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05/04/15. Departure attempt no 1

Posted on 24 April, 2015 at 5:20 Comments comments (1)

Sunday, 5th April 2015

10:15 am. Our day of departure has dawned. The alarm wakes up at 7.30 am (a huge shock to the system) and we prepare for cast off, lift off, or whatever the technical term for setting off in a narrow boat may be. We unplug ourselves from our land line, remove our chimney, prepare our windlass and a crowd of friends made in the past week and a few friendly ducks gather in the car park to wave us on our way.

11:30am. The crowds have departed, the ducks have flown, everyone has moved on apart from us. An hour previously, Our engine chugged magnificently for about ten seconds then coughed and died. Eamon is valiantly trying to locate the problem, but air locks have been ruled out, throttles have been adjusted and a spanner is now being applied to random nuts on the engine “because Dennis did something like this and it seemed to work”. We decide to Join the the RCR (the canal boat equivalent of the AA) but they won’t come out for three days. Things don’t look to hopeful, so I decide to go into Sileby and buy hot cross buns. It is Easter Sunday after all.

12:15pm. I trudge across the fields laden with shopping to be greeted with what looks like a scene from the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Eamon is wearily plodding over boat rooftops with a ten litre can of diesel in each hand, because someone suggested Thomas’s reluctance to start may be because there wasn’t enough diesel in the engine. Now ten litres may sound like a lot of diesel but the tank holds four hundred litres so I fear a lot of plodding may be required. I put the kettle on and toast a hot cross bun. Singing “Alelulia” doesn’t seem appropriate just yet.

3:15pm. Eamon and Phil the man from the next but one boat have been on their knees in the engine room for the last hour and a half. G clamps have been brought into play, a switch that should have been on all the time has sheepishly been flicked and the engine triumphantly splutters into life. “Hooray!” I cheer and it promptly stalls. It would appear that the jubilee clips put in place to replace the cable ties were put in at the wrong angle so the cable ties are re-instated. Still no luck, so Phil admits defeat and retires to his own fully functioning boat and, in desperation Alex the boatyard owner is summoned.

4:00pm. Alex enters purposefully through the saloon door, pulling on a pair of blue surgical gloves and looking rather like a gynaecologist I once had the misfortune of meeting. I put the kettle on yet again, feeling more and more like Mrs Doyle by the minute. Half an hour elapses and it is decided that something is wrong with the engine and that the best person to deal with the problem is Scott the Marine Mechanic because he knows about boat engines but he won’t be in until Tuesday. We admit defeat, plug ourselves into the mains again and settle down for the night. At least I’ll be able to watch Poldark without fear of running out of electric halfway through the programme…………..

 


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