On Saturday afternoon, we had a 4 hour chug up to Calder Grove (where we used to live), turned and then moored for the night just above the top lock away from the pub.
It was a lovely summer evening and after a week on the wagon, the wine was much appreciated.
Those of you that have NOT completed your foot aversion therapy turn away now lol.
The towpath there is much less walked than on our mooring and Andy set to to
smoke our tea BBQ.
As the light began to fade, the temperature fell a bit and (being 'Mr Organised' and having a fire pre-set to light) I chucked a match on and the boat was toasty in no time.
It's amazing HOW much quieter it is down there compared to our home mooring... no drunkards staggering down the path talking/shouting loudly come closing time - just us ;)
BEFORE our trip out however, you'll recall I'd planned on doing another Equalisation charge... a proper one this time, on the now SMALLER battery bank.
Having checked the electrolyte levels on the remaining batteries and then got them fully charged (well the charge current showing less than 1 amp across the 3) I fiddled properly with the settings on the inverter charger, filled up the genny with petrol and began the 4 hour cycle.
THIS time, rather than moving the boat away from our mooring (no one else seems to bother) we stayed put and began the task.
THIS time, you can see the charge voltage was MUCH higher and it was forcing another 12.96amps in across the batteries...I made sure to open the weed-hatch access point to improve the ventilation to the engine bay and at the end of the cycle all appeared well.
4 days on, I think it's fair to say that THIS time, it has improved things... the batteries are keeping a higher voltage overnight and for the last 2 days (what with the solar topping up) we've not ran the engine at all - using the webasto for a couple of hours for hot water... AND that's including doing a couple of loads of washing (using hot water to fill - more about that in another post).
It'll be winter soon enough and we'll have no choice other than using the engine for couple of hours per day for hot water and battery charging... it's good to have the new generator though to keep the servicing costs down... for now though, it's good to be finally utilising the solar panels to their full potential.
TIME to explain the reference to idiots in the post title...although not wanting to end on a negative, all this "share the space" rubbish CRT keep coming up with - whilst
naively idealistic well intentioned is wasted on many "users" ( them being the NONE-paying kind)... I'll elucidate:
Lets Start with fisher-people.... On route up to Calder Grove (Broad cut) we moored on the lock landing on the river and whilst Andy went to set the lock a young fisher-woman began setting up her stall... RIGHT at the front of the boat ...
I mean - HOW thick can people be? - she got her chair out and tackle ready... in disbelief I called forward it might be an idea to WAIT until I'd moved the boat in to the lock before extending her rod... she wasn't going to... "it's OK - I can move it" she replied. OK to be fair she DID but on suggesting she might be better off fishing a little down (or up) the river so as not to get in the way of boating traffic she hurled a load of (luckily foreign) abuse my direction - culminating in an English but of "I'll fish where I like" - charming...
I suppose I could have said nothing... live and let live and all that but generally I find that once you explain to someone the reason why something is not a good idea, they respond positively... just not in her case... although when I say HER case, on return, we needed to fill up with water and whilst the point itself IS clear, there was a boat moored to the right and fisher-MAN to the left - effectively putting the point out of use as given OUR hoses would not reach the water point on the boat from where we could have fitted in, I doubt many other peoples would either.
I suggested to the chap that if he could move even 15 foot to the left (his right) that would open up the water point again... to which he replied there was plenty of room to fit a boat in the space... which of course there was but not without the risk of snapping his rod off in the mooring procedure and once in, it would not be usable anyway...
we chugged on to the slower water point down at the sanitary station...
The final idiot (well actually a family of them) were Eastern Europeans enjoying the nice weather and
getting r-soled picnicking at the side of Fall Ing lock...
As I entered the lock, the fellow in my photo was encouraging the child to climb down the ladder in the lock... with ME manoeuvring 16 tonnes of boat just feet away... The woman with a windlass shouted at him (about the same time as I did) to get the kid out of the lock as if the wind blew the boat he'd be crushed... and it'd be perceived as my fault.
I despair of some parents... To give him SOME credit though, when he re-joined his group (just out of photo shot to the right) - he WASN'T mixing his drinks... he had a bottle of coke in one hand and vodka in the other... taking alternate swigs from each ... classy responsible parenting...
Until Next time...