Monday, November 05, 2007

We stayed at the edge of Gnosall for the weekend. Had a free firework display on Saturday night from across the fields, we would have seen more but Cowley Hill interrupted the view back to the village. Luckily, the bangs and whistles don’t bother Meg at all. Poor old Bruno used to be a nervous wreck at this time of year.

I’ve had a concern about the domestic battery bank these last few days. We didn’t seem to have as much power available as we should, so I made a thorough investigation on Sunday. Each battery was isolated in turn, and the voltage of the disconnected unit, and that of the rest of the bank, was checked. This would have indicating a failing battery, but nothing was found. The engine is fitted with two alternators, one for the domestic batteries and the other for the starter. They are both identical 80 amp units, so I decided to swap them over, on the assumption that the domestic unit, having to work considerably harder, was no longer providing it’s full capacity.
Today’s run has shown this to be true, after 3 hours the batteries are almost fully charged, whereas before they were nowhere near this level. I’ll monitor the performance of the starter alternator, and change it if it looks likely to fail. You can’t “bump start” a boat!

Had some good long walks with the hairy one, then on Sunday afternoon, had a surprise visit from Sue from NB NO PROBLEM. I’ve been keeping an eye on their website (see links) and knew they were in the area, but didn’t know they were that close. We had a short chat, then Sue had to get on to catch up with the boat. She was walking the dogs, Meg and Lucy, along the towpath.

This is the folding stool I made last week, modelled by Meg.
Today dawned a bit damp and murky, but started to brighten by lunchtime, so we moved off around noon. The scenery remains much the same, rolling grazing land visible from the embankments, alternating with wooded cuttings full of shed leaves. The breeze had got up today, and we were sometimes engulfed in a blizzard of dead leaves, blown from the trees.

Falling Leaves
Bridge 25 is interesting, apart from being a turnover or roving bridge where the towpath changes sides, it is spilt by a stone wall to separate traffic on the road from traffic on the canal.

Bridge 25
I’ve decided on a new award today. This is the SBDA or “Seen Better Days Award”. It was a toss up between a sunken fibreglass cruiser, or this narrowboat. But I found I had more sympathy for the narrowboat.

Todays SBDA winner near High Onn
Stopped after 2½ hours in Wheaton Aston. We’re staying here tonight, then moving down to Brewood (apparently pronounced “Brood”) tomorrow. It started to rain as soon as we’d tied up, so it was good timing. Cleared up later though, for me to take Meg out.

Locks none, miles 4

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