Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Reports from the Nene

I guess I should give an update on Jim's progress. He is currently still at Irthlingborough, having made it through Billing before the cutoff point which was yesterday, and has been able to afford to sit out the bad weather of the last couple of days. He's also between crew members, but I gather that PJ (that is Steve who had the National D3 that he was rebuilding until he found himself an ideal boat complete with engine) is joining him tomorrow via a complicated arrangement of car and boat movements in conjunction with some Canadians who do things with fruit flies in Moomin's basement. Well, I think I got that right.

Jim is whiling away some of the time tussling with the gearbox. Now, this I am having some trouble grasping, but it is something to do with various bits of play along the linkage finally having added up to too much so that it is now hard to maintain the necessary thrust to keep it in gear. Little niggles over time - the broken connection of the vertical rod into the shift bit; the replacement of a vital spring - have added up into a nuggle (as in many a mickle makes a muckle) and the upshot seems to be that it's hard to go forwards slowly or backwards at all. (See! I said it didn't bloody reverse and I was right). Jim was even on the phone to Allister at RN this morning (who put him onto the vital nature of this spring), so when I heard this I was starting to worry. However, I just spoke to Jim and he seems confident that he'll make it back to Bill Fen, albeit without going slowly. Basically, the gearbox seems to have reverted to what it was like when we first got Warrior - but at least we're better at steering now!


MoominPapa said...

Fruit-fly brains; in MoominMama's basement: let's get this right. Whilst Jim doesn't need a reason to go fast, having an excuse does seem to please him.
The other problem with the current state of the gearbox is that is causes the smallest possible amount of weed on the prop to disable it completely. Entering a lock through a patch of floating weed caught against the top gate means 1) hitting the bottom gate, due to no reverse and 2) a trip down the weed hatch before being able to leave. I hope the lurking blanket weed in the Middle Level doesn't cause big trouble.

Amy said...

He may be lucky on the Middle Level depending on the water depth. Thankfully, on our way in last week, it was deep enough not to be a problem, but on the way out, they were expecting rain, so the water was 4 inches lower. We got very tangled a couple of times.