Last night we had dinner at the Badge in Church Minshull, needless to say just as we were about to leave the boat it started to rain, only very lightly but by the time we came back it was a bit heavier. Its less than a ten minute walk from the canal to the pub, but the cars don't half shift along the lane and for part of the way there is no footpath. Once back on the boat the rain just got heavier, exactly as forecast by Metcheck.
Today I had two jobs to do before we set off. The first was to see if the three bolts holding the engine exhaust to the manifold would move, if they shear we are in trouble, luckily as I applied pressure with a large socket set each one moved and was retightened so that we could still use the engine. The next job was the hot water tap on the bathroom basin. It would only move a bit so not a very good flow from it, this morning that low flow dropped to zero so that had to come to bits again, every thing looked fine, all the bits moved freely so I put it back together and its fine. I have my suspicions so we see next time it goes wrong.
We finally set off in the rain and it continued showery all day, between shows it was hot and then suddenly it was raining again. We saw very few boats on the move but were still second in the queue at Stanthorne Lock and by the time it was our turn there were three behind us. I may not been to impressed with today's weather but what ever it did it was ten times worse for these poor chaps. I wouldn't swap with them if it rained on me all day.
As we came into Middlewich the moorings were filling up with people arriving early for the Festival next weekend, again we were second at Wardle Lock but there was no one waiting at the Middlewich flight although the locks were against us. As I passed Middlewich Boats a chap called out "You have timed that right, there is a stoppage tomorrow morning" What really helped us on our way was the two volunteers working the flight and both the next two locks were ready for us. Nearly all the moorings were taken down to Big Lock with 2 boats breasted up. I nearly came a cropper at Big Lock as the walkway across the top gates has been badly damaged and just the non slip surface was sticking out at the end. No wood underneath it. 2 Boats were just entering the lock as we arrived and more waiting to come up after we had gone, CRT are busy repiling a section of the towpath which was original stone.
There is a sunken boat about half way between Big Lock and our moorings it was moored there all winter without question and then sunk in early March, I reported it on the 14 March, today when we passed it looks as if CRT may have put an enforcement notice on it for the owner, its only been there for at least 6 months.
Work has finally started on the new marina on one of the flashes, I think it is called Oakfield marina, from here it was a very short run to our marina. This time I turned round inside the marina to reverse down our pontoon, last time I turned in the canal and reversed into the marina and then down our pontoon.
Once we were all tied up and shut down I removed the bolts holding the exhaust and whilst it was still hot tried in vain to release the 2" split coupling with a pair of 24" Stilsons. Once it had cooled down I gave it some hammer treatment and soaked it in Plusgass release oil and still no luck. I will give it another couple of goes before taking a hacksaw to the elbow, the easiest bit to replace.
Update to Blog
Well as you can see the final score was Brian 1, Exhaust 0. I was unable to break the split coupling but while applying a slight pressure to the bottom threaded joint I ripped the end out of the silencer, this then allowed me to unscrew the exhaust from the roof penetration.