Wednesday, 4 September 2013

All’s well that ends well.

This morning we started with a problem – ‘Queen Maeve’ shredded her alternator belt while mooring up last night and Tony (the one who helped us down the locks yesterday) promised to help Olly this morning by fitting a new belt.


After purchasing a new belt Tony got down into the engine bay to fit the alternator belt.  However, when starting the engine to test the belt, smoke appeared from the ignition switch!  It was obvious from investigation that a new switch was needed but we would have to make our way to nearest boatyard.


So, after hot wiring the ignition, we set off – Doug keeping Olly company in case anything went wrong.


We made good progress – the weather was wonderful and we passed much to enjoy along the way, including several of these stupendous crossover bridges (where the towpath crosses to the opposite side).


Around Congleton we passed our good friends Adam and Adrian on nb ‘Briar Rose’, now in her splendid new livery.  We were very much hoping that we’d be able to meet up with them during the evening somewhere but circumstances on both sides meant that wasn’t practical.  We are now looking forward to meeting up with them later on in their holiday.  We hope you have a brilliant few weeks guys!


Yet another picture for the unusual / special craft album.

Just after this we got to Heritage Boats, where we hoped they may be able to fix the problem on ‘Queen Maeve’ but the Law of Sod ruled and the resident engineer was off for two weeks!


Travelling in hope that we’d have better luck further along the canal we passed the wonderful Ramsdell Hall.


The milestones along the canal are like tombstones!


Nearing the end of the canal is Hall Green Stop Lock – lowering is down all of 1 foot to the  Trent and Mersey Canal.  Olly’s operating the lock while Doug steers ‘Queen Maeve’ towards her repair.


‘Chance’ follows through into the stop lock.

We stopped at Red Bull Services where our hopes of a repair to ‘Queen Maeve’ were realised and, within 15 minutes, we were back on our way and heading quickly for the Harecastle Tunnel …

We were very lucky that the engineer at Red Bull had a replacement ignition switch for ‘Queen Maeve’ and our thanks go again to Tony for his invaluable help this morning.


On arrival at Harecastle tunnel we learnt that we were going to have to wait until tomorrow for a passage through.  So here we are for the night marooned in the bright orange waters outside the north portal of the tunnel.

Tonight we have enjoyed a meal on board Chance with Olly and have an early start in the morning to be the first passage through the tunnel.

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