Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tomorrow's the shortest day….

Tomorrow is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. It's usually on the 21st, today, but this year it's tomorrow. Sunrise is at 08:19, setting at 15:56. That’s just 7 hours 37 minutes of daylight. Then we can look forward to the nights drawing out again, but it will be a while before we see much difference. And we’ve still a winter to come!

We all toddled off into town today to have a look round the market and pick up some bits and pieces. Drayton was awarded it’s market charter in 1245 by Henry III, acquiring it’s “Market” prefix soon afterwards. There’s been a settlement on the spot since around the 10c.
As you’d expect at this time of year the market was well attended, with stalls selling produce as well as clothing, toys electricals and phones. There also seems to be a good selection of shops on the High Street. We had a good look round and Mags was glad to put her feet up with a cup of tea when we got back. We’d been out for nearly 3½ hours!

We had a phone call from Mags' grand-daughter Zoe, up in the frozen wastes of Middlesborough. She's received the chocolate pizza we'd had sent from our friend Carol who makes them in Wales. She's delighted, but having to fight off the rest of the family!

I had a look at our battery installation when we got back, before it got dark. We’ve been running short of power in the morning, after my customary 2½ to 3 hours per day charging routine. I think (in fact I’m almost convinced) that we’ve got a dying battery. It’s reading  ½ a volt lower than the other 3 when they’re all discharged, I’ll give them a charge in the morning, isolate them all and check for voltage differences again. But I think I know what I’ll find. The annoying thing is that the dodgy one is one of two that I replaced last January. The other two are over 2 years old and still going strong.

Seyella’s battery bankSAM_0002
The problematic one is on the left, next to the green starter battery. The  Sterling A to B charge controller is at the top of the picture, and there’s a Mastervolt 2000/100 inverter/charger on the right. Eat your heart out Bruce, I can get at my batteries!

SmileyCentral.comBest wishes to all our readers, have a great Christmas and an extremely prosperous New Year. And to the boaters among you, we wish you all ”a good road”!


Anonymous said...

i i have been reading your blogs every day since i first saw you on the weaver you may remember me 3 dogs 2 ferrets i had the same problems as you charging problems tried everything in the end i took of stirling alt to batt charger stirling sine inverter charger fitted 1 ex batt got 1000w inverter from ebay 30quid with remote and 800w twin tub for the last6 month i have only had to run eng 1 hr day unless useing washer then we wash on move we have tv computor 12v fridge beta 35 with 100 and 2nd 45 alt i think my charger was not working corectly even tho the lights ect checked out no help from stirling hope you sort every thing i know it sent me crazy chris narrowboat amymerry xmass

Geoff and Mags said...

Hi Chris
Yes I do remember you, we were moored at Vale Royal I reckon.
Thanks for the info. I reckon it is just a poorly battery. Everything has been fine until the cooler weather started. It tends to sort out good batteries from bad!
Anyhow, a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours. We'll look out for you when we're next up that way.
Cheers, Geoff