I’m not very well at the moment! In fact I feel proper poorly! The Skipper hadn’t noticed anything was wrong either until our recent passage down from Shireoaks Marina to Retford, when at Worksop I began spewing from ‘JP2’s exhaust a greasy black liquid carbon substance which apart from anything else began making such a mess of my beautiful paintwork.
It was accompanied by blue smoke which was a bit ominous since normally, if there is any at all, it is always of a pure white shade.
We arrived at Retford on Tuesday last and passed through the Town Lock but finally the skipper and his friend Peter, who had crewed most gallantly for us all through the passage, tied me up at the pub mooring at the ‘Hop Pole’ at the eastern end of Retford. And here we’ve been ever since with me feeling very sorry for myself.
But he’s good the Skipper, when he needs to be, and straightaway he contacted his friend John in Staffordshire, who is an expert ‘JP2’ engineer. John arrived on Thursday and after spending a couple of hours investigating, with the Skipper actually getting his hands dirty too (surprise, surprise!) he discovered that the big end on the forward cylinder had a lot of play on it. John dismantled it to discover that it was badly worn and the bush would need to be renewed. And because of the oil escaping from the exhaust he reckoned that the piston and cylinder too would need a thorough investigation at the very least.
However there are no engineering or boat yard facilities of any sort on the Chesterfield Canal, so what the ‘Old Man’ is arranging is for me to be towed around to the Shropshire Union Canal where John lives and has all the facilities he needs for making me better. It’ll be a long and tedious journey perhaps; one that I shall have to suffer patiently. But adventure is what the Skipper likes and I know that everything will be good in the end.
Safe though sadly feeling sorry for myself at the 'Hop Pole'