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Team “Barnier's Stern Gland” Virtual BCN Challenge 2020 Cruise Log

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Peter had forgot to tell the crew about the seriously leaking stern gland, so whilst the crew were eating he decided to fix it, he helped himself the the one size fits all Barniers stuffing gland rope and set to. Half an hour later the bilge pump was only just coping and Peter realised that one size fits all doesnt really work so he looked for something else and found the knitting wool, now this worked well and very soon the leak was a distant memory, so he went down for a butty and a cup of tea. However as he passed the effluent digester he notice it was rumbling, but he put this down to the huge amount of poo that the crew and dogs were making, he twiddled a knob and diverted some of the methane to the heating system to warm the boat up, satisfied that all was well he went downstairs proud to be on this really great bote a fine bote perhaps the best bote ever built...................

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Personal Log – Jennifer


Log Time Started – 1818 hrs, 1918


Mrs Bob is struggling to keep her fingers and needles supplied with wool. Therefore serious times call for serious actions, this is why the SWOT team which included Mrs Bob; was deployed to replenish woollen socks stocks. Amazing the lengths our crack team will go when the prospect of cold feet threatens.


It took a fair bit of the morning to hunt for the perfect sheep that are endowed with just the right type of 3 ply wool. Eventually after several gruelling hours of snaking through towpath mud on our svelte yet muscular six-packs, our elite SWOT team came across a group of sheep who were closely flocking together. There was one (well there always is....) who raised her head above the flock and looked towards our tremendous troop 'our troop's absolutely tremendous', obviously disturbed by the noise the duck accidentally (so he said) made.


The wool on the sheep's back was white fluffy, and our eyes widened with the prospect of warm cosy toes.


How many sheep are there in this field” Mrs Bob said, as she mentally calculated how many stitches she could knit from each sheep's wool.


I've counted 27” said I squinting through the sun at the sheep.


Rusty, who's always the first to volunteer when there's a job to be done, rushed into the field; I'll round them up”, he said and with a nod of his head he whispered “that'll be about 30”!


The sheep were expertly and with a certain amount of aplomb from Taff the professionally trained sheepdog, quickly corralled the sheep into a corner making it super easy for Mrs Bob to strip the sheep of their coats.... sheer brilliance!


Note: In the interests of being PC, no dogs (cept Taff) were involved in this exercise... well at least not in the end!


Log ends


1918 hrs 1918


Edited by Jennifer McM
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3 hours ago, Jennifer McM said:


Rusty, who's always the first to volunteer when there's a job to be done, rushed into the field; I'll round them up”, he said and with a nod of his head he whispered “that'll be about 30”!




Now I'm confused.

Was that Rusty the First Security Officer or Rusty the acting First Officer?

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48 minutes ago, peterboat said:

Taff was definitely there with Rusty he told me so 

Yea, but we've got two of 'em.

One's a woman and one isn't.

One's a GSD and one isn't.

..and one wears tight leather cat suits and the other doesnt

(where is Alan de E when you need him?)

Who was chasing sheep today?

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Rustys Personal log (private).


<Encryption On>


I was once again locked in the engine room overnight. My days tasks completed without even a thanks. I waited until all was quiet aboard and everyone was sleeping.I opened the door to the rayburn and shimmied up the inside of the flu pipe. I entered the front of the boat to have a look about.There appeared to be lots of empty wine bottles, and boxes of dog biscuits lying about.


I bumped into the Scottish lady, she seemed very nice.She apparently has a dog called Rusty. I ask you, hurrumph. 


I caught a glimpse of the Muppets office, he had left the door ajar (Q.When is a door not a door? A. When it's a jar!). Anyways on one of his many computer screens were lots of messages headed "Top Secret" from someone called Biscuits.


I heard footsteps,so got out quick, and returned to the engine room.


On the way back I bumped into another crewman relieving himself off the taffrail. He muttered something about being Smelly and that the crew were revolting.I know how he feels, I've been down that engine ole, weedhatch and flue pipe for days without even a power shower onboard.


<Encryption off>


Rustys Personal log supplemental (private).


<Encryption On>


Must remember to wash off this coal dust before sunrise. Time to sleep.




<Encryption Off>

Edited by rusty69
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I have a dream a very positive dream, such a dream full of posivity. Some days you just know just know that we can make things great again, totally great. I can feel a stirring you all know that feeling I’m sure , we  are on the verge of great great greatness.

Things today are going to be massively phenomenal for us. Hugely massively and largely as well, I know it’s true. We’ve had a tough few days tough, but today I’m sure we can move this massive huge big endeavour forward.

While I have your attention people at this vital critical important time can Injust mention 5g.

Mark my words I want to correct a little misunderstand about yesterdays technical discussion on 5g.

I invented 5g, 5g.you know, but they have  you know no respect for that. A lotta people lotta people don’t realise that I had that idea. One day I said to Ivanka, Ivanka there’s got to be a lot of people out in the country, who don’t live near a cell tower who want the internet, but you know they do live near a light thing, you know the poles that shine the light on the walkway. I don’t know how it happened but someone with a really strong strong microphone picked that up, must have been the Koreans. Anyway those criminals ( washboardings too good for them) have stolen my idea, and now they have sold it to their friends the Chinese.

The poles are clearly the issue, I strongly say to you, get rid of the poles build a wall round them. Hell rebuild that wall in Europe and we can make America great again.

Get rid of the poles and we can be friends and get a truly great trade deal with China.

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…....message starts 1101Z

May 6th, 2020

!!Stop Press!!

Tamworth Herald


More on Covid 19 link

Reports continue to circulate around the cause of the 1918 'Flu pandemic. Further rumours from TITS (Tamworth Institute of Tropical Science) confirm that the strain of virus that swept Western Europe in late 1918 was exactly the same as sweeping the world now, the Sars – Covid -2 strain.

It is unknown why this link had not been established before as experts had pointed to the current virus orginating in China in late 2019. Evidence now, clearly pointing to the fact that the Sars -Covid – 2 strain is at least 100 years old – has only come to light in the past 2 days which is puzzling researchers. The amount of documentation surrounding the 1918 pandemic showing the link seems to be growing by the hour leading to claims that our Scientists have been negligent in searching for cures to the virus.

One strange rumour from TITS is that the epicentre of the Europe wide 1918 pandemic was near Tamworth and likely to have originated in early summer that year.

No one at TITS was available to comment.

Our reporter was able to gather local comments and spoke to Mrs Elsie Dee, who said “U’s a daft wun, spouting tripe yer jessie, kitties got a bitoff llury. Ofter quack with little shite ”


Further updates will be provided.

….....message timed at 1040Z

….....message ends.

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I've just used the time drive to nip over to tomorrow morning at 0530 to post tomorrows log so I can have a lie in tomorrow (Hope that's ok).


Rusty's personal log (private)

<encryption on>
      The crew grow cress-less 
<encryption off>
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Personal log. Dr Bob.

Well we moved today but I managed to get out early to do a bit more shooting. Lots of birdies out early on. It's migration season you know so lots of exotic stuff moving. Best two of the day are a Sedge Warbler and a Goldcrest so just common ones. Maybe tomorrow there will be something more exotic?

Screen Shot 2020-05-06 at 14.44.42.png

Screen Shot 2020-05-06 at 14.45.47.png

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What is often not appreciated by those reading thse cruise logs is that, as well as all the imagination and creativity that goes into what you read here, the organisers are often subect to communications that are equally as creative and often quite hilarious. It doesn't seem fair that the teams only get judged on what they post here without the "other stuff" being taken into consideration and so I thought I would share this teams entry into the ornithology quiz yesterday with the readers.


I was to make the point of stating that we will not be discriminating on the fact that the author clearly has some disability - possibly some sorm of dyslexia? Their spelling of Aqueduct is a little - off - but we knew what they meant and so points were allowed where the answer would have been correct if spelled correctly








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Thanks Auntie Waitrose. Is this a cunning plan to lull us into a false sense of security and sell us something? The AAW device is working well you know.


They were all Rusty's answers, It was the best we could do.


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31 minutes ago, cheshire~rose said:

I was to make the point of stating that we will not be discriminating on the fact that the author clearly has some disability - possibly some sorm of dyslexia?



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                                 team “Barnier’s Stern Gland”



Important first draft for goodness sake don’t don’t don’t put this out Dr Bob  ok,     there are slight embellishments to the truth.


Captains Log:

Wednesday May 6 1918.


5 Tests


To recap (synopsis )

stay well, get points, knit socks cold by Friday,oh yes earn points.

avoid mission creep Same old same old 

Raw data on tests below.


Bms  72% 

Poop    run out of black bags with 12 dogs.

PPE.     ongoing. Overlock running at 40% capacity. Enough yak wool currently, may have to raid local fields it’s lamb season.

CRAP.   100% Good plan to only allow alcohol free drink last night.



Mission Statement.

Our six day mission is to travel a bit of 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 largest boat on the water and we will win regardless, cheating is an option.


Sub Mission ( with hold  from public ok Andy please remove from draft)


  • Get this bloody thing off the bank and at least in a lock. The locals are armed with pitchforks and a variety of looted reliant robin parts.



  • 0900 Fishers Mill Bridge.

    Crew off for social distance walk around nature reserve should be back any minute, this is under government guideline 42. They are  at least 2 metres apart.

    Guarantee one hour walk . We have to get on with this points at stake , move it, move it move it. 


    10 am 

    Dr Bob playing spot the what? An hour to get his special camera, time , Dr time.






oh come on Bob it’s not moving, and  we are not waiting till it does, I’m sure it’s rusty and now there are 3 rustys.


12 noon We are moving, really moving, it’s quite moving.The boat is only moving.  


12.05  Would Jen please untie the stern line and report.


12.10 Rusty please return to the weed hatch, I’m seeing triple.



Now we have a special live report as sent to the bcbc news by

                                                Angus Drone


Dr S (Chief lock wheeler)  has been seen confidently placed the brand new Dunton Windlass on the spindle, and cracking the paddle. 

Nothing, the piscatorial primeval pirates of Poleshill have removed the ratchets (again).  She  so confidently swung over the beams ; but tragically    ‘ splash’ the Dunton  danced.


She can be heard now,


  “Smelly you’re the man with two of everything where’s the spare. “ 

“EBay, I’ve got five quid on it and it ends tomorrow , Free delivery you know.”


 That’s all for now  from Angus Drone ,  a brave brave crew of about 11 people, and 13  or so dogs once again in trouble on their quest for maximum points.

This was Angus  Drone  From the Black Country Broadcasting Company.  



Crew Status 


Dr S stamped back to the boat.

“Ok we have 4 Apple Macs doing nothing but modelling , and bit coin mining, several physicists , a couple of engineers ,  enough power to cast a new windlass , several retrievers and many pairs of socks.. 


Smelly won’t up the eBay bid and is allergic to buy it now, so I reckon we can create an aluminium magnet by 4pm , we have the power.


With the sun darkening as the mighty macs sucked power through the panels, great minds toiled , Alan worked on marketing the product, Peterboat on the solar elements, Dr S ,Bob,  Rusty and the Duck worked the science. Jen worried about the Poop points,  and scavenged for yak wool, over and over the click of knitting needles, clattering away, if anything was at 100000 a day it was ppe.


Cptn  Smelly put up his umbrella, and started looking for alternative transport on eBay , for under £500 quid with a years mot, The rain stayed away. 


                                            Buy it now £500



Roland broke ranks by going off on his bike to try and find a windlass from a local boat. ( Smelly said that was a Victorian idea)  


As he rode  mentally imaged the interaction 

“ Eye up me duck hast you got a wibbly  wobbly windy thing. “

“No mate i is a continuous moorer init”

Probably not looking good for a windlass then.


Boat Status

Stationary. Smelly ( bloody pump out) . Sulking. solar charging. 



3 Pm The sound of knitting little else. 

4pm The sound of knitting stopped.


Navigation status.

Poised Below the lock. Batteries at 110 % ready to rock, ready ready really ready.

First real time it’s been really ready.



Crew Status.


The Duck is seriously fed up. It was supposed to be an aluminium magnet and I’m being dragged from pillar to post, it’s gone so wrong. 

Unless we now make a plastic windlass and throw it in your device is useless. Every time you turn it on I get a tingling feeling and want to meet lady  ducks, but then I go flying backward.  What does eureka mean? 




                                  Slightly upset Duck



Rusty the retriever is puzzled.  The other Rusty  is even more puzzled  but that’s normal, He keeps jumping in (the canine version just to avoid confusion, as we  have none of that ever, ) and picking up lost steel windlasses , only to have Captain Smelly  mutter ‘ I’m going to win the auction ‘ and hurl them back in . Rusty is contemplating jumping ship , he is thinking about alligators and swamp ,but being a dog, just keeps retrieving.


    Rusty’s bad thoughts ( canine)



Suddenly a burst of activity Ppe saves the day!


A triumphant Mrs  Bob walks to the lock carrying a size 104 ( Uk not euro) sock. With the help of Jen, she drags the lock mouth. Eureka the glint of aluminium amongst the sea of steel windlasses, and broken ford Sierra ignition barrels. Who needs a magnet 2 doctors and 100 years of further education when you can knit. Those victorians were smart..


We can go, really go, we are away into the locks and up to the Fleshpots of Minworth, and rural idle of castle vale. Points points and we all know what points mean!


Captain Smelly hurls the steel windlasses back into the cut,  takes a firm grip on the tiller, while Rusty turns over and gives him the look. 


5 pm 2 hrs of boating on the warp drive............



CRT wheel down the towpath on the Victorian device. In a trice and with full CRT distancing the locks are on the flight, lockdown in The Uk again.




             crt lock locked with locks



“Damn it we  may have lost a point.”



4 Tests


Poop Score.        -1 Wrong place wrong time.


Ppe.                        1 size 104 Uk sock. 100000 stitches. Performance criteria 

                                 achieved. Mrs Bob has a flyby of geese, and a resounding clap.



Outcome under the DAbbott official mathematical formulation  

Cse grade 1 -94.65%.      Result. Highest ever grade.


 ( please note post stewards enquiry this has been reduced to

-0. 9465 % but still a great result for the day.)


Test Four. Not collated in post, undergoing development.


Test Five 19% Don’t know why.



Negative indicators.


None significant  save  upset locals .

New species in Tamworth

Plastic  magnet ( patent pending )created.

Duck irritated, but also all tingly.


Actions Arising


Feed the dogs, go to the virtual pub.

BS inspection by 1900.

Tomorrow using the new map we will be gone.




                                                 Canalmap to victory


Next log due Thurs (7 may) St Dennis day patent saint of inventors .1918


Thank Dennis that’s finished 

Log ends.

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Peterbotes Chief and only engineer supplementary Log


Peter was unhappy no matter how much he told Capt Tim" that the boat canna take it the warp drive isna upta it" Tim had gone on at full power! The crew on Dyno cycles had been peddling for what seemed days [in reality minutes] and were recovering with Pursers rum double rations! Barniers stern tube was a ok now that it had been bodged expertly repaired with the stolen wool, great british craftmenship at its best from finest englis sheep. Peter was a tad concerned about the methane converter, it was bubbling noisily and because of the huge crew and dogs filling up rapidly from the two composting bogs. "He said to Taff tomorrow I better sort that out a burst on the methane jet drive to relieve pressure or I think I could build a methane powered generator to charge the batteries" With that he went down to the storeroom to get the bits, noticing on the way even more solar panels had been nicked, "Taff I dont know what they are using them for but I will electrify them tonight that will sort them". He sighed and connected the tesla gennie to them and continued on his way............................wobbling from the Pursers rum, thinking it was a fine bote a brilliant bote perhaps the best bote ever built

Edited by peterboat
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4 minutes ago, Dr Bob said:

My God! What have I done?

Not much in the last two hours, where you bin??

5 minutes ago, john6767 said:

At the end of all this it there going to be a transcript of this thread in English, I have no idea what is going on here ?

You can join the crew if you like, we haven't got a clue either.

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