Tuesday 16 April 2024


Today's Canals - Droitwich, Worcester and Birmingham

Steve arrived (from  boat next door!) just after 9 and set about fitting the new fan unit which eventually arrived late yesterday afternoon. It was not long before there was further bad news! He spotted a fault with the burner tube. Whilst just putting it back with the new fan might have worked, we were concerned that another issue might thus be awaiting us just around the corner. Steve telephoned the nearest source of spare parts, Evesham Marina, and yes, they did have one in stock. We opted to delay our departure yet further whilst we sorted out the heater 'properly'.

Christine and Mike drove down to Evesham - around 40 minutes each way and a friendly member of staff in the Chandlery quickly relieved us of £262 (and we were relieved to have it in our possession!) The satnav found a slightly quicker route back so it was well before noon that Steve could start to re-assemble the heater and to re-install it.

The layout of the engine bay, never an easy place to work at best, meant that the least accessible spot was chosen for the heater! Well, something has to go there, not all can be close at hand. Meanwhile ha  , Mike went back into town to charge up the car but, alas, another car had just started a very long charging spell so Mike returned with nothing more than the loaf he was tasked to buy whilst the electrons poured into the battery (or not).

Once back in place the heater turned up trumps and worked almost immediately - thanks so much, Steve. Hooray, we could now set about casting off. Actually, lunch took priority and it was 2 pm when we were finally underway. Huge sigh of relief. (Still have the oven  burner to get fixed . . . )

Here is the offending burmer tube and, if you look very closely, you will see two tiny pinpricks of light through a hole that should not be there. It seems an added bonus is that the heater is now much quieter than it was, at least back in January when it was last on.

The pair of local swans were nesting in their usual place. OK, so we have included a photo of this before but tradition rules.

Shortly after turning out from the marina entrance we arrived at our first three locks. We were treated to a very easy ride as three very friendly volunteers were most keen that we should step back on board whilst they did all the hard work. (Do not fret, there will be plenty more for us to do ere long!)

After Hanbury Junction we had about half an hour level cruise before the start of the six Astwood Locks. Fortunately they were all set for us (except the last which had partially re-filled itself)

The after noon was very pleasant even if the wind had not abated much - made crossing the marina 'interesting'. The one or two rain clouds kindly dropped their water just a short distance ahead of us so we also kept dry.

By now it was 4.30 so we deemed it a bit too ambitious - in the circumstances - to tackle the next flight of six which would have left us with the Tardebigge flight tomorrow. Instead we will have a easy day before the marathon on Thursday.

3.2 Miles - 9 Locks

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