Half way into the tunnel a familiar rattle could be heard, and the tiller shook profusely and then the engine stalled. We had picked up a prop jockey but we were not prepared for what we found when I went down the weed hatch. This....
It was the air trunking from an industrial space heater. Presumably left in the cut from days when the wharf was in use before Anglo Welsh took it over. It survived the Axiom only by the strong wire spiral that forms its shape. Unfortunately that same wire wrapped up the axiom completely into a large tangled mass. Two hours later we finally removed the trunking and settled in for the night.
Over the next few days I got on with the task of repainting the gunwales. I used Fertan rust cure for newly bared steel, following up with undercoat/primer and finally top coat. The tunnel has a space heater so we could keep nice and warm for painting despite the chilly temperatures outside.
|A nice snug fit|
|The Starboard gunwales before work commenced|
|and the Port side|
|Port side finished|
|and the bow. Have to say they turned out quite good even if I do say so myself|
On Wednesday Steve, the yard manager, got a call from his American hirers saying they would not be returning their hire boat as they found the locks "Far too arduous" and had checked into a hotel. The boat was abandoned by Cow Lane bridge in Chester. Somehow Steve had to get the boat back but was short on hands to do it so I volunteered my services.
Next day, together with a good friend Mark, Smudge and I set off from Chester in the abandoned hire boat and thanks to all the locks being in our favour we got back to Bunbury by tea time, in good time for the boat to be prepared for its next hirers the following day.
|Bring Andton home for Anglo welsh|
|All clear ahead Cap'n but mind this boat here.|
|Happy passengers at the mercy of yours truly at the helm (I never lost one overboard, honest)|
So far we're enjoying it immensely and Chris loves coming home after work to a different place. We have an app on the mobile phone called "Find my friends" and she can locate AmyJo and I using that. Her work mates find it amusing she does not know where home will be until she finishes work each day. Good job we don't row that often, I might turn my locator off so she cannot find me :-)
Average speed:0.84 mph (1.99 lock/mph)