The first job was to refit the 24 volt alternator, what could go wrong, only 3 bolts and 3 electrical connections. The first thing I did was to drop one of the fixing bolts down the gap between the engine bed and the side of the battery box, its still there. After scrabbling around to find another bolt it was in place, but the tensioning arm wouldn’t connect to the front plate, it must be slightly different to the old one. So off it came again, release the front end cap of the alternator and rotate it so that the bottom mounting bolt goes through the other hole, in the process strip the thread on the long thin bolt that holds the alternator together and then attempt to refit. Now the tensioner arm fixing hole is the other side of centre, but by taking the tensioning arm to bits and re assembling it like an elbow it will fit. connect the wires and switch on the electrics.
With the electrics back on we can refill the water system and when that is done fire up the Dickinson stove for some warmth, by now its 5pm and the temperature in the boat is 11 deg. Thank goodness its not freezing outside. Fire up the engine and the batteries start charging.
While I have been doing this Diana has been hard at it unloading the car and bringing everything onto the boat. It was obvious that the boat wouldn't be warm this evening so we decided to go to The Plough at Whitegate for dinner, this is the sister pub to The Badger that we use on the Middlewich Arm and the first time we went there they gave us a book of vouchers giving 20% discount at The Plough and I can certainly recommend it. Returning to the boat things had warmed up a bit and it was 11pm before we went to bed, by then the wind must have been at its wildest and we got a good buffeting in bed.
During the night the wind died right away and we woke to a lovely sunny morning, before we were up one of the first sounds we heard was a twin cylinder diesel, it was Martin on his working boat Halsall delivering coal and diesel to some of the boats in the marina and he was stopped outside our bedroom porthole.
Leaving the marina we turned left only to pass Halsall again delivering to a boat outside Orchard Marina whilst pump the toilet tank of a second. We carried on to the services at Anderton where we stopped to fill with water, but the tap was so slow we gave up at 3/4 full and carried on our way. The visitor centre at Anderton Lift visitor centre was all closed up, it is only open at weekends this time of the year and any boats wanting to use the lift have to book 48hrs. in advance. As we made our way along the canal we could see down to the river and one of the things I was looking for was to see how work was progressing demolishing the old Soda works and as you can see there is not much left of it now.
We passed through Barnton Tunnel with no problem, its a one way tunnel with bit of a wiggle in it but with care you can see the far end to ensure there is no one coming before you set off.
The next tunnel is Salisford, this is a bit more kinky and you can just see a crack of light looking west but hardly anything looking east, so this tunnel is timed, the journey through it takes about 5 minuets and travelling west you enter the tunnel between the hour and twenty minutes past, this means you should clear the far well before any boats enter from the other direction on the half hout until ten minutes to the hour.
There is a lot in the press about canal bridges being damaged by getting hit by vehicles, in fact the canal at Wightwick is closed now do to this happening, however I think this one is just falling to pieces.
By now it was turning cooler, the wind picking up a bit and looking like rain so we needed to find somewhere to moor. Thanks to a major breach in the canal 2012 the bank is now a nice concrete edge with very handy mooring rings. There is a plaque on the concrete recording the incident and it is right beside our galley door. The view from here is spectacular although we didn't spend lone admiring it, we moored about 2 pm and by 3 pm it had started to rain. The pressure had been rising nicely all day but now its dropping back as another weather front rolls in.
10 miles 2 tunnels in 4 hours