Sorry it’s been such a long time since my last installment.
Since then I’ve moved the boat 3 times from it’s previous location near the village of Dadlington, where it was quite nice with good wifi and solar.
The three things you need really are 1) parking 2) good phone signal 3) solar to make a mooring semi-decent.
It’s taken a while to find out the next place to stop on the Ashby.
The place I’m stopped in now is in a designated area of special scientific interest. Which means you can only moor in ‘selected spaces’.
Shenton to Congerstone.
Are places I passed through and either the parking wasn’t there, or they had bad mobile or non-existent mobile signal.
The current location is maybe 8 miles or so from Dadlington, the location of my last blog.
Rather than make this journey all in one stretch, I decided that because the weather was bad, it would be better to split it in half.
The Ashby is shallow compared to other canals I’ve been on. Even the Kennet and Avon is deeper from what I can make out.
I’d say the depth is about 4-6ft. Never any more than that.
Progress is restricted by the depth of the canal; the dynamics of the water meaning that progress above a certain speed isn’t physically possible.
Whether you like it or not, you’re going to be tootling along on this one….
That doesn’t really bother me, nor did the stop-off in the small town of Bosworth, or Market Bosworth, as is it’s full title.
Is the home of the decisive battle in the houses of York and Lancaster and ended in the death and deposition of Richard III, although the battle took place some way south, near the village of Stoke Golding, where I was moored up before.
Still. Bosworth has been a town since the Bronze Age and the site of the battle is named after it.
It previously had a cattle market which closed in 1996. The town square market still operates on a Wednesday and a Sunday.
On the Tuesday/Wednesday, the rain was virtually non-stop. I only managed to take one picture of the place which was at night.
It has a station also, although it’s serviced by trains on the Shackerstone to Shenton Line which only has two stops!
Still, it looks nice, and Santa has a train in operation local signage informs me.
After spending a day on the 48 hour moorings in Bosworth, I moved on down to Shackerstone, a four mile or so journey into the area of special scientific interest.
The starting place of the Shackerstone – Shenton railway service!
It’s a smallish village with one pub and no shop.
The parking is good, the mooring is good, and the internet connection is good also. All good you might think.
I’ve taken a couple of pictures to look at.
The structure is an old fortification called a Motte and bailey, used during world war II as a bomb shelter, all it’s fortified by now is waterfoul, sheep and trees.
Here’s another picture.
It’s like my own country park outside the window.
The boats on the left are on private moorings.
I’ll be taking some more pictures around the village of Shackerstone as I investigate further. For now, the weather is abysmal, and I won’t be setting foot outside. 😀
On the way down, I took these pictures of the SSI, which did seem serene and pretty.
Since my last edition, there have been a few developments in Bonnie world.
The good, the bad and the ugly.
These have been some time in the coming. I believe we started talking about them in May. As covid hit, the chances of sorting them out was delayed due toavailability of materials.
It took until December to sort them out.
They are hand made by my good mother, although she did make them very long on the ‘first pass’ and I had to send them back for adjustments.
Now they look just fine and dandy and they came with a bottle of wine, which has been drunk.
Oil in coolant water. Not generally a good sign, as one might imagine.
There are one or two explanations for this:
- Blown head gasket: Symptoms of a blown head gasket are a loss of power. Blowing of gasses from the head block. Gathering of ‘mayonnaise’ or discharge on the oil filler cap.
It has none of these, so I ruled it out.
- Cracked head block: Again, loss of power. Blowing of gases out through the coolant.
Removing the cap of the radiator when the engine is started will show whether this is how your oil’s getting in there. When I took the cap off mine and start the engine, the water jumps around a bit and vibrates, but there are no bubbles.
Again, ruled out.
- Faulty oil cooler: The oil cooler cools the oil circulating around the engine block and the gearbox on the BMC 1800 perkins engine which is on Bonnie Lady.
It’s said that if the oil in the coolant is clear, it’s the gearbox oil cooler, and if the oil is black it’s the engine oil oil cooler.
The oil is black.
On this oil cooler, the one at the top cools the engine oil. I suspect the engine oil cooler is leaking, as the engine oil keeps dropping and the power seems fairly normal.
Not ugly, they’re pretty. And they’re new from Santa to Bonnie for Christmas!
The first row came at around August 2017 and since then, they’ve paid for themselves in fuel and servicing costs.
Due to that and the fact that we’ve not spent any money on Bonnie this year at all, we decided we should give her a Christmas gift.
Peter helped me put them on on one of the intermittent sunny days.
I’d refer to my post of ‘how to fit flexible solar panels to a narrowboat‘. It shows how we fitted them last time.
This time, I used the same method.
I used two splitters to fit the new panels to the existing cabling leading to the controller.
And two magnets to hold the conduit in the center of the existing panels. Which you can see on the photo above if you look closer up.
Put some grease under the magnets to make sure they don’t rust to the roof, and hey presto! Job done!
So Bonnie says ‘thanks’ for her solar panels!
For now, I’m relaxing in front of my warm stove looking forward to a couple of cool beers to celebrate the weekend.
Until my next edition….