Monday, July 29, 2019

Battery and Engine update

What a contrast! We had rain all day today and not much solar, so after six days of being static we  ran the engine for an hour and a half. We didn't have to as we were running at 59%, but we like to keep the lithium batteries at 80% and we wanted to use things when we wanted to without thinking, batteries!
If we were back on the old lead acid system we would have had to run the engine at least two hours a day, a saving of ten and a half hours of running the engine and a saving on diesel.

So where are we on the engine side of things I hear you ask. Well the second modified clamp was fitted at 7805 engine hours, and because we are mainly using the engine now for just cruising, we have now done 7930.5. So we have done 125.5 hours since the clamp was done and it has to be all checked again at 600 hours.
We still have no confidence in the engine at all and already we can hear strange squeaking noises when the engine is turned off. This is probably because of the load on the crankshaft keyway when the engine is started, and the compression when it is turned off. We have done all the correct procedures that Beta wanted us to do, and even exceeded this by checking the paint marks even when we check the levels.. So watch this space to see if this clamp fixes our problem..

Sunday, July 28, 2019

PHEW! 39 degrees

Well its been too hot to do anything, even blogging is an effort. All the boating jobs have had to be done by 11.00am or forget it.. We had that horrendous storm the first night which did keep us awake and even Tooty was cuddling up thinking what is this all about..

But the good news is that Solar has been keeping us going FOC. The panels have been turning off by lunchtime and the batteries have been running very happily at 80%.
  The other good thing is Del hasn't had to do the brasses for ages.. The temperature has been 39 degrees.
We have enjoyed watching the World Championships in the swimming and it has just been a case of keeping cool, sometimes even putting the bungs in the windows and putting us in darkness.
Del has been out flying his glider as the thermals have been fantastic.
Here are a few shots of him flying over Derwent6, but again he had to be careful of heat exhaustion. Stopping and drinking was the key.

This is where we are so grateful for our size of water tank as we have been able to get all our washing done and take a cold shower when we want, sometimes three times a day..
Water levels on the lower Oxford still seem to be alright, but we marked the level when we arrived, and it has stayed the same with the help of the storm.   Tooty has suffered a bit in the hot weather  and we have had to douse him down a few times which he loves.. He is however enjoying the fact that we are on our own here and he has the place to himself. The BBQ is getting a pounding as it has been so nice in the evenings..

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Time to Chill, in the middle of nowhere!

We were up early and wanted to get on the water point.. We had stayed put for 5 days and had visits from Tanya and Steve, and Al went down to London to see Hannah and a musical. All that time we only had to run the engine for an hour and a half due to the fact Tanya needed hot water and our batteries were at 60% due to not much solar yesterday, so we gave them a boost.. We are still amazed!
The water point was empty, but it was a slow tap, so it was kettle on and breakfast which was hot cross buns..
After an hour we set off again through Shipton on Cherwell.
We soon got to Shipton Weir lock with its diamond shape and was soon on the river Cherwell.
At Bakers lock we were on the flightpath to Oxford London Airport and had the telescopes in the background..

We passed through Gibraltar and on to Pigeons Lock.
 The canal then goes into a river like mode as you pass through reeds and undergrowth, and this little fella stayed with us for about three miles.
After passing through Lower Heyford we did the electric Mills lift bridge..

At Heyford common lock we took a breather as its tight to get in this lock.
Al had done a lovely lunch.
 It was then the 12 feet Somerton Deep which is another very tight lock going in and very deep once you're in..

It is a pretty lock though..
We carried on for another mile and moored up on one of our favourite moorings in the middle of nowhere.. Lovely! That will do for a few days!
 Al had done some washing and hung it all out to dry on the line.. Del did some updates on the BMS system just to keep things tickerty boo.

A day of Goddaughter's

We were up early to see Tanya leave, she seemed so organised as she put on her work gear and set off to Gatwick, it was lovely to see her.
Derwent6 always seems so empty when guests leave, but Al had a busy day ahead with our other goddaughter.
Al got the bus to Oxford Parkway and then into London.
She met Hannah at Charring Cross and then they had something to eat at MEATmarket. Mmm Chilli Chips
From there they went to the see "Waitress" the musical at Adelphi theatre.
They both split in London and Al was back to Derwent6 by 7.30pm.
The following morning we had a bit of a lay in, then Del did the brasses and a bit of paintwork from the damage done by the locks and moorings on the Thames and KandA, while Al did some washing and boat work.
We went over to the Boat Inn for a Sunday lunch carvery and got back in time for our Tesco delivery later in the afternoon..
We hadn't seen the cat all day and wondered when he would be back tonight as we want to move off tomorrow..  We haven't had to run the engine while we have been on the seven day moorings at Thrupp due to good solar.

Tanya for a day

They forecast thunderstorms during the night and day but we didn't get any. What we did get was heavy rain turning light and then heavy again. It was a shame because we had Tanya on board, but to be honest she just wanted to chill out with us.. 
We had a lazy start to the day and then the girls went out to the nearby shops for an hour.
When they got back we took a walk up to Annie's tearooms for a bit of lunch..
 They do some great teas up there and the boaters sandwiches are lovely..

We then walked back and relaxed in the afternoon. While out shopping Tanya had got all the produce for a lovely pasta dinner for the evening..
 The rain didn't stop all day, but we do need it of course.
Tanya cooked her speciality in the evening and very special it was too, all the plates were cleared..
We then played a card game in the evening till late, with wine, and sweet nibbles for dessert..
Tanya had a text to say she was working, so had an early start in the morning, so we all had to get our heads down..

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Surprise guests!

We woke up to rain, yes rain, you know the stuff that falls from the sky.. That was a good thing because it meant Del could wipe down Derwent6 and get that dust off..
There is no better water to use that rain water for cleaning the paintwork, never use a washing up liquid.
We had quite a lazy day today, but things were going to get busy again in the evening..
At 5.00pm Tanya, our god daughter, arrived who is staying for a couple of days.
At 5.15pm Del's mate Steve (Tanya's Dad) arrived, armed with some lovely donuts. Steve had been working in Liverpool and on his way back dropped in to break up the journey and miss the rush hour. We chatted in the cratch till the pub was serving food.
We then we walked down to the Jolly Boatman and had a bite to eat.
Steve had to drive back to Kent afterwards and we said our goodbyes..
Tanya stayed with us the night.

Friday, July 19, 2019

On to Thrupp

We made the decision to leave this morning even though we had a good spot with good signals..
We did have the dredger going by every half an hour but it wasn't a problem.. Still as we were just about to push off a hire boat went past us and we sat behind them at the lock.
It was another beautiful day, and this section was now dredged so it was lovely cruising.
We soon entered Thrupp, and we do like it here, the trouble is the moorings are few and far between if you want to stay longer than 2 days..
We needed four days, and as we came round the corner we could see a mooring available on the 7 day moorings.. Wonderful! we were sorted...
So what shall we do tonight? Pub x 2, tearooms, a walk, or a film.. Life is good!!
We had some nibbles out the front and then walked down to the Jolly Boatman, and in there we met Maffi, Susan, Martin and Molly the dog who we joined.. It was a good catch up and drinks all round till 11.15pm.
The perfect end to a perfect day!