Sunday 17th April 2016 nb: Black Bart & her crew of three (Skip, Skippet & 1st Mate) have awoken from our slumber (of almost six months) to a wonderful crisp, dry (yippee !!) Beautiful Sunny Day. It has been very wet recently, as we’re sure most of you know. Pretty darn Windy too at times in past weeks & months. Maybe summer might be slowly creeping round the corner towards us. Will have to wait and find out. Shall report back in six months or so to let you all know if & when Mr. & Mrs. Sun had their hats on. Off on a tangent already and we haven’t even fully prepared for our escape (departure) yet. Washed & dressed. Not that you need to k-no that, but just so you be aware of our occasional cleanliness. Soft boiled eggs. Yum ! Yummy Wholemeal toast. Yum-Yum !! a Few tittle soldiers all lined up & ready for action. What a Wonderful Sunday morning breakfast we duth enjoy.
Last few chores being sorted, a few sad goodbyes are exchanged with friends & we are ready for the off. Oh ! how wrong can one (two) (three even) be. Old Lister starts but does not want to keep chugging away. A fuel starvation problem is eventually deemed to be the culprit. Skip is actually the real culprit as recent fuel filter change was not finished with a proper bleeding being carried out. No I did not cut myself badly. Stings a bit though. Bleed valve is opened & now closed upon flow of diesel rather the air initially greeting us. We try again. Lister does not want to know. Fuel injectors are now bled. Hissing, bubbling air escapes until the old red stuff is-a flowing. Try again. No. Lister runs & then stops again. Fuel injectors & fuel filter re-bled. More air. Must be air pockets in the supply chain mateys. Skip is now suddenly NOT very happy chappy. Bleed screw in top of fuel filter housing has just sheared off. Hex head of screw come off. Body of screw still inside cast aluminium filter housing. Oh Bother !! or words to that effect. **!!**!!. Cannot spell some words as well as one can say them when tings have gone a wee bit wrong. Fortunately, Bart has a spare filter housing/assembly in the forward hold storage facility. Twas removed (but luckily kept as spare) (you never k-no) when old Herbie was replaced with new Herbie a year or so ago. Herbie didn’t apparently need a dedicated/separate in line filter. Filter housings/assemblies are swapped round. Filter re-instated with new rubber seals (again) Pipework reconnected & off we go. Calm yourself. With some persistence (as usual) filter & injectors are bled & re-bled. We have diesel flowing. Then we have air pocket(s) again & Lister stops running. Eventually Lister runs for longer than a few seconds or a minute-or-so. She is running properly, maintaining a regular (heart) beat. Thank goodness for that. phew !! that was fun. Not. It is now 2.00pm. We clear the mess up, wash hands & have a ‘nice cup of tea’. Take a few deep breaths Skip. Not the best start to manoeuvres. Intended diesel top-up (Bart is over half full) is cancelled as udder boat now be blocking fuel station & an-udder is already waiting. We can ‘fill-er-up-mate’ sum-wear else, in the coming weeks. Black Bart finally escapes our wet & windy winter retreat at 2.30pm.
We have not passed through this marina entrance since return to base camp way way back in October. Yelvertoft Marina is a Lovely quiet (mostly) place to be with the added bonus of some Fantabulous friends, but it is Fantastic to be heading off on our ‘Bart World 2016 Cruise’.
Black Bart turns South, passing by the lovely village of Crick & then through her namesake tunnel. All 1528 yards of darkness. One gets a tittle soggy whilst traversing tunnels corse-of recent rainfalls. We be happy, so we do-nut care. Skip doesn’t even have his coat on. Fool. Back into the light, our jolly crew soon bring out the nappy pins to tie Bart’s lines. We have a lovely position for our first night on the cut. Yeh !!! Yippee ! !! !!!
Monday 18th April Good morning peeps !! And what a grey day it is today. Where has yesterday’s Lovely warm sun gone to hide ? Cuppa tea followed by Breakfast in bed. What a treat. Delish !! Lovely Lazy (should be in capitals) start to the day. Engine room checks done, Lister is finally started very late morning. Lines slipped & we’re off. Watford locks is soon upon us, ‘dropping’ Bart down one lock, four staircase locks & finally, after that awkward kinky (behave) turn, two moor locks. All Narrow chambers as is the way in these ‘ere parts. We are soon making our way along the last couple of miles of the Leicester section of the GU Canal. Goodbye old friend. Will likely see you again in a few months. Bart turns West at the tight norton junction Heading on to & then through the blackness of wibberly wobberly Braunston Tunnel. All 2042 Yards of it. Soon after departure from the disorientating darkness we are descending the six wide Braunston locks. Unusually for us we is luckily sharing these locks with an-udder narrowboat. Sum hire boaty types enjoying their holiday. Just like pre-Bart days. What Fun we used to have trying to learn & then fine tune our boat handling skills. We might get there one day. Never think you have it sorted as sum-it will catch you out & ‘bite your bum’ as they say. Top up at the old aqua station & we are creeping our way past Braunston’s busy boaty canal sides. Within only a few short minutes of passing Braunston Junction the field of Ba-Bas makes a perfect setting (again) for Bart to rest the night away.
Roxy enjoys a very rare treat
GOOD NIGHT All Boaters, Bloggers, Bloggetts & Enny-Udders who might be out there.
Tuesday 19th April Sorry !! You are now on the wrong page.
Please proceed to ‘#23 Oxford Canal – North. April 2016’ Thankyou most Kindly.
Have a Lovely Day ‘avid’ blogget.