Ten Bob Note  

Thursday 1st November 2007

Saturday 3rd

Location: Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, Grand Union

Today: 0 miles, 0 locks. Total distance: 850 miles.  Total locks: 543

Mild day. Good t-mobile 3g reception here.

On Tuesday 30th, we moved up through the lock to take on water. We then moored up above the lock as it is a bit quieter here – a little bit less passing foot traffic.


I received the part that Ihave been waiting for to repair the Electrolux 240V alternator. A R Peachment kindly sent the new parts free of charge, they have always been very helpful and if I am ever in a position to need an engine, I will definitely buy it from them. Removed the alternator to fit the new adjustment bracket, belt and lower mounting bolt. On removing the alternator I found that the lower bracket was also broken and that the idle wheel had seized up. Phoned AR Peachment and explained the situation. They are sending me a new kit of parts (again – free of charge) which mounts the alternator in a different location. Hopefully the new kit will cure the problems once and for all.

My Sony laptop finally died on Tuesday. I have arranged for Sony to collect it to be repaired for the third time. It is only around 9 months old so I am somewhat disappointed with it. I explained my disappointment to Sony but the response was that there was nothing much they could do apart from repair it again. It has got to the point that I have no faith in it and am doing backups every day so that I don’t loose any data.

As mentioned a few days back, my electric saw packed up after cutting a big pile of logs with it. It was only designed for branch pruning and has had a hard life so I can’t complain. I was going to buy a bow saw but the guy in a tool shop I visited advised on a chain saw if I am going to be cutting any amount of wood. I ended up buying a cheap (£49.99) electric chain saw out of Argos. I have not used it yet but it looks reasonably OK for the price.

The latest word from British Waterways is that the broken lock that is stopping us moving may take another ten days or so to be repaired. Apparently a swing bridge also broke that has stopped them being able to get a crane to the lock to lift the broken gate out. Looks like we could be around this area for a while yet!! Better news is that there was some mix up with my conversation with BW last week and there are no planned stoppages between here and Braunston locks (the locks close on 19th Nov) so once we get moving again, we can get close to Braunston.

I think I have now caught up with all the news from the last few days (laptop problems – I am now back to using my 6 year old Sony laptop – it is slow!!).

STOP PRESS: Just had a phone call from BW. They expect to remove the broken gate tomorrow, take it away and repair it – working on it over the weekend then return it to have the navigation open next Wednesday 7th. Good news if it all happens to plan.

Saturday 3rd

We went to the K2 Indian restaurant by bridge 151 in Hemel. Had a lovely meal but it was the most expensive Indian restaurant I have ever eaten in – and I have eaten in a lot.

Walked the two and a half miles to lock 60 yesterday to see what was going on. As I arrived, the crane was in place and they were lifting the damaged gate out (photo below). BW tell us that the gate will be repaired and back in place by next Wednesday. Some of the workmen I spoke to at the lock thought that next Wednesday was very optimistic – it will be interesting to see who is right!!!

Passed Pete’s work boats up near lock 60. Needing coal soon as we are down to our last three bags so will have to catch up with Pete next week.

We have had nb Moriarty (Bob & Lyn) moored in front of us for the last two nights.  We have crossed paths several times in various places this year. Moriarty is moored at Braunston and like us are stuck here due to the lock repairs. Moriarty has moved on north a bit to get away quick when the lock is repaired as they want to get back to Braunston before the Braunston locks close on the 19th November for planned winter stoppages.

We were also chatting to the owner of nb Solace this morning. Solace is moored in the spot we moored at last Monday night when we arrived at Hemel (just below Apsley lock). They had their mooring ropes set loose at 02:00 this morning. No harm done, just idiots returning home from the pubs probably.

After some confusion about pickup location, my Sony laptop was collected yesterday and taken away for repair. Hopefully, it will not take them too long to fix it and that they will fix it properly this time.

Current mooring

The old and new alternaor drive belt - guess which is which!!

Broken alternator bracket the tie wrap is through one mount but the hole where the other end of the tie wrap is has broken off

Idler wheel - ball bearings are missing

Lock 60 gate being removed for repair - 02-11-07


Material Copyright © 2007 Ernie Williams
This page last modified on: 23 April, 2014 4:12 PM