Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Well that didn't last long!

Day two started well – but ended badly.

After an hour's cruising we negotiated our first two locks in Harry with no problem and pottered on through the seemingly endless miles of Tamworth. And then the temperature gauge started to climb, the engine started to run rougher and steam began to rise from the header tank.
We pulled over and I started the usual checks, knowing deep down that it wasn't an air lock or a stuck thermostat or another of those simple issues but almost certainly a blown head gasket.
Which is what it seems to be, with traces of oil in the coolant as the tell-tale sign.

Still it's not all bad news, we limped to Alvecote Marina where we are moored up while I set to on repairs – and the good news is, it has an excellent pub with a fine menu. We've just got back from dinner there and already things don't seem quite so bad.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

After three long years in the preparation...

...At 4.30 p.m. today we finally set off on our travels in our big tug Harry.

It was three years ago almost to the day that we first came upon the forlorn burned out wreck that was Harry. Then it looked like this:

Now it looks like this:

But it has all been the most ludicrous amount of work - far more than we ever expected. (Optimistically, we thought it would take about six months, never three years!)
Finally, at last and really we are away. After a day of faffing around shopping for last minute bits and paying our final chandlery bill we left Streethay Wharf at 4.30p.m. today.
At 6.30 we pulled up for the night just six miles away at Hopwas. Not far away but our first ever night out in the wild in Harry. And tomorrow we meet our first locks.