At 58 feet length, TQ (as we call her) is a steel hull narrow boat built by Colecraft and fitted out by Elton Moss Boatbuilders. Currently based at Aqueduct Marina in Cheshire we're able to cruise some of the most popular waterways in Britain. The Shropshire Union, The Trent and Mersey, The Llangollen Canal, The Four Counties Ring and Cheshire Ring and more.

Our friendly Syndicate decided to go down the Self Management route on 1st March 2012 and so far it has been very successful. Please visit the other pages in this blog to see the new Web Site and if shares are available for sale. (There'll not be many).

I am having to place a watermark on the blog content as someone on Facebook is stealing photos and claiming them as their own. I wouldn't mind if they asked first and attributed it to my blog. If it continues I will name and shame them. I hope it doesn't spoil your enjoyment.

All content is Copyright N. B. Tranquility © 2008 - 2019

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Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Busy day

Some glorious sunshine again which warms the inside of TQ so much it becomes too hot so the heating has to be turned off and the stove turned down low.
We decided not to move today and I got down to the business of changing the radio aerial. That turned out to be a bigger job than I was anticipating, I had to cut the old one off with a hacksaw as the nut holding it together was rusted up solid. No surprises there then. I've sealed the new one with silicone and lubricated the threads with K99 to help prevent rust.

The old bits.

New one fitted and working.
See what I've done with the TV aerial in the background? I thought the curved roof might reduce the signal strength being received so I sat it in a foil dish. The magnetic base still works through the dish and reception is greatly improved. Simples.

Ice on the cut again.

But it's not as thick as it has been. It's getting cloudy now and the wind is increasing in strength from the South-West. They forecast rain later.

"Go on, Daisy, a bit further"

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Does anyone know what this is?

It's a refractometer.
It's used for checking the amount of a liquid in another liquid, alcohol in wine or soluble oil in water for example. In this case it's for measuring antifreeze in water.

I checked the coolant in the engine today and we're good for temperatures down to minus 35°C.

The clear plastic window is hinged and lifts to allow a sample to be placed on the blue prism. The clear plastic window is closed onto the sample expelling as much air as possible. Holding up to the light a reading is taken through the scope. A graticule scale of various similar liquid types shows the mixture richness at the blue/white interface.

More maintenance done today already.

I refitted the magnetic catch to the rear hatch with some longer screws and now the door (hopefully) won't swing open while cruising.

One of the really stupid things about the design of TQ is the siting of the Travel Power unit, or more precicely the switch to control it. Until today we had to open the wardrobe door and inside, on the left is another door which gives access to the rear of the control panel. You had to reach in to the Travel Power unit mounted on the opposite wall to switch it on and off. With a little time and effort the switch is now mounted on the outside of the main panel where it can be easily reached, though less likely to be switched by accident.

New position for the Travel Power switch.

It might be cold outside, but it's warm in here.

This is the hardest frost I've seen for a while...

Monday, 29 December 2014

We have arrived on one our favourite spots... Flecknoe near Bridge 102 between Braunston and Napton. Here we can watch the Sun go down over the hill and tonight it is spectacular:-

Near Bridge 102, an amazing website.

 This photo to the left was taken at around the same time and you can see how the camera plays tricks makes adjustments to allow for light variations etc. So what camera did I use? The one from my Samsung Galaxy Tab S

It's warming up and the ice is melting.

Yes, a few boats have passed through and broken it all up, and the sun is thawing it as well.
I had a stroll over to Midland Chandlers this morning and priced up the fridges as ours has seen better days, we might be buying a new one.
I've sealed up the bow thruster hatch this morning, another job off the list...

You can just see the seal around the edge.
We're going to move back toward Napton Junction soon and hang around there for a while.

And there's more... on the cut. This is Braunston. I hope someone comes through with a boat to break it up.
Oh! No, more ice, and it's thicker than yesterday's. 

Sunday, 28 December 2014

What a lovely day.

Wall to wall sunshine, some thin ice on the cut this morning was melted by lunch time, and I get down to some maintenance and changed the oil and filter while the ice melted. Didn't I have some trouble getting the old filter off it's threaded mounting? Note to self, don't do it up too tight. We then headed into Braunston and walked up to the mini-market to get some bread and other sundries. It was a lovely walk in the low Winter sun, I wish I'd taken my camera there was smoke rising from the boat chimneys and hanging in the valley.

Bridge 81 and there's ice on the cut.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Back to where we were on Christmas Day

What a night, rain, snow more rain and high winds. We were moored under a bit of shelter North of Newbold Tunnel so we didn't receive the worst, but reports from oop Nath say that snow was rife in a lot of areas.
We winded about a mile from where we moored and kept going until we found the spot where we moored on Christmas Day, well, within a hundred yards. The thing is there was no TV signal at all, so there's only one thing for it, unhook (from the piling) and bow haul TQ the hundred yards up to the exact spot. Success, a great picture on all channels - sorted.
And now for a bit of maintenance.
New ignition switch.
I changed the ignition switch this evening so hopefully our intermittent starting fault won't reoccur.

Friday, 26 December 2014

Our longest journey so far this Christmas

The Sun looked very watery when we started out this morning yet we still made good progress, but later...*
When we arrived at Hillmorton Locks we thought we had better fill the tank with water, as the weather may be a bit unpredictable at the moment and frozen standpipes a possibility. The supply here is fairly slow and we had a cuppa-soup while we waited for it to fill.
As we pulled away from the water point someone asked how far we were going, I said we were looking for anywhere in the sticks and he said Brinklow is good, about two and a half hours. ...*But soon it began to rain and by this time we were committed to getting through Rugby and Newbold as we didn't want to stop in a built up area. I kept going until I spotted the first pilings for miles and decided to moor up there, just in front of what appeared to be an abandoned plastic cruiser. This'll do, moored, tea on the cooker, and warm in the cabin. With tea scoffed and washing up done we settled down with a good book. At least Lin did, I just played Klondike on the tablet, and then matey on the abandoned boat behind started his two stroke generator and placed it on the towpath close to the front of his boat. If it continues much after 20:00hours I'll have to ask him to turn it off as I'm not putting up with that.
Just after tea the rain turned to snow, and heavy too for a while, and then back to rain again.
Spotted N. B. Waiouru and N. B. Milly M today, but I didn't see anyone there to say hello.

Foot note:- Matey has just switched off his genny after 45 minutes! Yaay! It's now 19:50.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Christmas Day...

 Well this is Christmas...

It's been a lovely day.

Merry Christmas Every One

Have a great day from us three aboard TQ.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

A bit of maintenance.

After the daily chores, breakfast, cat, ablutions etc. I prepared the Bubble stove for sealing, removing all the white (Previously black) fire cement and replacing it with something I've not tried before - High temperature silicone sealant. Geocel claim it's good for temperatures up to 300°C. It'll be interesting to see if their claim is right.
The old cement came out easily with an old screwdriver and then I vacuumed out the area before spraying it with matt black high temperature paint and allowing it to go off before applying the silicone.

Quite a neat job.
By late in the day the silicone had gone off and is ready to fire up.

We had a lovely cruise into Braunston, brilliant sunshine all the way. We winded in the entrance to Braunston Marina and moored on the water point to fill the tank. With that done we moved TQ up a few yards to the 48 hour mooring and strolled into the village for some previously forgotten sundries. As we headed out of Braunston a kingfisher flew alongside hopping from one hedgerow twig to another many yards ahead and waited for us to catch up. He did this several times until we were well out of the village. We're now heading in a Hillmorton direction just outside of Braunston.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

We have moved, but not far.

After the mornings ablutions and breakfast, I got down and dirty in the engine 'ole. All the belts needed tightening, the engine coolant needed topping up and the bilge had to be pumped. While I was down there I checked the air filter. It was in a poor state so I changed it and popped over to Calcutt to buy an oil filter and spare air filter. The daily engine checks were carried out and the engine started. (First time). The strong wind had dropped so plans were made to leave the marina and head to Braunston, but then it rained so we postponed our journey until after the rain stopped. Suddenly the sun came out so we slipped our mooring and headed towards our destination. The black clouds soon caught up with us and the wind strengthened again so we moored up near bridge 101 and the gales had one final blast before abating by dusk.
The draught proofing is working, it's much warmer inside the stern end of the boat now.
Air filters - Out with the old, in with the new.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Draught proofing down the 'atch.

After a night spent listening to the fenders creak and groan between the hull and the jetty in the strong overnight

winds, we prepared for the Red Cross Parcel to arrive. Just the one trolley this time, though it was stacked to the gills with Christmas goodies.
Meanwhile I got on with the task of fitting the draught excluder around the rear hatch. This was a tricky little number as the hatch had to be removed from the slides. Once removed, some measurements were taken and lines drawn as to where the parts had to be fitted.
I needed some contact adhesive to stick some rubber offcuts in strategic places around the hatch to seal it off, so Midland Chandlers had to be patronised, but they only had very large containers,  far more than l needed so I picked up three new mooring pins and some fire sealant for the Bubble stove. On the way back I popped into Halfords in Daventry for the glue which enabled me to finish off the job.

Rubber seals fitted inside rear hatch.

When it's fitted it will look discreet.
Oh! I nearly forgot, when I went to Midland Chandlers I also purchased these...

Three very nice mooring pins. 

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Things have gone awry with my mobile broadband - and I ain't 'appy.

I'm sorry this is all a bit late, I've been having some trouble with "3" the mobile network. I tried loading my account with a gigabyte of data allowance and sure enough it appeared on their website as having been credited but it wouldn't allow me to go to any website stating I had run out of data and would I like to top up. (No, actually). However I have succumbed to their demands and topped up again in order to be able to use data. Now, not only do I have 1024mb allowance, but an extra £10.00 credit... Aarrgghh!

A Wet Start

For some reason the car gets fuller each time we take a holiday on TQ. This time there were talks of taking two cars! With the Omega filled on Saturday night, there was more to go in on Sunday morning and so the logs had to be left behind to make space for Lucy and the food despite us having another load delivered on Monday! Talking of Lucy, (our cat) we dundled her into her transit basket and carried her out to the car and she complained bitterly. It was then I discovered she'd wet her panties, so it was back into the house to change her dyper. The  journey was by enlarge, quiet with little traffic the whole way, and the sat-nav didn't play up this time which helped.
On arrival we found TQ cold and damp, not surprising given the recent weather contitions, so it was on with the central heating to help air the boat out and get Lucy's sleeping, eating and …[too much information]… arrangements sorted. Then it was our turn, to bring our stuff over - four trolley loads would you believe?
All my tools, oil for the engine service, empty oil containers for waste oil, parts for fitting i.e. ignition switch, draught excluder and all the usual boaty stuff plus Christmas stuff.
We're now all settled in, and looking forward to Christmas.
There'll be pictures tomorrow, see you then.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

...Home again.

Bacon sarnies for breakfast and then it's back to the marina. Dieseled and pumped, all cleaned and vacuumed, everything and the cat packed into the car, and then the hectic sprint home.

Arrived safely!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Varnishing - turned out nice.

This morning turned out to be quite pleasant weather wise, so I got to work sanding the rear door panels ready for varnishing. With both doors prepared I opened the tin of Yacht Varnish and applied a coat to the first door. It goes on really well and brush marks disappear in no time leaving a lovely smooth finish. With the first door finished I happened to look up to the skies and there looming from the horizon was the blackest cloud you've ever seen. Quick, get it all under cover, and just in time, there were some big spots of rain, and that was all. So onward, and the other door varnished, and both fitted back in place on their hinges. They look good but they need another coat of varnish. I'll get it done over Christmas.

The photo doesn't do it justice.

I looked at doing something about replacing the draught proofing around the rear hatch, and I have a cunning plan neat idea! I'll order some bits and pieces and see how it goes.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Cruising day.

After heavy rain this morning I carried out the daily checks, started the engine (first time) and we slipped our moorings at around 10:30 and continued our journey toward Braunston. Stopping at the water point we filled the tank, and then winded and headed for the empty mooring we spotted on the way outside the The Boathouse. Lin posted a parcel and then we had lunch, well, having moored here it would be rude not to. We had Steak and ale pie, chips and peas, and very nice it was too, all washed down with a pint of Hob Goblin.

With lunch firmly packed away we headed off up the Grand Union toward Hillmorton. The intention was to find a mooring spot on the way to the winding hole just the other side of Bridge 74, turn and moor up. By this time daylight was getting in short supply and we just managed to find a spot near Br. 75 before it became too dark.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Decided to take a last minute.

Arrived at Wigrams at around 09:15 and transferred Lucy first to get her settled in before the rest of the gear. Then it was bacon sarnie time, and after a cup of coffee I got down to fitting the galvanic isolator. These tasks look really easy in the instructions, but when it comes to it there's far more than first meets the eye. First I had to trace the mains lead from the rear socket inlet to the three way switch. Then decide where to mount the isolator, and this had to be very close to the mains lead in order to keep it all simple. With the isolator screwed to the rear bulkhead, the earth wire in the inlet lead was located and cut, a ring terminal fitted and connected to the isolator. Next an extra length of earth wire supplied was fitted with a terminal and connected to the isolator and the other end connected to the previously cut earth wire with a tubular crimp. With all remaining wires properly connected and checks for tightness in their terminals, the cover was placed back on the rear of the three way switch.

It's the finned black box.

Stray current monitor

Later we decided to move out of the marina and cruise toward Braunston. Did the engine checks and turned the key to start her up and "Click". Aha! so we still have the intermittent starting fault as before the starter motor refurb. More work needed here I think.

So we find ourselves about half way between Napton Junction and Braunston Turn Junction, Pasties in the oven, beer in glass and Pink Floyd's - The Endless River on the iPad - Brilliant.

Friday, 14 November 2014

What's going on here?

Lovely day today, so I cycled to Bridgwater again. Things are changing along the B & T, not only with the season but also physically too. CaRT have been up to something, don't know what this is all about...
So this prevents/discourages cyclists and pedestrians from using the tow path. There is an alternative nearby route via the country road for about 0.7 miles, but at the other end of the diversion...
Nothing, not even a sign to indicate what lies ahead.
So coming from Bridgwater you could cycle or walk all the way along the tow path only to find you have to cycle or walk all the way back. I suspect many are not fit enough to lift a 15kg bike over a five bar gate on their own, I certainly couldn't do it, and I bet many walkers would find difficulty in negotiating it too.
Perhaps it's just for the Winter as the unmetalled path is quite muddy in places.

And what's going on in Albert Cutting?
Inspection work
...and further along.
Apparently all the wooden beams put up in the 1960's are badly rotting and they're investigating to find whether the wall can maintain what lies behind without them.

On the way back I spied Mother Earth...
Tiny compared with the Sun.

It's the dot in the question mark!

Monday, 15 September 2014

The Taunton end of the B & T

I'm going to let the pictures tell the story:-

The Obridge Viaduct.

The original replaced by the new and nasty.

Another new bridge - for the North Taunton Link Road.

Firepool Weir

Firepool Pumping Station... a listed building... to these new apartments.

3 & 4 Bedroom Luxury Apartments - not for me, thanks.

Firepool Lock.

We have vandals down here too!

Old redundant canal equipment.

The aftermath of the wino's picnic...

...absolutely no respect whatsoever.

Now onto the River Tone where Somerset are playing Middlesex.

The Town Bridge.

In times of flood I've seen the water up to road level.

Back on the B & T, it's good to see it being used.
Just through the bridge on the right is the building where I work.

The Somerset Space Walk.

You wouldn't want to live here.
The Space Walk spans the whole length of the canal and is centred by The Sun at Lower Maunsel Lock. To give you an idea of scale, Neptune, represented by a stainless steel ball about 75mm diameter, is minuscule compared to the 2.5 metre diameter, 14 tonne concrete Sun.