) walk rather than off down the Coventry as I could let Leia off with less chance of her meeting a suitor (she is in season) There are still a steady movement of boats, no doubt due in some part to the fact this area seems to have few restrictions under the stoppages.
I like autumn on the canals, most probably more than the other three seasons. The slow down of traffic and the type of traffic (more owners who do not have to be anywhere in a hurry compared to hire boaters who seem always to plan a much bigger journey than is necessary, but I'm sure we have all done it ). Plus the scenery is truly beautiful and humbling, nature has so much control and organisation. Nature seems so happy with the routine of the seasons.
We spotted Sanity mooring up at the junction, well Sheila seems to be working hard - no sign of Bruce. So I can now add them to bloggers boats seen on the cut.
I like to see the inners of other peoples boats so get posting .
Anyhow last time I was on Waterlily overnight I wired in the thermostat. I set it as best I could but to a hottish pipe. Today I lit the fire after the boat safety check and left it to see if the thermostat switched on the pump at a reasonable temp - it worked perfectly. It has switched on and off about half a dozen times today with a smallish fire going so it it working as I expected. It means we can leave the system to look after itself overnight.
Another little job done.
She loves the boat and relaxes very quickly when we come aboard - she has certainly found her place in front of the fire !
She still has ears that belong to another dog.
She is waiting for a walk at the moment - the weather is trying to brighten up - I think a walk down the Coventry might be in order this afternoon, it'll help me walk off my dinner.
All in all a very easy and interesting process. Jeff Greatwood did the examination, I would certainly recommend him, he was very friendly and informative. He answered my many questions and took me through what he was doing and looking for. He commented my gas install was very good, which was what I wanted to hear as I had had Whilton marina replace the gas pipes when Waterlily was purchased.
In fact, on reflection, choosing Waterlily on her specification - not too technical system wise but enough for all year cruising in comfort was a wise decision, well done us !
So she got a clean bill of health on her engine service and inspection and the same for her boat safety. Don't you just know something is lurking, or it that me being too pessimistic?
So now its just cruising we have to do - that and getting her repainted, but that is as much down to a strict savings regime as getting the right person to do it - any recommendations?
Tuesday, 14 October 2008
It got me thinking that we (boaters) should share our knowledge of signals on mobile broadband on the canal. if I was any good I'd write a web site detailing it but I'm not so I won't.
Anyhow for the record Vodafone is not good at Hunts lock - anyone got a 3 mobile or modem to let me know if it's worth me spending 50 quid to get a back up 3 3g dongle??
I have messed until I got frustrated to the point I am waiting for a Mac as I'm reliably informed these are the dogs danglies. Bruce on NB Sanity seems to get by on one very well,
I'll let you know when the posts come from the Mac
Sunday, 12 October 2008
I would recommend RCR, very friendly and efficient.
For the record the engine had 111 hours on the clock, I'll use this to look back this time next year (all being well) to see how many hours we managed. I put the engine counter on earlier this year so its not a bad guide to the cruising we have done in 2008.
I booked the inspection with the service as I have the boat safety exam on Wednesday. This is the 4 year MOT. The RCR engineer said the engine and fuel system should pass. The gas system was replaced when we brought the boat as the survey said it was a poor install, so I am hopeful the exam should be OK and by his time next week we will be OK for servicng and other systems for the next year - always a good feeling.
The longer I own Waterllily the more I feel I know her which is confidence inspiring.
I'll post some details on the exam next week........
It is a beautiful day shame I have to return home to 'garden' !!
Saturday, 11 October 2008