Sunday, 23 December 2012

23rd December 2012

The week before last there was a really bad frost, so much so that the canal froze, because the canal froze the pumps on her iced up and tripped the power out as a result of that she sank.

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.