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Thursday, 1 May 2014

Day off.

The weather forecast was not very good for today, so as we are not in a hurry we decided to have a day in the wilds. The mooring is nice and quiet so no better place really. Yesterday evening's thunder and lightning really scared Macy the cat but she was fine as soon as it it stopped. It rained over breakfast and then it was supposed to continue on and off all day. In the end it was overcast and occasional drizzle but on the whole not too bad. It was so miserable we decided to light the fire so that meant cleaning out the cold ashes first and then getting some coal and logs in. I then started the engine and as it was on decided to do the ironing. (sorry Heather, but habits are hard to break). Helen was baking a lemon drizzle cake which has turned out very tastily.

In the afternoon it didn't look like the rain was going to come so I decided to check the batteries. It is a month since I checked them previously and as I hadn't checked them ever last year as I simply couldn't access them I wanted to see how they fared. All boaters have a 'fear' of their batteries as you can never see what state they are in, and so how much power you have. If you regularly discharge them below 50% charge you can seriously damage them. Batteries are very expensive so it pays to make them last as long as possible. I checked the specific gravitates of each cell of the five batteries. The specific gravitates varied between 1.280 and 1.230 and none of the cells in a battery were more than 0.05 different from each other. That seems to show that the start battery was fully charged and the four domestic batteries were between 80 and 95% fully charged. This is an enormous relief as that shows that our regime is working. I topped up each of the cells, all need some but some more than others, checked the battery connections and added a bit of Vaseline where required. I have decided that I will check them every month. Next time I need new batteries I will check out the dry batteries.

I no longer need to get into this position to check the batteries.

Whilst the weather was still okay I also thought I would refill the stern bearing greaser as it was nearly screwed down to the limit. I finished the tub of grease I had filling it up so will have to look for some more waterproof grease.

Last year at this time we were in Polesworth on the Coventry Canal. Looking at the photos it seems that the trees were just about at the same degree of leaf so maybe we aren't that far ahead as we thought.

Down the Atherstone flight last year with the leaves at about the same stage as today.

Helen under the arch of the Tudor Gatehouse in Polesworth.

In the month we have been away this year we have run the engine for over 91 hours. Last year we only had 58 hours on the clock. I don't feel that we have traveled a lot more than last year, in fact I thought we had been tied up much longer than 2013 where we seemed to move everyday. We have covered many more miles and so far this year we have already been through 134 locks! Last year it was only 48 by the end of May and it was mid June before we had completed 134. Mind you I think that once we get on the Fossdyke and Witham the average will come down as there are very few locks. Still six months left to see how many locks we will get into as we did 519 last year.


  1. You seem to enjoy ironing so to you it doesn't become a chore plus you have plenty of time to do it. With me I can always find something better to do then panic the night before I need something! What I was surprised at was that you replaced lunch with 2 ice creams!!! I never knew that you enjoyed ice cream that much. When we were in London recently we enjoyed an ice cream in St James Park at a price and although it was creamy and delicious it was just too big and I couldn't wait to finish it! Happy days.
    Heather x

    1. Hi Both, If we had paid the price that they probably charged in London we would only have had one I'm sure, but as those double scoop ice creams that you see were £1 each we couldn't resist. Enjoy your Bank Holiday. Tony and Helen.