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Saturday, 27 May 2017

Thorne in the side.

It was great to catch up with our friends, who now live in Finningley, which is not very far from Thorne. We had a good chat and a nice meal and feel sure we will do it again soon.

This morning a boat came past us heading towards Keadby at just after 0800. Later I noticed that they were still on the landing for the Princess foot bridge that was just down the way. I wondered if they were having breakfast. However later I noticed that they had their chairs out and were sitting in the sun. It was obvious that the bridge was not operating. We have come this way a few times and I think only once has it worked straight away. Helen walked over to see what was going on as we wanted to be through the bridge too. On the bridge the 'emergency' number is the usual C&RT one. However when calling them they say that it is nothing to do with them as it belongs to Thorne and Moorends Council and game Helen their number. They are supposed to be open from 0900 but when Helen called, the other boaters and another boater coming the  other way there was no answer just an answer phone. Helen called me and had a dig about on the internet and found a mobile number. Calling that number also went to an answer phone. Helen also tried the mobile number and it was engaged and then a little while later Dean turned up. He is employed as a grass cutter for the council. When the bridge was  opened his job spec was altered to include the bridge. He got no more money and as the bridge has always been badly engineered and works properly very rarely he was getting a lot of call outs and they didn't even give him overtime.

We were very fortunate that he came today. He explained, and demonstrated what to do. To access the big cabinet, rather than the remote box, you need a type of 'key' that opens a meter box on the outside of the house. There are switches etc that can work the bridge from the cabinet. However when he tried it didn't work. Whilst all this was going on I left our overnight mooring and slipped alongside the boat on the bridge mooring. Once Dean managed to get the bridge open the boat heading west passed through and then us.

This is the bridge in question. It is a foot bridge that replaces other bridges that were lost when the flyover was constructed. The footbridge was opened in 2005 and is named the Princess bridge as Princess Ann opened it.

Here is the flyover above the foo bridge and our other boat that was heading to Keadby for the Trent at 1715 for the tideway to go down to the Fosse and Lincoln.

Once clear we let them overtake as we were only heading as far as the Bluewater Marina as we were off home again. After finding out where we were to berth we entered the marina and back down to our very short pontoon. I then did the usual chores before having a bite to eat and heading to the Thorne North station to head to Hull to get the car. There is a closer Thorne South station, but on a different line. I was back in under three hours and loading up the car.

Whilst I had been gone a lady from the marina had noticed the name of our boat and knocked. It turns out to be somebody we know from home. They have moved onto the canal and live at Thorne when not travelling about the system. Their boat is 'registered' in Holderness, where that is our name.

I wonder if anybody out there can tell me the answer to a little puzzle. When leaving the boat I used to check the direction of north and then angle the solar panels so that the three of them spanned the area through which the sun would pass. A bloke told me that this was wrong as then when when one is working efficiciently the others are dragging it back s they are not receiving the same amount of energy so meaning they are not producing their most. He said that you should pick the most favourable direction and angle them all in that direction. It is beyond me, but that seems to go against a Yorkshire 'Belt and Braces' approach. What is the best thing to do?

By the way this lady from our town said that the Princess bridge was in the open for boats position so maybe Dean has just had enough and left it open. Pedestrians can walk over the flyover, but it is not as nice, but the detour for boats is a very big detour indeed.

We are at home again for a few days for more cultural events and volunteering. The first of which is the Radio !1 Big Weekend. You maybe surprised to hear that I am not volunteering at this event, but have been talked in to going as a punter!! I have never been to a 'festival', but I did attend an outdoor concert once. It was the Spinners in Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham, about 1972. I am taking this Year of Culture in Hull seriously so thought I should experience this event. Mind you I have had more than a few second thoughts, and the very least of them I can assure you is the fear of terrorism! I see there are extremely heavy showers with thunder and lightening forecast for the afternoon, then there is the noise, or should I say volume, the number of people (50000 they have just said on the TV) and the shrieking kids. Oh well, I will grin and bear it and put it all down as an experience.


  1. Hi you two,
    You will be pleased to know that when David finally got his wedding ring re-sized (remember he lost it at yours last year?) it was done at a jeweller near Waikanae. The woman who served us came from Hull. I recognised her accent, vaguely I have to say. But I knew she was a northerner anyway. Some chat ensued (see, nothing changes) and she was delighted that we actually knew someone who lived there!
    We are currently moored at Hawkesbury Junction and I thought of you as we moored up. Tonight we are going to the Greyhound for dinner - we will have a drink to you both!


    1. Hi Both, It goes without saying that we haven't found David's ring, but it is nice to know that there is now a 'forever' connection with Hull, even if it was initially about losing it! From your blog it sounds as though you have finally thrown off your land based lives, and are relaxing into the wet side of life. Lets hope the weather stays good for a good while yet. I was reading in the 'Towpath' about the riotous times past of working boat times at the Greyhound. So keep your feet on the floor, and no dancing on the tables. Helen and Tony

  2. Solar panels:
    - if they are connected in series to the same converter, they should be pointed in the same direction. At each moment the one with the least sunshine will dictate the current that goes through the set (and might even consume some power of the others). All three should be in the sun (or shadow) together. (In houses that have solar panels on different parts of the roof, with a different orientation or different angle, each group is connected to its own converter for this reason).
    - the daily output of solar panels is highest if they are oriented towards the noon sun ("noon" as in solar time, so around 1200 GMT for the UK) and at the right angle for the seasn. Orienting 3 panels in a different position, will mean that 2 out of 3 will produce less than best.
    - this is where your batteries come into play. Supposing that your would have a converter per panel (connected to a battery charger most likely for a boat), it also depends on how much power you can store and/or need when. E.g. if your batteries are nearly flat in the morning, an orientation to the morning sun might make sense to recover from a low charge. Otherwise: south (and at the best angle for the season) is the right way.

    1. Hi Frank, Thank you so much for your comment. It makes so much sense when you have mentioned the converter/controller. A single one could only deal with one input so would have to use one value that would be sub-optimal. I understand it much better now. I will definitely follow your advice. When we are on the boat I tend to have the three panels angled to catch the morning sun. I would then move them in unison to follow the sun. It is when we leave the boat and I can not adjust them that I was really needing to know the best thing to do. Once again, thanks very much for your comprehensive comment. Cheers for now, Tony