Sunday, 23 December 2012
I went last Sunday to reset the trip switches so she would lift herself out and unfortunately didn't manage it, however I did manage to trip and fall while inside her and end up to my chest in freezing canal water! I decided to leave it until I could return with my waders and do it properly.
Today was that day, armed with my waders I climbed aboard and reset all the pump switches and at around 10 am she started pumping herself out, I went to B&Q which is a 20 minute drive away, grabbed an early lunch on the way back, I arrived back around 11:30 and she was almost fully up. Not bad going for four cheapish dirty water pumps from Screwfix.
I'd worked out last time I was aboard where some of the water was coming from into the rear, it had been nagging at me that there was a lot of water running in from the rear, but no evidence of a major leak, certainly not enough to keep a 150 litre a minute pump busy. As I was about to leave, I knocked the old water intakes for the engine cooling and noticed the rubber hoses moved. When I checked them they moved up and down by a good half inch or so.
That isn't normal and as I moved them I noticed more water coming in, when I checked the hoses the clips holding them to the skin fittings had rusted to nothing. Armed with some new clips today I pumped the bilge out, which is full of black water from the rotting leaves and silt that have accumulated over the years. I cannot even begin to describe how bad it smells when you disturb it!
I've started using one of the water pumps to rinse out the bilge and once it was reasonably clean and empty I got to work, replacing the clips. Its a pain in the backside, the bilge is about two foot deep at that point so you have to sit on a piece of timber and bend double to reach into cold, dank smelly water.
However, after a bit of cursing the flood was stemmed, I can still hear a leak in the rear somewhere, so that will be next weeks challenge, to find it and plug it.
I met the people who are going to tow here when she is ready to move to be lifted out and they certainly know what they are doing, which is good. While they were on board making sure she can be towed they noticed I had some unwelcome guests, no, not eels this time, but mink! Although, aparently it does explain the eels as apparently the mink will catch eels, bite the back of their heads to stun them, they then drop them into a pool of water somewhere that they can't escape from. That way they can have a meal easily when they need/want one. It certainly explains where the eels disappeared to that were in the bilge.
Thursday, 29 November 2012
Next are some photos of the officers toilet, which appears to be fully intact:
Here are some photos of what was the sick bay and the officers quarters, although the officers quarters no longer exist:
Below is the fabled glove that is being used to seal up a 3 inch hole in the side, its actually doing a very efficient job:
Sunday, 18 November 2012
Getting them onto her was a challenge as she is moored several hundred yards away from the lock, on the other side of the canal so everything has to be dragged through a sheep field and the pump wasn't light.
After a couple of false starts I managed to get the pump pumping... quite a sight, a 1000 litres per minute pump shooting water into the canal:
Friday, 9 November 2012
We visited Preston Marina (http://www.prestonmarina.co.uk/) today to talk to Chris Miller about lifting HSL 2552 out and the various options that we have. He wasn't around so the staff rang him on his mobile and while we waited for him we had a lovely cuppa and scone in their cafe, can highly recommend it if you are passing by. We hadn't rung ahead so it was great that he came in to see us.
We had a really good chat about the options, the initial conversation started off with the fact that they could maybe lift her without damaging her, mainly due to her state to us going for a steel "pallet" to be made for her to sit on which would mean that they could lift her without damaging her and it would also mean that we could move her around once on the back of the low loader without using a crane.
I've ordered the plans from the Greenwich Maritime Museum, who have also been incredibly helpful, once they arrive we'll pop up to the marina again so they can plan in more detail what will be required.
All this has only been possible because of the great help from Ken Hunter at the RAF Museum at Hendon, who has been most helpful in working out where I can find the information I need. I'm hoping to visit Hendon in the next couple of weeks at which point I can thank him in person.
I bought a cheap, yet powerful 1,000 litres a minute petrol driven water pump today that should make short work of pumping her out, I'll be ordering 4 large capacity (18,000 litre per hour) bilge pumps this weekend and also some other bits and pieces so I can pump her out next week, patch the hull from the inside using some underwater glue that I have and hopefully she'll start to stay afloat ready for her epic journey.
The next task is to find a home for her, with her being on a steel type pallet it opens up a larger number of places that she can be worked on.
Tuesday, 6 November 2012
I received an email today from the National Maritime Museum, they have tracked down some copies of some of the drawings for the HSL and for a small fee they will make copies and post them to me.
I only emailed them a couple of days ago, so that is what you call service.
I've also received some mail in the post, as she is now registered on the historic ships register.
I'll be going to pump her out in the next couple of weeks to pump her out and to start clearing her out ready for the tow. I'll take loads of photos while there.
Monday, 22 October 2012
As you can see from the photos below that she is in a bad way, however she still floats and seems solid. Don't get me wrong its not all great, she lets a huge amount of water, part of her side was rotted that has been resting against the bank of the canal.