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  1. 14 points
    Firstly, many thanks for the many PM's and Emails, I've only just gone 'back onto the computer and seen them. It has been a weird couple of weeks with all sorts of 'ailments' rolled into one - I'm still very short of breath just walking 50yards, but it is getting better - so - stand by for the old 'me'. You'll all be boating soon.
  2. 12 points
    Thanks to @cheshire~rose and @Capt Ahab for putting this together plus the judges and all the teams.
  3. 11 points
    This was a guy who sacked all his staff at the start of the outbreak to save having to pay them, isn't it? That should be enough to keep most folk well away from his establishments haggis
  4. 11 points
    He is being funny, making a jape or having a giggle, of the members on here Buzzard has, as far as I have seen, never engaged in sniping at others. Often he is an insane genius with his plans or build ideas, other times he gives freely of his very wide mechanical knowledge.
  5. 11 points
  6. 11 points
    I am posting here because I do not wish my comments to be attributed to any other discussions that may be going on elsewhere. A few weeks ago I had a really daft idea - I wondered if it could be possible to organise a virtual BCN Challenge. I talked to my better half who is quite good at bringing my more ridiculous ideas down to something more realistic and he wasn't fast enough in thinking up good reasons why it was a stupid idea. I suspect he, like many others, saw it as a potential distraction for us for a few weeks. I talked to The Biscuits (who was supposed to be on our team in the real BCN this year) and he was suitably enthused about it but I realised from the short conversation that he would want to play, not organise and so I didn't discuss it with him further. Next I discussed it with Mrs Tawny Owl to check we would not be treading on any toes and got the green light. My original plan was that people would spent 9 hours virtually boating around the bits of the BCN that are still navigable and there would be competitions and challenges set throughout the day. There would be a 2 hours break to be taken at some point through the day so that those who have families they need to see on Zoom or duties like dog walking they needed to deal with they could do it then. I just needed to think of a lot of different challenges and a few quizzes. We had been watching some of Capt Ahab's Canal Hunter video's in our quest to try and spot LMS Transhipment warehouses around the Black Country and it occurred to me that, if I could secure his help, he could set a humdinger of a quiz for everyone with his knowledge of the lost 60 miles. We talked on the phone and he threw in the suggestion that as it was virtual boating why not include the lost 60 miles! I think we both went silent as we absorbed the potential opening up before us as soon as he made that suggestion. The next few days was spent weighing up the merits of a single day challenge versus multiple days and we really didn't want people to feel they were chained to staring at their computer screen for extended hours. The idea was to encourage people to join in with other creative activities. We thought that maybe we would get half a dozen teams daft enough to commit to it for a bit of fun. Of course it got a lot bigger and a lot more involved the longer we worked on it. Well, as hindsight has shown us there were a lot more than half a dozen teams daft enough to not only get involved for a bit of fun, but to actually put their hearts and souls into trying to make the most of every opportunity made available to them to be creative in any way their skills allowed them. .... and yes, it was inevitable that teams would want to be competative, a bit of competition is a healthy thing after all. but not if it causes friction. This entire thing took no more than 2 weeks from conception to start. There has been a lot of discussion about what algorithms the organisers used to calculate penalty points and how scores were rounded - well if any of you think anything like that actually happened you are going to be very, very disappointed. I struggle with numbers and and after spending my life struggling with numbers I realised a few years ago that I have discalculia. Having taken part in the real challenge last year and being determined to get my head around the scoring system so my number blindness didn't prevent me from understanding the planning and our scoring. Yet it did. It was impossible for me to understand how we got the score we did (or anything even close to it) Seeing how deflated our team were at having put herculean effort in to the challenge and to only get the placing we did was very hard to live with and so I tried (and failed) to work out how that could be. I was convinced that we must have been fined for speeding but we were told that nobody had been fined for speeding. To this day none of our team know how we ended up with the score we did and such a low placing because we simply cannot make the route we did add up to the score we were given I didn't want anyone to be left with that feeling after this challenge and I said so to Andy. I had a spreadsheet I could collate the figures with. Figures that came from a variety of sources. Each day each team could earn points for the virtual journey they had done (scorecard points) points for the quiz entry, points for taking part in the challenge, points from the panel for being voted as offering the best cruise log that day (1st, 2nd and 3rd places) with additional bonus points awarded for snippets that took the panels eye for any reason. Each day the score card was sent in and I forwarded it to Andy who took a look at it to "sense check" that it appeared to be a valid journey given the restrictions on the day. Through the week there were some teams who made the odd error, maybe a simple incorrect calculation or in some cases headed off up one disused canal before turning and coming back down another -a case of mistaken canal identity maybe? In cases where this had happened Andy would correct the score and the team were advised this had been done (more often teams had omitted points they should have earned that clocked up extra) Occasionally their route got a bit muddled so we would return it asking for them to clarify what they had actually intended to do (because it would make a difference to where they started next day) There was never computer generated check of your scores but Andy realised very quickly that everyone was very obviously working very hard to abide by the rules and, perhaps more importantly, the spirit of the challenge. If a mistake was spotted it was always very obviously just a mistake and with the exception of The Biscuits (who we always knew was going to be trubble!) there was never any indication of anyone attempting to bend or stretch the rules. On one occasion we had to smile because one of our single handers had not got to grips with the safe moorings and had tied for the night in a dodgy spot. Well, given the time difference we knew we would not get effective communication before he was up and moving again the next day so Andy suggested that as he has tied up a couple of hours earlier than he needed to that day (it's hard work single handing!) there would have been plenty of time for him to reach the closest safe mooring so we virtually asked a virtual local to virtually bow haul him around the corner to a place he would be safe overnight and pinged an email to let him know what we had done. Reading his cruise log next day he blames the demon drink for waking up somewhere he doesn't remember mooring! It was part of the fun! We knew it was unlikely to make any significant difference to his chances of winning the challenge so it didn't affect anyone else and it just simplified things. Of course some might say that the organisers were giving an unfair advantage? No we were having some fun like the rest of you and just gently helping along one the the tail markers as we did, I don't like the fact that there had to be a people who didn't win because everyone deserved to win, I don't like the fact that people might feel cheated in any way. We set out to create something that might offer a bit of a distraction from the current climate for people who are struggling. Something that might give a bit of mental stimulation and make some of the time we all have on our hands pass a little quicker. We didn't set out to cause any upset. It has just been a bit if fun and next year (new paintwork or not) we will do it for real again. But don't ask me to plan the route or to get involved in the scoring because for me, there be dragons!
  7. 11 points
    It was very straightforward and easy to understand. Go to work is the only change. Other stuff will come on line IF and WHEN its safe to do so, it realy was simple and obvious. He stated a rough timeline but as its impossible to see how many more deaths will happen over the next few weeks he obviously didnt give exact dates as numpties would cry foul if those dates had to be changed. What did anyone find hard to understand? So go to work and the rest of us stay safe and do more excercise if you wish.
  8. 10 points
    This is perfectly safe. The government has had its special advisor Dominic Cummings travelling the length of the country to check standards and safety checks are in place, he has been as far North as Durham on several occasions.😇
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  10. 10 points
    My house is 4 miles from where my boat is moored, and I could drive past it en route to a shop if anyone stopped me and asked me. I wouldn't be moving into a different NHS area if I went to the boat, so no trouble there. One of my best friends lives on a boat tied 300 yards from my boat, and it was his birthday yesterday. I didn't go, even though I really wanted to. I know the government have been tweaking the slogan so we don't need to bother protecting the NHS anymore, but I look at it this way: Is this journey worth killing a nurse for? Me going to the boat isn't at this point. If my other friends tell me it's on fire or sinking I'll go and check. It's not about me, it's about who I might spread the disease to.
  11. 9 points
  12. 9 points
    I would simply get rid of those small side pipe fenders. They don’t do any good, are not necessary, and tend to get ripped off in locks creating a potential problem for other boaters. Quite anti-social in fact. Fenders are for mooring, not to compensate for bad driving!
  13. 9 points
    The last remaining economically independent members of the forum have joined together to form a team. We are of course “The Workers”. Joining me are: @Rob-M My trusty First Officer of past BCN Challenges where his main attribute is that he knows how to boat, a crew needs complimentary skills to their Captain. It also happens that his day job is in the virtual world so he gets the gig again. @tree monkey He’s neither a tree nor a monkey. Or is he, how can we tell in a virtual world? Another Challenge veteran and former winning crew member who comes recommended for his social contributions, which we are looking forward to imbibing after each short day’s cruising. @Dave_P A genuine BCN man. He’s got the inside knowledge. Resident at various places on the BCN over many years now, he’s acclimatised to the altitude and may even understand the locals. Rare skills indeed. We’ve all been hard at work saving the nation from economic meltdown so naturally haven’t had time to even look at the scoresheet. We’ll just make it up as we go along. Dave will know which way the BCN is. Probably. Without time to design our boat we’ve fed all the dimensions of the BCN into a computer programme and it’s currently working out the ideal boat to tackle the BCN. Hopefully it’ll provide us with a design before start time. And admit it folks; no-one knew there even were as many as four members of CWDF that aren’t yet retired. JP
  14. 9 points
    A huge thank you to all the teams for all your hard work. Now....... can we have a drumroll for the results: 1. 501.75 - Team Indigo Dream 🥇 2. 491.87 - Team Firefly 🥈 3. 468.75 - Team Rebellion 🥉 4. 450.25 – The Workers 5. 433.75 – Urban Moorings 6. 393.00 – Whisky Galore 7. 391.30 – Team NB Styxl 8. 359.45 – Team Pugnipeek 9. 338.50 – Steaming Behind 10. 245.50 – Sugar & Spice 11. 242.75 – Anado Solo 12. 40.5 – Team Willum 13. 21.75 – Team Biscuits 14. -3.37 – Barnier’s Stern Gland
  15. 9 points
    Virtuous : We need to be "good for goodness sake." 42-hour Snickers Challenge : It's a modern version of the traditional 24-hour Marathon challenge. With extra peanuts. Crew Slog : The minions have to walk a long way to the next lock. Hello Birmingham! The boys (and the girls) are back in town! We don't need any celebratory bridges ... and we still don't understand why with all the heavy metal bridges available in the area the Black Sabbath Bridge is a brick one! As the Northern canals are still broken, TeamBiscuits aboard NB Good Times have decided to re-enter the BCN challenge, even if it all has to be done by email. (We have BCN'd before, and Zoom is the wrong answer!) TeamBiscuits as usual are: @TheBiscuits (me!) MrsBiscuits (not on the forum) BobBiscuits (not on the forum) Duck-N-Dive (not on the forum) We did invite the Iron Oxide Kid ( @rusty69 ) but he won't play. We think as he is so close to 70 he must be self insulting. We didn't really want him, but he would have been a great excuse for using this picture: Which sounds optimistic, but we are not scared. We are looking forward to seeing just how badly our opposition have misjudged us again ...
  16. 9 points
    Not a great start this morning, but I have been given some free photography advice so it's not been wasted. I nipped outside to take the photo, having already decided that - like in zoom video conferences - I only needed to dress my upper half appropriately, as the winter gear selfie wouldn't show my feet. Whilst stood next to my boat wearing only a beige mackintosh and squinting furiously in the glare - it was surprisingly sunny - I was intercepted by the police. We had a very long and fraught conversation, but then I was given a couple of free photography tips: A long slow exposure is not appropriate for sunny mornings on the towpath, and my suggestion of just going straight to flash was not considered ideal either. I would post the photos, but I don't have that camera anymore ...
  17. 8 points
    Take a short cruise to check your eyesight is OK first though. That will be fine. 😠
  18. 8 points
    If you told Captain Sir Thomas Moore at Xmas gone that by May he would have raised millions for charities, had a number one hit in the charts, been made an honorary colonel and now knighted I imagine he would have thought that you needed your head feeling. But, his one simple and humble goal to raise a thousand caught a public spirit, people admired and respected him for it and for I guess a wartime spirit of optimism. The people took him to heart as an inspiration; he wasn't a puppet pushed on us by the government in some ad campaign. He deserves the praise and recognition for lifting the spirits of so many people in such a brief and dark time.
  19. 8 points
    Morning All. Dr Bob here, well actually it's Dr Bob Jnr, Jnr, Jnr. My great grandad Bob, left instructions in his will to turn up on this forum mid May 2020 and use his login email and password to get access to this thread. He wrote it all out in detail in a sealed letter only to be opened in May 2020. I opened it yesterday so here I am. Looks like I am a week late. Apologies! Quite amazing. It really is. I am really surprised what I found, I am really surprised. In his letter, he talks about his time on the canals in 1918 and how he got there after being forced to walk the plank during some sort of future canal boat challenge (via a strange time travel machine), but because he had taken a load of dosh with him, he decided to stay and made a fortune investing in shares and making a packet off gambling – he bet on all the winners of the FA Cup and the Grand National for the 10 years after he arrived. He remarried and had four girls with now quite an extended family. He wrote a will in 1932 and sealed it in a letter but then in June 1932 disappeared, never to be seen again. The family searched and searched but no joy. He did however give good direction to the family and we have all done very well. Uncle Elon was told to start building electric cars in 2008 when that seemed the last thing anyone wanted. Wow, that was a good call. It really was. Uncle Don was set up in business but told to get into politics. The business side was very successful but his golf seemed to deflect him and it all started to go off the rails – but we all love him. Uncle Bill was told to focus on silicon chips but at the time, we were all thinking that was something to do with fish and chips. He's not done too bad since. Anywho, Great Grandad told me to come on hear and thank Auntie Waitrose and Cpt Ahab for all their great efforts in organising the BCN challenge (at least that is what I think he called it – his writing was awful). He said it was a wonderful week to break the monotony of the 'lock down' (not a clue what that referred to) and despite being told it would only be 2 hours a day, it turned out to be all of the day. It really was a great idea to do it, it really was. He recalls he emailed Auntie Waitrose at least 20 times during the week yet never bought anything from her. That seemed to be one his most treasured memories of the time. He said he longed to do another challenge like it but never got the chance. Great Grandad also thanked the team for their efforts during the week in making it so much fun. He gave me a long list of names but I haven't a clue what or who they are. He listed the names as @mrsmelly @Jennifer McM @peterboat @roland elsdon @Alan de Enfield @rusty69@Laurie.Booth He did say that Rusty remained in 1918 along with him but they lost contact after a while. He hoped that Alan recovered as he seemed to be laid low for the whole week with the virus (we thought he was a goner, we really did) and was likely the person who spread it back to 1918. We shouldn't have laughed when he infected those cyclists. His only disappointment of the week was that we didn't win the challenge. We had such a good boat and such a great team but we didn't seem to put it all together. He wasn't sure why we didn't get more points as he estimated we would be around the 400 mark. How on earth did we get a -ve score? So thanks to Auntie Waitrose and team for such a great, great event and all the other teams for putting together some really interesting ….but not very funny ….logs. His final request in the letter was to say to @TheBiscuits...We thrashed you and where are the noodles! Not a clue what that is all about. So thank you all for letting me in.....I think I may stick around for a while. Dr Bob Jnr, Jnr, Jnr
  20. 8 points
    Thinking this through: When you go through the first lock, where someone else has left a lump of virus, you get it on your gloves. If you then touch your face, (mouth, nose, eyes), you become infected. Also, when you get to the next lock, you leave a lump of the virus from your gloves on the lock, for someone else to pick up. It's unlikely that you will be washing your gloves between locks, and unlikely that you will be disposing of them and putting on a new pair for each lock. If you weren't wearing gloves, you could wash your hands after each lock, doing your best not to touch your face until after you have washed your hands... and so on. I'm no expert, but I think your glove wearing strategy is a really good way to become infected, and to spread the virus, whether you become infected or not. I have no problem with being proved wrong
  21. 8 points
    Lots of good pictures around of today's very high (8.0m) tide in London, this one from Brentford:
  22. 8 points
    It also took our minds away from the fact that the plans I had for Jan's significant birthday were all cancelled. We didn't have time to dwell on it for 6 days or so which is just as well since we couldn't get half the ingredients we needed for a birthday meal (to happen tomorrow now). I am glad the challenge was so well received and possibly more spontaneous for the lack of lengthy and detailed planning. Dave
  23. 8 points
    …....message starts 1101Z !!Stop Press!! It is with great pleasure to introduce the 'Dream Team' for this years BCN Challenge Team “Marnier's Stern Gland” At great personal expense we have pulled together the ultimate in teams to challenge the BCN. This has to be the most expensive team ever assembled. No expense has been spared on people or kit. Let me introduce the team: Captain. @mrsmelly (and Annie). With 75 years experience of all things .anals, Smelly is the perfect captain, and he brings with him two boxes of pork chops from the Pig place. First Officer . @Alan de Enfield. (and Cobweb). A whiz with data and numbers. Knows all the rules and most of the fish jokes. If too many die on board during the week, he should be able to keep a track of it. First Communication Officer . @roland elsdon (and Dr Sue). Roland's on board for his superior communication skills that have plagued graced the forum over the years and Dr Sue is there to sort us out when we get sick. Engineering Officer. @peterboat (and Jayne). Who else to look after the demanding technology at our fingertips today? Voyage Recorder. @Dr Bob (and Mrs Bob) and THE DUCK!!!!! Having the Duck on board is a great honour. THE DUCK was part of the crew of 'Good Times' that won last years BCN Challenge at its first outing. That experience will be vital as we move forward during the week. "Having a winner on board is huge advantage" said someone. Me? I'm just here to write down this load of rubbish each day. Chief of Staff. @Jennifer McM (and John). On her appointment she commented “This is going to be like herding cats, but I have all the excuses”. She brings along with her copious quantities of vitamin D supplements. and introducing our special guest star @Laurie.Booth. A proven winner during the BCN for many many years. Laurie is providing the boat and a wealth of experience of the BCN. Finally, the great news is we have managed to recruit an 'off the boat' technical consultant – @TheBiscuits. The Biscuits was part of the team on 'Good Times' last year that smashed the competition to win the 2019 challenge. He was therefore one of the team supporting THE DUCK to that famous victory. With two of the successful team for last year, who can possibly stop us for this year? Attention @Richard T @Ian Mac @Captain Pegg. Be afraid. Be very afraid. Boat details will be announced tomorrow. The boat naming ceremony is timed for 11.00am local time, Birmingham. …...message timed at 1103Z …...message ends
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  25. 8 points
    The competition has integrity? I for one would never have taken part in the first place if that was announced at the start
  26. 8 points
    Its tight for space on the boat so being the decent monkey I am, i took the bog suite, tbh after the team Tawny bilge bed this is the height of comfort The weather was a bit of a shock but as be prepared is always part of the plan. Snug as a bug in a rug
  27. 7 points
  28. 7 points
    Went to the boat yesterday for first time since mid-March. Everything checked out fine. Engine started straight away. Little two hour cruise- so good! Lots of new ducklings, pair of swans with eight cygnets, buzzards lazily floating on thermals above, even the fisherman was friendly. Although as ‘extremely vulnerable’ I am not supposed to leave the house until the end of June at the earliest, I could get to the boat’s offside mooring without having to go near anybody so worth the risk. Just so good to get out on the boat again.
  29. 7 points
    Help - I'm at a loss to understand how staying overnight on a boat you can visit two days running is any more a threat than the two visits?
  30. 7 points
    All charges dropped. Which was the fair and right result. thanks for all the comments. Its always a right mix bag on here! 😉😂
  31. 7 points
    I'm not too clear as to what work is so urgent. Blacking? a few months not That critical. Depleted anodes? You can always hang a few overboard bonded to the hull with a bit of wire or chain. Galvanic isolator, no big deal if not on shorepower or in a marina. Others may shoot me down but I think you're overthinking the issues.
  32. 7 points
    The lack of clarity is deeply depressing, but only to be expected. The PM is, and always has been , a blustering fool who has appointed yes men to the cabinet. There might be some clarity by the end of the week. Perhaps.
  33. 7 points
    Next time...... we will know where to come to test run the exercise and flush out the unintended consequences. Sadly, after working out the core model of the game we ran out of space on the back of our fag packet!
  34. 7 points
    Congratulations Indigo Dream - that's a very impressive score! We thoroughly enjoyed the challenge, and although I confess I ended up having very little time to read other people's logs I always looked forward to finding out what was going to happen next in The Workers historical investigations. I also kept a close eye on Indigo Dream as they were doing almost the same route as us. For Team Rebellion on nb William, I'm pleased with 3rd place overall - I considered replanning once I understood how the rules on cruising more than 7 hours were being interpreted, but we had quite enough to do without that and it was probably too late to make up the missed points anyway. So I decided we'd just concentrate on winning the mini-league for boats that didn't go over the 7 hour/day cruising time limit - go team! Thanks to all the work put in by the organisers and log readers - it must have been a massive effort to mark all the cruise logs each day! I would say I look forward to doing it again sometime, but I'm not sure I'd want to sign up for another week now I know how much work is involved. Maybe we should just try doing it just over the weekend and in real boats sometime
  35. 7 points
    Well done Jan and Andy and many thanks for your effort! It was more challenging for me than 2014 with Team Poppy. I have been blundering around Bradley Workshops in a grey, sleep deprived, coffee and gingernut fuelled trance for three hours now. Bonus point possibilities for your consideration: Bonus points please for solo challengers for denial of virtual company for six days Bonus points please having to drink alone in a virtual wilderness Bonus points please for being pressured to drink alone at 0500 NZT Bonus points please for discovery of the power of Baltika and Memory Bonus points please for 11h Time-Zone dislocation causing disruption and distress Bonus points please for the virtually certain 14-day virtual quarantine on returning virtually to NZ which is still in real lockdown for international travel. We have only had 20 deaths and 2000 cases. The NZ authorities will be taking no chances. I am sure that they know full well that the 1918 flu epidemic was caused by us on this challenge. Tracing is top-notch and I do not want to be accused of causing the 1918 epidemic. Up until now they have been able to blame troops returning from WW1. Having read in the logs that you may be on a WHO wanted-list, I will take care to ensure that the time-shifting facility is disabled before I re-enter NZ I have had a hard week, I have been up since 4:30 am NZT and I am going back to bed. KiwiBill
  36. 7 points
    I'm pretty sure I got the canalworld development prototype, which is why all our travel has been in 2020 so far. I can honestly say that these photos will not help anyone choose which is the best supplier but will help confirm which one to avoid! It might just need a kick to set it working again, and I'm pretty sure that the accidental beer spillage in Skipton has nothing to do with it's recent performance. This is the device in all it's glory. More detail follows: The unit is powered up by plugging a Sterling charger into an inverter, and connecting the charger output to the inverter input. This removes any need at all for a large battery bank, although the system is not self-starting. The device has additional power and climate control through the use of two ecofans, one on the inverter and one on the fridge. This allows time travel in either a hot or cold direction, and the amount of time travel is regulated by use of the turneyroundytickypluggybox (from the not-very-good-German for "rotary timer socket") The primary operating lever is the unique heart of this device, a green glass object with capabilities previously unknown to humankind: It makes Aunty Wainwright ( @cheshire~rose ) stop trying to sell things and start trying to buy things! The sharper eyed amongst you will have spotted the genuine washing machine pipe curve bracket, being used in alternate mode to stop the glass thing falling off this pile of scrap powerful machine. Technical support was received from the lithium battery boys, with the primary circuit design being a collaboration between @Dr Bob, @peterboat, @Tom and Bex and @MoominPapa Special extra thanks go to @WotEver and @Alan de Enfield for help with selecting the correct types and sizes of cable and advice on joining them for best electrical performance. And a final vote of thanks for @nicknorman for helping source the main drive electronics. We think this may be a fluxxed capacitor!
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  39. 7 points
    Oh drat. Nearly forgot my Captain Slog. Just in case I run out of time, here is the Executive Summary. Some idiots have reopened all these extra lock flights, but nobody seems to have thought to increase the water supply to the Wolverhampton level! This is the picture of the mooring we have been stuck on all bleedin' day. So once again a grand total of 0 miles, 0 locks, 0 bonus, 0 points. We are still at the Junction with Bradley Old Loop on the Wednesbury Oak Loop. CRT are bringing in a rescue crane tomorrow, so hopefully we can start making some real progress then.
  40. 7 points
    Today’s Swan made by my wife, it’s made from beeswax foundation, I am a beekeepeer
  41. 7 points
    welling up here! I think we all have to remember that it is @RLWP and @Mrs Tawny Owl who we really need to thank for letting us play. Can I propose a toast to them please?
  42. 7 points
    Confidential team “Barnier's Stern Gland” Captains Log: Sunday, May 3rd, 1918 Mission Statement : Our 6 day mission is to travel the length and breadth of the BCN amassing the most points ever gathered by a single boat and to go through some locks. We have the greatest bote in the world and we will be victorious. 5 Tests: To achieve our mission, we have established 5 tests to ensure we keep on track. We have an average points per hour count to collect and we have to keep our crew safe and well. The plans are in place to generate the points but the weather has turned colder and most of the crew are in their summer uniforms. Mrs Bob is therefore having to knit socks for all the crew to provide them with the appropriate protection. We are very confident Mrs Bob will have knitted the socks by Friday 8th May. Our 5 tests are therefore as follows:- Test 1. This is the POOP score. Persistent Objective Operative Points, or the average navigation points needed per hour to win the challenge. Here we estimate we need an average of at least 9.31 POOP/hr. This will be monitored hourly each day. Hail, rain, or tempests, no matter what's the weather each team member is required 'give their all' Test 2. Provision of the correct PPE is essential. We need to provide socks for the crew at the rate of 3 pairs per day. 10,000 stitches per sock are needed so that is an average of around 10,000 stitches per hour. The Gov We are throwing all we have to ensure our PPE requirement will be met, whether it be essential dye from avocados, or having the correct wool such as lamb or alpacas. By the end of this challenge all crew members will have warm cosy toes. This metric will be keenly watched. Test 3. Keeping the crew fully motivated is key in our objectives so we need to ensure our Crew Reliability and Performance measure is recorded (CRAP) and is maintained above 91.4%. This metric will be monitored daily. Plenty of provisions will be provided, whether it be flour for breadmaking purposes, or eggs for breakfast. Liquid provisions will also be provided on a desperate need only basis. Stocks of Vitamin D will be held at the appropriate level. Test 4. There is no test 4. Test 5. By adhering to the tests above we can ensure that we beat the previous record in the Challenge by 19.5%. Remember, there are no 'Ifs' or 'Buts' within team Barnier's Stern Glands. This test again will be monitored daily. Overview: Clarrie is currently moored at Fazeley Junction to the north west of Birmingham at space and time coordinates 102982.4590.03051819. All the crew are on board and fully ready for the challenge. New uniforms have been issued to all of the crew and they look resplendent in their dark navy attire with gold edging that matches exactly with the exterior hull colour apart from their socks. Captain Smelly is standing at the helm, proudly showing the hat that comes with the rank, sporting a rather nice peak with gold leaf. We held our first COBRA meeting this afternoon.(Cabin Operations for Barnier's-Stern-Glands Review and Actions). Navigation Status: We have chosen to travel back to 1918 as that is the optimum time to generate maximum navigation points. There has been a major discussion between the senior crew as to whether this is safe. It was suggested that travelling back in time could be a risk, as we could take the virus back with us and that could then kill our grandparents. This would mean we would never be born. I think that would be bad. However, the counter argument is that if we were not born, how could we go back in time therefore not taking the virus back in the first place. This time paradox needs a bit more thought. However, the decision on 1918 has been taken. We are currently moored outside the junior school just south of Fazeley junction on May 3rd, 1918. The weather has turned colder and the rain started as Captain Smelly joined the bote. Bote Status: Peterboat reports all systems working fully. Extra solar panels have been added given the bote turned out longer than we all thought. “This is a great, great bote, it really is very great” said Peterbote. Crew Status: We have 13 crew on board and 11 12 dogs. Captain Smelly is on the helm. @roland elsdon and @Alan de Enfield are pouring over the charts and 3 macBooks in the saloon. We are using advanced Neural Net modelling software to predict scoring scenarios and have arrived at 4 options from this location that give us within 10 navigation points difference in the final score. All 4 options have a back up which will reduce the score by no more than 3.67% in the event the organisers throw some spanners in. The only vulnerability that the models are throwing up are if a certain spanner was thrown in on Wednesday morning (and only Wednesday morning) – which could affect all 4 options. We think the chance of this happening is slight given the inside information we are receiving each day from our mole in the organising team, and frankly they are not clever enough to see where we will be on Wednesday anyway. We have one communication person shuttling information through the teams. We have one person (Peterbote) managing the technology. We have 4 lock handlers. We do not need a shift pattern as we are only doing 7 hour days. We have Dr Sue flying the DJI Mavic 2 drone. This is to spot and identify our competitors and provide us with advance warning to plan our countermeasures. The drone will be flying for 55 minutes each hour we are navigating. The four remaining crew are therefore the SWAT team set up to intercept other botes and create sufficient mayhem to slow them down. Peterbote is making great progress understanding the Automat Sehnsucht. He has now worked out how to make a 5 minute adjustment so that we can go back 5 mins in time but only a maximum of two times per day. This gives us a massive advantage if we reach a lock at the same time as one of our competitors, going in either direction. This gives plenty of time to deploy the SWAT team. Peterbote is also on the point of perfecting our weapons systems. The first is the dog treat projectile delivery system being installed on the drone. As it flies over a competitors boat, it shoots dog treats onto said boat and then we release the 11 12 dogs. It really is mayhem. As the canal is not that deep, we anticipate fatalities will not be too high. I do not have a clue what is happening with the dogs though. They are all over the place. I pick up a packet of twiglets and there's 5 6 mouths slobbering all over me. Positive Indicators: No POOP ratings collected so far Knitting on target with an average of 11,126 stitches per hour made today Our CRAP rating is currently at 100%. Test 4 not met Final score estimated at 19.5% ahead of target. All equipment fully functioning and Lithium batteries fully charged. All systems ready to go. Negative Indicators: None at the current time Actions arising: Keep all systems in A1 shape. Next log due: 2100Z Starwars day, May 4th, 1918. …...log ends.
  43. 7 points
  44. 7 points
    So,the grand reveal of Steaming Behind: Yes,using the Sehnsucht Automat we nipped backin time and had an archimedian screw drive tank fitted with a Boulton and Watt beam engine from his Soho Manufactury just off the Soho Loop. We taught him a few basic things about steam engine design and as a result we've managed to drastically decrease the size of the unit to small enough to sit within the vessel. The screw drive means there's no propeller to foul, so we're impervious to mattress attacks. As a thank you, Mr Boulton is currently making us a gift to sit as a bowsprit. As it's projected to get quite warm onboard with all that steam, we thought we'd make the best of it and set up a small tea plantation. Of course, the ability to warp time means we can have fresh leaf tea on tap, with water heated by the Windemere kettle. The other essential boating beverage is provided by the large fermentation vessel onboard. We fairly quickly realised that it was all a bit damp and hot and miserable to sleep onboard, and Toby the dog was getting bothered by the all-pervasive smell of malt, so we've decided to tow Free Spirit as a butty, which I can only assume gets us extra points. We intend to chug to our starting location tonight
  45. 6 points
    Unfortunately I don't have access to the Cyril Tongue and Groove photo Archive, however I was there! I have just been through my pictures and I cant find one of the locks as restored then. But I do know what it was like in the late 1960's. Marple locks where fairly sophisticated in there original design. The bottom eight locks were restored to full working order by The Peak Forest Canal Society in the late 60's early 70's including making all the bottom paddle gearing work. This was done under the guidances of Cyril Tonge and Groove. His initials being carved into all the new woodwork, which was installed, or that of PFCS in the same sort of oval shape. The locks all had weir bypasses, such that the locks would fill with water before the main by-washes on the pound came into operation. Basically keep as much water uphill as possible, so each lock has a small weir built into the head apron on the offside and another built into the tail behind the bottom offside gate. When the pound filled the first thing that then happens is the lock fills, to stop this flooding there is a second weir at the tail. The paddle gearing. The top of the locks have basically remained unaltered except that the gate paddles are marginally smaller and have single reduction gearing now, rather than the original (pre restoration in 1972-4). There was a large ground paddle with a single wooden post in the forebay on the line side and then there were two danny paddles as they were know in the gates one on either side with two racks connected to one drive shaft, again operated from the line side. I can't remember if they all had two paddles or some had just the one paddle like the modern gates. The ground paddle waters went down a vertical culvert which then twisted and joined the shaft from the weir on the opposite side and exited into the chamber in the middle of the head, about 1 foot off the chamber floor. The culverts where about 2ft in diameter. These have not altered. The chamber floors where all brick except where the bottom cills were, where the floor may be wooden depending on how tight the ground was, ie where the surrounding water table level was normally above the level of the canal water, or maybe a stone floor. The main chamber floor was a brick invert at about a 10ft radius, and at the head of the lock it was all rounded up like quarter of a ball. The sequence of operation was draw about 1/3 of a top ground paddle draw the boat onto the cill, fully raise the ground paddle fully, start to raise the danny paddles, as the risk of flooding the boat passed, fully raise the Dannies fully. Lock levels open the gate, and off you go. The Bottom of the lock had two wooden posts mounted in the recess of the lineside bottom gate. These were bolted to the wall each post had two bolts. These were connected to two paddles mounted in the face of the lineside gate recess, This was an arch construct about 4ft high and 4ft wide, it was constructed of wooden boarding with a centralish pillar, this chamber connected onto a culvert behind which exited into the tail of the lock below the tail bridge, opposite the exit for the weir culvert. On the wooden boarding where two iron paddle frames one about 18inches wide and about 2ft 6inches high the other was about 9inches wide and the same height. In the offline side tail gale was a large gate paddle about 3ft square. At the top of the connecting rods mounted on the appropriate posts was the paddle gearing. The gearing for the narrow paddle was double reduction, the next post had single gear reduction - same as the top ground paddle, then the gate paddle which was on the offline side gate was on a direct drive the same as the Danny paddles at the top. The sequence of operation to empty the lock was to open the double reduction paddle first, then the single reduction and then walk round and open the gate paddle, All of which was done in the time it took, one person to operate them. It was wonderful to operate and was a sad loss, as children rather than very fit butch people could operate the locks. When leaving, at most of them, there was a wooden landing platform on the offside, which was about 3ft wide and 6ft long, it was reached by a set of steps from just beyond the far side of the tail bridge. When the canal was restored in 1972-4 the decision was taken by BW that it was all too complicated for the "modern" boater to cope with and it was a maintenance nightmare, due to leakage into the bottom culverts, so the culverts where blocked off at both ends, and are probably full of concrete grout, and they installed two middling size gate paddle in the bottom gates, with single reduction gearing. However as the first foot was removed originally by the small paddle being opened, it made cracking Marple bottom paddles really hard, as it is too this day I have suggested on more than one occasion it would be a really good project for volunteers to do is to restore the bottom ground paddles. However C&RT have not seen that this is an excellent idea YET!
  46. 6 points
    My daughter is a teacher. She is DESPERATE to get back to work in order to help her children. She would happily work through the traditional summer break in order to try and help the kids make up for lost time. She is not alone.
  47. 6 points
    She is just a child, at least she is doing something with her life, not just grumbling and farting under the blankets like so many on here.. 😷
  48. 6 points
    A bit brisk at Bromford Junction for the start this morning. But the virtual trip from Auckland was painless compared with the usual long, cramped flight with Emirates and I am well under way. The Fourth is with me and my photo proves it. That is not the sun, not a nuclear fireball. It must be the Fourth.
  49. 6 points
    How did you manage that on a lily pad ?
  50. 6 points
    Stop the miserable doom arguments, this thread is light hearted and meant to bring some relief. Go back to the Covid 2 cases or Brexit threads if you want to handbag each other to death.
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