Wednesday, 23 March 2016

The third one arrived

Last night I took a photo of our mooring knowing we would be moving today.

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In the morning we slowly cruised up to Plank Lane lift bridge where the water tank was topped up.  There was time for another look at Pennington Flash whilst waiting.

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I happened to notice the exterior walls of a nearby cottage had been strengthened.

P1020535Large right-angle steel plates have been fixed to the corners and connected together with steel rods.

P1020535AI was waiting for a break in the traffic before raising the lift bridge but the bridge is single way and controlled by traffic lights.  As fast as I allowed traffic to clear in one direction it started to queue in the other.  After 5 minutes I realised the queuing wasn’t going to stop and I might as well raise the bridge.

P1020538P1020539There are some interesting boats moored here.  Venus had smoke coming from the flue and just as I was thinking someone was aboard a young mum and child appeared.  There were half a dozen boats moored on the towpath side.

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We carried on towards Wigan passing Scotman’s Flash to port (on the left).  At 2.4km long this is the largest of the flashes around Wigan.

IMG_9159Pearson’s Flash is on the opposite side of the canal and I noticed the water level of the canal was higher than both flashes.  It must have been an interesting engineering exercise constructing the canal between two large bodies of water.  The canal would have required a firm base and then need to be sealed to prevent water loss.

You may recall me mentioning problems come in three’s and we’d already had two.  The third arrived this afternoon. The oil extraction pump on the engine failed when I attempted to complete an oil change this afternoon.  There was no suction. The options were to wait until we were near a marina and have them service the engine or I could try and fix it.  I decided to attempt the latter and eventually removed the pump from the engine bay.  The pump was tested by me placing the index finger of one hand over the inlet and the index finger of the other hand over the outlet. I then worked the pump plunger with my third hand (all genuine boaters know you need three hands when working on your boat!).  That didn’t solve the problem and I could feel there was no pressure.  The second effort was to put 20mm of waste oil into an empty 2 litre ice cream container.  The suction inlet of the pump was then submerged in the oil and I pumped.  This fixed the problem.  How do I know?  Well the pump squirted a strong jet of waste oil over my shoe and overalls. Sad smile

The pump was then refitted to the engine enabling me to extract all the old engine oil.  After completing the oil and filter change I drew a fuel sample off the drain points on both fuel prefilters.  No problems identified there.  We’re now good for another 250 hours. 

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