Thursday, August 31, 2017

Battery testing

We woke up and Del tested the batteries again. They were down below 24 volts something we don't let happen. We have not used anything any different and you can tell from this blog we have been moving most of the time.
When we took a voltage reading across each battery it was at 11.8 volts for five of them and 12.7 volts on one. A bit strange! They were all showing a green dot saying they were ok.
Del tested for a discharge and found there wasn't one and then checked the charge rate. We were advised that the battery showing 12.7 volts could be faulty and also told that we should remove all the batteries and then send them to a garage so they could be trickle charged overnight to bring them back up to strength, a bit difficult on a narrowboat when you need power to work domestic things.
So we took the high voltage battery out of the system and one of the 11.8 volts and just rigged up the other four 11.8 voltage batteries to see if they would charge and hold charge better.
When charged they came back up to 12.8 volts and we will now see what they are in the morning.. Phew!
Del also cleaned the brasses today after being away the weekend and Al walked into Willington and found the Co-Op.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A sort out day

It was a lay in this morning for us. Marky and Sian were moving off today and we decided to stay put as we thought we might have a problem with our new batteries. They just seem to be dropping off too quickly like one battery might be faulty. They were all showing green dots as if they were charged but we still feel we are running the engine for far too long.
We will run them down a bit and test them in the morning.
We were nearly full on our waste tank so we decided to turn round and use Orchard Marina, a marina that has been open for five years now.
It had an easy pontoon to get on to and we filled with water, had our pump out and got rid of our rubbish, nice people and great service, we will use them again..
Del then fitted the new button on the bow of Derwent6, and Al made some lovely lemon cakes.
In the evening we did some planning over some two for one pizza's and a bottle of wine..

Bank Holiday Weekend

Blimey where do we start. We hired a car from Lichfield and drove down to Kent to go to Del's Uncle John's funeral in Horton Kirby, where Del lived as little boy..  As funerals always are it was a sad occasion, but very well organised and great to see some of the family we hadn't seen for a while. Del stayed down in Kent and Al came back to Derwent6 at 12.30am in the morning..
Del then went to Wales with the boys and went gliding over the Blwch mountains.

He had a great time, flying every day in light winds as the weather was just fantastic..
Al turned into a bookworm in the sunshine and read two books, chilling out with some time on her own..
Mark found a new front button for Derwent6 as the old one was a bit worse for wear..
Del got back Bank Holiday Monday afternoon and it was a good catch up and a few beers in Lichfield.
Oh Mark and Sian got there prop and rudder sorted but their bank balance was a lot lighter.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Another long day

It was a dank morning and the mist made it feel like it was raining, it felt very autumnal considering it was the middle of August.
We pulled the pins at 8.00am and got to the first lock where things were going swimmingly until Marky came out of the lock and hit a log.

From this point on he had lost a lot of power, so at 1mph we kept on going.
With some lovely views of Cannock Chase on our right we meandered through the countryside. The vibration on n.b Mochyn Du got so bad that we had to pull over and stop.
We had a look and thought it was the gearbox, but on further investigation could see that the blade on the prop had bent out of line with the other blades.
We were on a mission and needed to get to our destination today, so we left Mark & Sian with a technician on his way to see if anything could be done..
We made our way over the Aqueduct of the River Trent.

We then passed through Rugeley which was a bit tight in places and blocked by over hanging weeping willows..

The next hurdle was the narrows at Armitage which used to be a tunnel.
Then it was on to the Armitage Shanks factory where a loo or two is made.
We passed through Handsacre and soon got to the locks at Fradley Junction.

We took the turn onto the Coventry Canal.
We passed this boat with two birds of prey on his roof

After the swingbridge and five hours cruising we found a favorite place to moor up.
In the evening we walked along to the Plough pub and had a lovely meal together..

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Down to Great Haywood

Feeling very tired we set off at 7.45am this morning with some lovely bright sunshine..  It was just one of those days for cruising.
We had planned to put in some miles today, but being tired and doing locks is not a good combination..

The locks on this section are well spread out and pretty in their surroundings as the canal travels through the Trent Valley.
We got to a little place called Weston Upon Trent which will need some investigating next time we're up here.
We were getting below 50 litres of diesel so we decided to stop at Great Haywood marina as we had used it before.
When we came out of there we then got to the junction and topped up with water. It was so busy here, no sooner were you on the tap, people were asking how long you would be to get you off.
Al had walked over to the farm shop close by for some fresh fruit and veg and Del had to hover to pick her up.
After going through the next lock we caught up with Marky and Sian who had saved us a mooring at Shugborough Hall.

We chilled in the afternoon, followed by a dvd and watched the rain come down later in the evening.

Rolling Stone

We set off from Wedgwood at 7.30am and left Marky and Sian as they wanted to walk round the pottery factory like we did.
It was a lovely sunny morning and very peaceful as we passed through Barlaston and on to the Meaford flight of four locks.

Being single locks again it was all very easy going and we were taking in the scenery
These lock are a bit unusual, with the small bridges that have a gap for the rope for the horses, and  made of a metal structure.

Its only about a mile from here that you hit the outskirts of Stone, an old Canal town which in its day was a hub for bargee's

Here are another four locks and they are spread out a bit but still easy to use.

You can still see the old rope rollers on the bridges which helped speed things up and stopped the ropes rubbing on the brickwork.

The Star pub on the bottom lock is in the Guinness book of records for having the most rooms on different levels, and that got our taste buds going, so time to moor up.
We managed to get in just round the corner of the bottom lock, not far from the town..
We got ourselves ready and then walked up the high street. Stone is very quaint and has everything you need.
After picking up a few bits and sussing it all out we went back home for some lunch.. At 4.00pm Mark and Sian came down the locks to join us and managed to moor close by..
Ready again at six we walked up to The Star for that promised drink. We did another couple of pubs before we went to The crown of India restaurant for yes, you guessed it, another curry.
When we came out we walked to The Swan pub as they had some live music on. The band were called Jukebox Heroes and the lead guitarist was just fantastic as they covered most rock numbers, inc Bon Jovi which pleased Al.

It was another late night and we fell into bed at 1.00am, good job we made the bed before we went out.