Tuesday, 28 March 2023

March visit: Day 1

Amazingly, this is the first visit to the boat since early October, when we finished our autumn cruise.  It must be one of the longest times (outside lockdown) that we haven’t been on board.  I came up this morning at the end of a set of night shifts; in the original plan, Adrian would already have been on board, but he’s attending to some family matters in Dorset at the moment.  I was supposed to be doing a boat test, but that was rained off.

As there were some very cold snaps during the winter, I was a bit nervous about whether there might be some damage to the boat, but all seemed well.  I reassembled the shower and turned the water on, and hoped the water pump would soon stop, once the pipes were refilled.  It did — so there was no repeat of a few years ago when I had to replace the galley taps, which was a relief.  I also got the fire going as it was pretty cold on board, and attended to the loo.  I also filled the water tank, which needed quite a bit.  It was still only about 9.30 when I headed off to Tesco in Wolverton to get food for the next few days.

The rain up to this point had been pretty light, but back at the boat it came on quite heavily, so once the shopping was away I decided to do a few other jobs.  It was when I was cleaning the shower that I found the pump wasn’t working.  I Googled the pump type (a Jabsco Water Puppy) and found how to get the back off.  Unfortunately, to get to it I had to take the whole thing off the wall of the airing cupboard.  Once the back was off, I could see the problem: the impeller was going round fine, but it was completely missing two prongs (or whatever they’re called), and another was half off.

It explained why the pump appeared to be trying, but just didn’t have enough oomph.  Googling some more showed that impellers are sold as spares, so I wondered who might have one.  I phoned Steve Furniss at Weedon, just in case he used the same sort of pump.  He doesn’t, but his wife is the manager of Midland Chandler’s at Braunston so I gave her a ring.  She didn’t have one in stock, but can get one — on Friday.  I’d been wondering whether I would stay up or go home in the event that Adrian couldn’t come up at all, so this made my decision for me: I’d be staying up until Friday.

The rain had stopped, so I decided I’d head out of the marina.  I put my waterproof over-trousers on, in the belief that if I was prepared for rain it probably wouldn’t happen.  In the event, there was a squally shower as I set off which was rather unpleasant.  But I did a great turn out of the marina towards Stoke Bruerne, and then saw a green woodpecker on the towpath, which made it all worthwhile.  The rain soon stopped, and while the conditions weren’t the best, they weren’t unpleasant either.

There are plenty of places to stop along this stretch, but I wanted to give the boat a decent run, not least to generate some hot water (although a shower might be difficult without a pump).  So I continued to Grafton Regis, where there was a decent spot that I’ve used before, just before the main moorings, with views both sides.  There’s a field of sheep with lambs on the towpath side, and a view of the Manor House on the offside.

It won’t be a late night, as I haven’t had any sleep since yesterday.  Tomorrow I will potter along to Stoke Bruerne.

3 miles, 0 locks.


Anonymous said...

So your shower pump and Tap water pump are different? Ours use the same pump. Andy t

Adam said...

The shower pump is the one that takes water out of the shower tray.

Nev Wells said...

I had an impeller that was worse than that on my engine water pump on my heaven and hell cruise a few years back. Well done in finding it and a replacement. Enjoy the break and the sleep !