16 April 2009

Homeward bound

I think today can be summed up as follows: we’ve been passed by more boats in one afternoon on the Trent & Mersey than we have seen in our entire two and a half week sojourn on the Weaver. We just want to go back down again…Actually, it’s always nice to renew acquaintance with this stretch and we’ve had a good run down, stopping just short of Bramble Cuttings on the rings on the right hand side. We had earlier shared the lift up with Adagio on the 11.45am passage and once again were struck by the calm efficiency of the all the staff there (you can give the café coffee a miss though…)

I think the dogs were relieved to get back on the shallower canals as mummy had made them rather nervous with her speed trials – well, I thought I’d use the run from Barnton back to the lift to see how fast the old girl could go as I’ve always had this suspicion that she’s a bit underpowered for some reason (there’s a growing consensus that we should take a serious look at the prop – size, type, manufacturer, with Crowther being the name consistently popping up). Now maybe it’s because I’m a woman driver but I’ve never felt the need before to ‘see what she can do’ and take her beyond her usual 1500-1700 revs but again, my ‘advisers’ said that this was barely scratching the surface and to test her out I should really crank her up to 2400 or so. Well I did and we certainly did seem to shift a bit but A shot out the back wondering why we were making a sound like a torpedo and that if I didn’t slow down and return the noise levels to normal, poor Arthur would hyperventilate into an early doggie grave.

So the results were inconclusive….just for the record, the speed/power thing is not to burn off other boats but for peace of mind if we ever need to punch a tide or cope with strong conditions. Deep down, I feel a 57 footer powered by a Beta 43 should have a bit more grunt on her, in fact a lot more grunt on her…the prop is 18 x 12, the size specified by Beta, but again I’ve been told that three same size props from three different manufacturers could give you three different results. I don’t know if there’s any truth in that, the whole thing is a complete mystery to me in fact, but I may well put in a call to Crowther and see what they say. Shire Cruisers, our likely summer home, recommend them so maybe if there is some work in that department that needs doing, they can do it for us before we return Midlands-wards in the autumn.

This evening we’ve been fortunate enough to find a safe field in which to let the dogs have a run (just by bridge 176) although they all seemed more interested in eating grass. They eventually got going, charging about the place for ten minutes or so before running out of puff - we even felt plucky enough to let Monty off, with me standing with the rest of the dogs at the field exit/entrance and A hand-slipping Monty like in his old schooling days. The question was, would Monty run straight towards us? Yes. Would he try his usual trick of dodging around us and carrying on into the far yonder? No. Would he wait patiently for mummy to come and put his lead back on? Yes. And he got a big warm hug from said mummy who was mightily relieved that he did stop and didn’t tank right into us as he was going at a fair old lick, I can tell you! But it was wonderful to see him in full flight, it really was. We’re just hoping his legs don’t swell up as they’re wont to do after vigorous exercise. Frankenpaws we call him...

We’re looking to make a very early start tomorrow as we’d like to get through Middlewich before any scrum develops, leaving us free to saunter across the arm and back to base in time for a Saturday am getaway home. Home…funny that, as this feels like home now. Actually, it feels like a greenhouse because we lit the fire at teatime and it must be 90F in here!

6 comments:

indigodream said...

Right, that's yet another rummaging spot for Blue and Lou! Have a good run back - from what other bloggers have written, the canals have been really busy - the Thames was deserted...
Sue

indigodream said...

Oh, on the subject of salt in dog's diets I think the old adage of 'all things in moderation' applies. I don't think the odd slice of spam will do them any harm. Blue and Lou love a bit of human food (especially sausages) - haven't tried corned beef but I reckon it wouldn't touch the sides....
Sue

indigodream said...

Our top engine speed with an Izusu 42 is around 2000rpm. Allegedly our prop is an 18 x 12. If I remember, I will get a tape measure out this weekend.

Richard

Jill and Graham said...

Graham has been unhappy with our prop for a long time, particularly since our skirmish with the rivers Trent & Soar. Now looking at Axiom (see Derwent6).

Geoff and Mags said...

Just for info, we've got a 17x12 prop, on an Isuzu 42 with a 2:1 reduction.Have never been higher than 1500 RPM, never felt the need...
even on the Soar in flood.

It looks like the Weaver worked it's magic on you too, then. thought it would. Pity it's not longer, like maybe another 100 miles or so?
Geoff

indigodream said...

Got a tape measure out this weekend. Our propellor is 18" diameter, I don't know how to check the x 12 bit. I have found a photo with what looks like an illegible reference mark so next weekend will have a look to see if I can read it through the weed hatch. I suspect that the manual is right when it says 18 x 12 as our builder Mitch did say he was giving us a propellor 1" bigger than normal.

Richard
(who enjoyed doing 2000rpm on the run down from Sharpness)