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70 now and our five wonderful years aboard our narrowboat Skyy seem along time ago. Jacquie, allowed me to build my replica three wheeler kit car, which was a great success. Now it's time to start on a bigger project and that is to make a good Triumph Stag even better, here goes.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011



We pushed on and by Thursday evening we moored between the locks at Fradley Junction, right opposite the lovely old British Waterways yard and just in time to buy an ice cream from the cafeteria. The next morning I manoeuvred SKYY to the other side of the canal and took advantage of the facilities before leaving the Trent and Mersey Canal and turning onto the Coventry Canal.

A couple of miles before Fazeley Junction I spied a narrow boat whose owner makes and fits stainless steel chimneys, friends of ours had one fitted earlier this year and I had seen several more on this stretch of canal. The internal liner of our chimney is gradually rotting away and on spotting Kym I made an instant decision to buy new chimney. Kym had a twelve inch one in stock and immediately adjusted it to fit our collar, so now we sport a smart ‘Little Chimney Company’ very heavy duty, will last a lifetime, shiny chimney.

We carried on through Fazeley Junction and up the two Glascote Locks leaving Tamworth behind us, before finding a tranquil mooring for the night opposite a golf course.

It took up nearly two nearly two hours on Saturday morning to reach the first of the eleven Atherstone Locks. Fortunately there was nearly always a boat coming out of the lock as we approached and these single locks are easy and with two and a half hours we were at the top and moored in the sunshine, where we intend to stay for a couple of days.

I decided this was a good time and place to change the oil and filter, that I had previously bought. I completed the job quickly and cleanly; unfortunately I didn’t start the engine and check for oil leaks. On Sunday morning I took Duggie for his walk and as I left I started the engine to charge the batteries, on returning I realised that Jacquie had turned the engine off, “because it had started to beep”, she told me and I knew straight away that I really should have checked for leaks. I lifted the engine hatch with trepidation and wasn’t totally surprised to find that the best part of five litres of oil was now out side the engine, but I couldn’t begin to imagine why so much had pumped out. My jumbo sponge did a good job of mopping it up and squeezing it back into the empty container via a large funnel and finally cleaning up with kitchen roll. When I removed the filter I thought that the sealing ring had come out of its groove, but then I realised the rubber ring from the old filter was partially stuck to the new one. When I removed the old filter I had been too keen to drain, and dispose of it I hadn’t noticed that its ring was missing, obviously still stuck to its mounting. I won’t be doing that again, and hopefully dear reader you won’t either.

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