Summer Cruise#1 – Fradley

A longish day today – we didn’t set off until 11 – we’d phoned ahead to Streethay Wharf and yes, they did have a replacement radiator cap – yippee! They also would have a look at the busted bow thruster. So we set off, through Fazely junction, the delightful Hopwas . .  the very slow and shallow section (Hopwas onwards!) and then past the Kings Orchard marina until we reached Streethay. Quite an Aladdin’s cave and full of helpful people. We picked up the new cap (£8 and not the £16 note RCR) and had a few head scratchings about the BCS bow thruster. Yes, they could have a look (£48/hr) but in their experience, the bottom pin usually goes and not the top one. Hmm, and they didn’t have any pins either, so onwards. Skipper will take off the motor head and see if the top shear pin is indeed sheared, then at least we will know what’s what. Meanwhile, we is sat at the delightful mooring just before Fradley junction. Rain tomorrow, so will stay put for a while – anyone for a pint in the Mucky Duck?

At the Fazely junction
Here’s your choice! Fradley & the North or Birmingham.
Out into the countryside.
Through shallow but scenic Hopwas.
And our final resting place for today – end of the queue at Fradley junction.
A well earned pint of Shefford Plum mild in the Mucky Duck
Viv’s treat from M&S, chocolate “quail” eggs
A rare pic of Steve!    Sunday now – all seems very quiet for Easter Day. Rain is forecast but not much in evidence. Managed to get the bow thruster motor off. All these somewhat magical and alien bits of kit no longer hold their allure once you’ve “had a go at them” with tools. Just 4 allen bolts and the motor was off . . . then I heard the dreaded noise of a “bit” falling down, down, down into the void that is the bilge. Hmm, that must be the motor bush. Yep, it was. And I saw within the sheared pin. The shaft linking to the propeller still rotates, so hopefully that bit – below the water is OK. All I need now is to replace the shear pin and all will be well. So, what is a bow thruster, you ask – it’s a sideways propeller in a tube at the front, making you go, er, sideways and on a 65 foot boat, it comes in handy at times! Steering round corners and getting into a lock on a windy day etc.
This a similar beastie – the top motor unscrews and is above the sealed-in propeller bit . . .
Here’s my kit – under the seat at the front. Showing the motor removed – just 4 screws! You can see the  sealed horizontal tube and all the heavy duty cabling (takes 250 amps you know) and the bush – normally held on the motor by the shear pin – the remains of which can be seen in the photo. Still that’s sorted. Half the problem is knowing exactly what the problem is . Ok let’s put it all back together and head over to the pub for lunch  . . . . a nice carvery . . . good idea says Toby:

This pub has had mixed reviews over the years but a new couple have run it for 18 months or so and it’s really good – 4 or 5 beers on plus a huge variety of food. They also travel up to Grimsby on a Tuesday to shop for fresh fish – indeed monk fish kebabs and a fish stew were on t’menu.