The Journey -
Monday 29th July 2002
I met another Brit, John, who works at the hire base at Vermenton. He is buying a newish house. Two up, two down, no garden for €18,000.
I also attacked the engine water pump on Rosy - the one that pumps cooling water/anti-freeze round the engine. The book says that it will drip a bit, but it had taken to dripping a lot - half a litre a day. I knew that the pump had been modified so that the cotton wadding used as a sealant had been replaced 'by an O-ring'. By chance, I came across a packet of O-rings in a hidey-hole in the engine, and they appeared to be about the same diameter as the piston, so I crossed my fingers and got out the tool box.
I knocked open the main gland ... (easy to say, but it took me hours) ... and eventually discovered that it was sitting on an annulus (? a square-section ring of brass). When I eventually eased this above the shell of the pump, there on its inner face was a groove containing an O-ring of a size equal to the ones in the packet. Old one out, new one in, re-assemble, and we seem to be back to minimum drips.
The engine was installed in Rosy when she was built in 1987. The ticket in the packet shows that 12 O-rings were bought in 1991, and there were 9 left in the packet when I found it, so perhaps each lasts for about 3 years.
This job took all day.
I went out for a lovely walk with Geoff and Rose, up to a seat on the downs that gave a fine view over Vermenton and the surrounding country. Geoff had a 1:25000 map of the area which gives lots of detail and names. In the evening we suggested to all the boaters that we have a BBQ, so we had a good party.
Friday was market day, but even so the church (which the guide book says is 'interesting') was still locked. I spent the evening with Geoff and Rose. They know the Canal du Nivernais quite well, so suggested some useful mooring points.
On Saturday the mail arrived, and I left early on Sunday, which was a wonderfully hot day. I'd managed to get a modification done to Rosy at Vermenton, such that I can fly a parasol when it is sunny, and (I hope) will keep rain from falling through the stern hatch whilst I'm steering in the rain.
I also managed to get the bits for a special gas pigtail - more news in a later newsletter.
The Yonne is still very pretty. At this point it is a proper canalised river. I'm travelling upstream, so we motor through a reach of the river, then along a lock cut, up through the lock and out of the top to the weir on the river. As it was a Sunday, the weirs and weir pools were being heavily used by sun-worshippers and bathers.
The canal was quite busy, and I had to share locks, which meant using ropes.
We moored at Mailly-le-Chateau, a very awkward (for Rosy) mooring, as the sloping sides held us away from the bank.
In the morning I woke up with a pronounced limp L I M P, and a frightfully hurting knee - I suspect from a jolt that I got the day before, jumping from the lockside down onto Rosy's roof.
There were zero facilities at Mailly, so I left at 0830, and had a gentle 'wildlife' run up to here - 'here' being Châtel Censoir - wildlife being kingfishers, gold finches, water rats and, I think, a swallow-tail butterfly.
Facilities are here (water and electric, shops etc) so I've dosed myself with some powerful anti-inflammatory analgesics, and will enhance their effectiveness by some slugs of best West Indian dark rum. Mobile phone signals are a bit iffy, but if I sit on Rosy's roof and hang the mobile high on Rosy's mast, this e-mail should go. If you don't get it, then you'll know that I've been dealt yet another joker in life's rich game. If you DO get this, and know anyone with an under-used crutch, then please think of me and my limp - I could do with one to help me hop around.