Monday, 29 June 2015

Locking up

Another day went to plan today. We got away around 7.15, Sheila locking and yours truly steering. Sheila coped with all eight locks without too much trouble, though I'd have taken over if necessary, naturally. She got a washload running between Shade House and Woodend and we had an excellent run along one of the Trent and Mersey's best rural sections.

Alrewas had been packed solid, so it was quite surprising to see Fradley downright deserted, with just three boats on the Visitor Moorings between Keepers and Junction Locks. Similarly, the handy stretch of towpath moorings just beyond Kings Bromley marina had one boat on it, though that's always less popular in the summer. It's a lurking spot for continuous cruisers, really, there being no facilities like pubs or shops anywhere nearby, and in the summer the overhanging trees encourage birds to sit above your boat and engage in a bit of modern art all over your roof.

Well, the modern art looks a lot like what the birds produce as far as I'm concerned. ;)

We've tied just beyond the winding hole in Handsacre, one of three boats here and with another two on the official VMs opposite the Crown. One of our co-moorers is Dave on Anon..., but he's not advertising any chocolate today to Sheila's disappointment. The washing is drying and we've been largely loafing in the sun after our exercise this morning.

Checking the batteries immediately after we stopped showed that the forwardmost one was a bit too warm, between 40 and 45ºC. The others were progressively cooler until the sternmost block was between 30 and 35º. The steel rack on which they sit was at a similar tempreature, so it's not internal heating of the cells, it's the ambient temperature running too high for comfort. That first block is close to both the skin tank and the engine coolant header tank.

When we get to Braidbar in September I'll have to have a conversation with Peter about better ventilation there, as running at those temperatures will be shortening the battery life. We could probably manage without the first battery, in fact. The electrics are so efficient these days, and we don't do much winter cruising now, that 460 Ah is more than we need. 345 Ah would be plenty, I reckon.

Tomorrow, we'll make a later start so as to get to the Rugeley shopping mooring at around ten. A visit to Tesco is indicated, then carrying on to our usual spot at Bridge 69, aka the Pig Farm.

Hang on, it's going to be the hottest day of the year so far...

Finally, the photo of Sanity Again in Alrewas:

(c) Sheila Napier



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