Sunday, 31 May 2015

Wet Foot

Getting out of bed in the morning and getting a wet foot is not a good experience , but when you are on a boat alarm bells immediately start ringing in your head. Are we sinking? , Has Hamish had an accident in the night?. Has a water pipe or the water tank sprung a leak?

This lovely looking contraption is our twin coil Calorifier and is fitted under our bed. Its main purpose is to provide us with hot water. There are 3 ways of heating the domestic water on Inca. The 1st is by the engine where the engine cooling water goes through coils in the calorifier. Then we have a Webasto which is similar to a boiler in a house that does are central heating radiators and also goes through separate coils in the calorifier to heat the water. Then finally we have a 1kw immersion heating element that we use when we are in marinas and plugged into the mains.
We eventually discovered that the calorifier had sprung a leak from around a weld where the emersion element was fitted. No problem I thought as I have some chemical metal that would surely seal it. After applying the chemical metal and leaving it a few hours to harden fully we put the water pump back on only for the leak to be worse than it was before. I think that by using some sand paper to make a key for the chemical metal to stick to I made it worse.
It was now essential to get it replaced as soon as possible . After talking to several local boaters most of them recommended The Boatyard at Hilperton where we had got the cheap diesel. So after a phone call they managed to fit us in within a couple of days.

The plan was to have dropped down the locks at Bath and maybe go all the way to Bristol ,which Carolyn wasn't very happy about doing. So now with the calorifier leaking so badly and only being able to use the water pump for very short periods it was decided to forget going to Bristol on this trip to the K and A.
Unfortunately we haven't spent as long in Bath as we wanted but needs must and we pull pins and head through Cleveland tunnel before winding and then heading back East towards Hilperton.

Carolyn Curly and Hamish on swing bridge duty on route to Bradford on Avon .

Cool Dude Hamish. (picture and hat by his best friend Curly)

An overnight stop at Bradford on Avon as we head towards Hilperton and Curly takes me to the park beside the canal for a bit of fun.

At the Boatyard the next morning and owner Spencer gets the old calorifier out only to find that it had been repaired before on the other side to where we have the leak.

My failed attempt at trying to repair the leak with chemical metal.

The new calorifier in position and because its different to the old one some of the pipework and wiring have to be altered. We have also had isolation valves fitted on all of the pipes entering and leaving the calorifier which will make it a lot easier to deal with problems in the future.
Eventually after several hours of work and being £548 lighter in the wallet (ouch that hurt) its all fitted and working fine with no leaks .

We have a few more days with Curly before she heads back to Devon for the rest of her summer school term, so we will start to do a few miles heading back towards the river Thames. Then no doubt she will be back up again at the end of July.
Happy  Days

Saturday, 30 May 2015


Still at Claverton and I was keen to take a look at the water driven pumping station which lifted water from the river Avon and up to the canal. But guess what it was closed. It is closed for all of this year due to a refurbishment taking place which is a bit of a shame.

At least Curly enjoyed a walk down to the river and a look at the weir that fed the pumping station.
A bit disappointed and back to Inca for an afternoon sat in the sun and chilling out with a glass or 3.
 Great looking doors on this boat as we pull pins from Claverton and make our way into Bath.

 Approaching Bath and we manage to pick up a mooring just before Sydney Gardens. Good job as because as you can imagine like the rest of the Kennet and Avon canal moorings are in very short supply.
 With Inca moored we walk down the locks to the river Avon and then up to Pulteney weir.

This is my first time in Bath and its just as I would imagined it to be.

 Bath Rugby ground and home to the Bath egg chasers.

   After a few hours spent walking around Bath it was then back to Inca and due to a wet foot a complete change of plans are forced onto us....But more about that in the next post.

                                                                    Happy Days

Friday, 29 May 2015

Elvis on the Towpath

We are currently experiencing problems with writing the blog. We use Windows writer and then send it to Blogger where it is then published. It appears that for some reason Writer is not talking to blogger or vice versa, so there are loads of bloggers having the same problem. The main difference is it takes a lot longer to upload the pictures and I cant get them any larger than these. Hopefully they will soon resolve the problem.

We pulled pins at Seend and soon passed this boat. Carolyn had a bit of a chuckle when she saw the name.
We passed this old garage with the old petrol pumps and signs
Keith and Ann on nb Oakfield needed diesel so we stopped at The Boatyard at Hilperton. With the price at only 65 pence a litre we filled up as well.

The Boatyard has just taken delivery of this floating dock. It fills with water and sinks, you then take your boat in and all the water is then pumped out .The are going to do blacking and boat painting as well as repairs. The deal for blacking is 3 days in the dock with jet wash off and then blacked all for £500 including vat.

It was then on to Bradford on Avon for a couple of days to await the delivery of our Granddaughter. Above is a picture of the Tithe barn at Bradford On Avon which was built in the 14 century.

With the arrival of number one Daughter with partner Sam and Curly it wasn't long before Chloe jumped on the tiller and took Inca towards Bradford lock.

A selfie and a short cruise.

  I don't think I would want a boat named Knobsticks.

 Elvis has left the building .....and is now on the towpath.

With Chloe and Sam on their way back to Devon we soon arrive at Dundas Aqueduct. Going over it is not very exciting as you don't get a view of whats below you.

We picked up this mooring at Claverton pumping station and we will spend a couple of days here. Hopefully we can have a look around the station tomorrow as it is a water driven pump with a lot of history attached to it. With Curly onboard its going to be a very hectic week......................................
Happy Days

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Bloody computers

Not any blogs for a few days as we are having problems with the computer.

But here is a good boat name in the meantime until normal service is resumed... Not a clue what it means, but glad it's not our boat name.

                                                            Happy Days

Monday, 25 May 2015

Funny boats


Being on The Kennet and Avon canal which is new to us we are seeing lots of funny boats and boats with good names . Here are a few of them.

IMG_0188They certainly do.

IMG_0204Carolyn liked this one.

IMG_0235I wonder who Rose is.

IMG_0237Indians. I'm not sure why this is on the side of a Narrowboat. Maybe there are Cowboys on the other side.

IMG_0247Mention the word boat and everything costs a bleeding fortune.

IMG_0249In this picture there is a boat…..Can you see it ????

IMG_0271We had one of these as well, but haven't regretted it. (Yet)

IMG_0238How many Airedale’s can you carry on a Narrowboat ??.

IMG_0332This would be a good one for me . I just love a drop of the red stuff..

                                                                                                     Happy Days

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Caen Hill locks

IMG_0297We pulled pins from Devizes Wharf at 09.30 and after filling with water we then got to the first of the 29 locks we were going down today. The locks that drop you down the hill from Devizes are made up of 3 different flights. The locks will drop us down 237 feet in just 2 miles. The first 6 locks are the Devizes locks which are then followed by the famous Caen hill flight of 16 locks and then finally the 7 locks of Foxhangers. It should take us between 5 to 6 hours to complete all 29 locks.

IMG_0300The gates on this top flight of locks are very heavy and with Ann struggling to open a gate just look at those two volunteer lockies stood watching her. Never mind ,Carolyn and Ann worked well as a team and soon got us on our way down the flight.

IMG_0305Here we go .This is the brilliant view from the top lock of The Caen hill flight and across the Wiltshire countryside.

IMG_0321Some of the locks are in need of urgent repair as this picture shows. The top paddles are leaking so badly that the water is coming in nearly as fast as it is going out. Needless to say it took a fair old time to get down through this lock.

IMG_0327If there were no boats coming up it was often easier to take both boats out of and then into the next lock together. Obviously you need highly skilled and experienced boaters to carry out this manoeuvre. (No comments please)

IMG_0340Finally at the bottom and the impressive view looking back up the flight.

IMG_0343Dropping down through Foxhangers and this is the much extended Foxhangers cottage. What a lovely place to live.

IMG_0351At last we are at the bottom and all 29 locks were completed in just under 5 hours. At the bottom lock there is a solar farm with this display showing how much power it is producing . I didn't realise at the time until Bron on nb Celtic Maid said that the solar panels power the water pumps that feed the flight of locks. What a good idea.

IMG_0360Yet again we were lucky to pick up this mooring in Seend for the night as good moorings on this canal are few and far between.

IMG_0358 After Carolyn moored the bow rope a boat passed us and this happened ,the mooring ring complete with base came out of the ground. What sort of bad workmanship is this ?. The concrete is only 3 or 4 inches thick. Inca weighs 16 tons and some boats can be well over 25 tons so what idiot thought this would be any good. After putting in some pins and securing the bow we felt a lot safer and had a peaceful nights sleep.

                                                             Happy Days

Thursday, 21 May 2015

P*** up in a brewery


IMG_0274With the start of the Devizes food festival guess where we are going.

IMG_0276Carolyn soon got into action and was most impressed with The Wiltshire Chilli Farm stall and soon had a bag full of their produce.

IMG_0277I know i mostly drink wine ,but i don't mind the odd pint or three ,so a visit to Wadworth Brewery was a must.

IMG_0280You cant beat a piss up drink in a brewery and while Carolyn looked around that's exactly what i didn't do unfortunately.We were going to book the tour around the brewery but just our luck that it was full for the time we were in Devizes

IMG_0286If you see this boat moored whatever you do don't moor anywhere near it. According to other boaters it has a bit of a bad reputation in this area which is surprising as it belongs to The Bruce Trust. They spent all-night and most of the following morning on a water point and then forcing other boaters to sit in the bridge hole to get their water ,but they seem to like their drink and letting off fireworks late at night.

IMG_0287The Kennet and Avon canal museum is opposite our mooring on the Wharf and is well worth a visit if you are in the area.

IMG_0290It was good to see this working model of The Crofton pumping station after the disappointment of finding it closed when we were there a few days ago.

IMG_0288Some of the canal Art on display in the museum.

IMG_0293The Kennet and Avon Canal was reopened by the Queen in 1990 and this is her actual signature.. But i think she needs to learn how to spell her name.

Our last day in Devizes and how could we leave with out another visit to Wetherspoons . Then when we pull pins here its onto the 29 locks that take you down the hill from Devizes then on towards Bath.


                                                                                                  Happy Days