Autumn 2013

Published: Monday, 26 August 2013
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Plans now firming up for the last big trip of the year. 

Originally the route was going to take us south down the tidal Severn on to the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal, but after further consideration it was decided that October was probably not the best time of year for this route so we have opted for a mainly canal based route north on to the Shropshire Union. 

Planning for the revised route is well advanced and details are posted on the web site.

Netherton tunnel

Published: Wednesday, 29 May 2013
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Unfortunatly once we measured up the boat in detail it was around 4" too big to get through Dudley tunnel and even dismantling the cratch and removing the front mushroom would only have gained us a couple of inches so we were not able to make it through Dudley as hoped.

After a days stop at the Black Country Living Museum and a trip in to the Dudley Tunnel  on the trusts trip boat we returned to the BCN Main line and came through the Netherton Tunnel to the West end of Dudley Tunnel and then down Black Delph to the Stourbridge Canal and back to Stourport.

From Stourport we continued down the River Severn to Worcester with an overnight stop at Grimley then via the Worcester and Birmingham canal to Hanbury Junction and the Marina.

Dudley Tunnel

Published: Monday, 06 May 2013
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While planning the May trip I came across an interesting possibility. As part of the trip we are planning to visit the Black Country Living Museum in Tipton. This is also one end of Dudley tunnel. As diesel engines are banned in the tunnel due to lack of ventilation, passage through the tunnel is normally either by legging / polling or by a tow from the electric Tug.

However with a hybrid boat like Chelonian a third possibility is that we can go though under our own (electric) power accompanied by the tug. A quick email to the Dudley Canal Trust who manage the passage on behalf if CRT confirmed that this is possible as long as the boat fits the gauge at Tipton.

Now what heavy stuff can I move to the front of the boat.....

First Trip of 2013

Published: Monday, 06 May 2013
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The first trip of 2013 saw us going to Birmingham up the Worcester and Birmingham and returning via the GU and Lapworth flights to Kings Norton and back down the W&B. Apart from the Silly number of locks between Droitwich Marina and the top of Tardebigge (45 in 7 miles) the trip in to Birmingham was uneventful. After a night in Birmingham moored on the Oozelles loop and a Japenese meal in the Mailbox we braved the bad lands of South East Birmingham including the Farmers Bridge flight and Ashted tunnel to reach the end of the GU at Proof House Junction. After an overnight mooring at Catherine de Barnes we continued to the Lapworth link canal on to the Stratford canal to climb the Lapworth flight back to Kings Norton.  Overnight moorings at the Boot near lock 15 on the Lapworth flight and at Alvechurch for the excellent Weighbridge pub at the Marina Before once again tackling Tardebigge and the other 12 locks back to Hanbury Junction. As we were coming diwn Tardebigge we met the biat Talyllyn owned by a fried i had nit seen fir years. we had both worked on the Talyllyn Railway as volounteers many years ago and indeed he us now a Senior Driver on the railway.Ii must go back and have a look around some time.

At Hanbury a short detour took us to an overnight mooring at Dunhampstead where we visited the Fir Tree Inn for dinner Before returning to the Marina.

Everything on the boat performed well including the new mains powered fridge replacing the ageing 12v unit. One if the advantages of the hybrid system being that the continuose 230v power makes the use of standard (and generally cheaper) domestic equipment possible rather than the special 12v units normally used.

So all ready for a fortnight away in May.

BSS passed

Published: Monday, 06 May 2013
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At the recent BSS exam the batteries passed, although the examiner felt obliged to issue an advisory notice as there is no forced ventilation as recommended by the manual.  Forced ventilation not actually being needed as the vent caps on the batteries vent any gasses overboard so there is nothing to ventilate. 

A couple of other items were identified, including fire extinguishers that did not appear to carry the correct badge (later found under the inspection label), the engine battery could move more than the prescribed 15mm so an extra fixing on the retention strap needed along with an extra ventilation hole in the engine battery box.

The required changes were made and photographs sent to the examiner who then issued the new certificate.

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