You can always find something to do



Sunset at Hunton Bridge

I find the hardest skill to learn about canal boating is that of doing very little if not nothing. If I am not going somewhere else, or fixing something then I am not relaxed. That is how, having taken sandwiches down to the boat this afternoon I found myself not reading or listening to music, nor even watching the wildlife but laid out on my stomach reaching down into the engine room with a spanner in each hand. I decided it was time to tweak the stern gland a bit tighter.

Now the name stern gland sounds a bit serious, in some ways it is, in that a really leaky one can result in a boat sinking. It gets its name from the rear of the boat, i.e. stern, and a source of grease or lubrication i.e. a gland. Now I know that dogs and cats can have problems with their stern glands but that is another tail, so to speak.

The boat’s stern gland is where the rotating propeller shaft goes out through the back of the boat, and at that point is under water. So you don’t want water coming back in. On mine (the boat’s) there is packing around the shaft and grease is pressed in to keep most of the water at bay. By tightening a couple of nuts the packing is squashed tighter which reduces the flow of water. A little drip is OK now and then, those are easy to find along the towpath, as are many other types of nuts.

I had noticed that the last time I used the boat the rate of dripping had increased so, not wanting to do nothing, I sorted out my stern gland, and felt much better for it.

The sunset was pretty good too.


Sunset at Hunton Bridge

And for those who are more interested in family than boating:-


Yep, they’re fine

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