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Thursday, January 09, 2014

On the move again

marina wet dock centre of main building
Yesterday (Wednesday) we went into the marina to have some new domestic batteries fitted. Reversing into the wet dock past moored boats was no fun in the wind. Nothing like winter to show up weak batteries and it`s a well known fact more car starter batteries are sold in winter than the rest of the year.

Ours were 170ah and we had three of them. Just lately they were ending up flat every morning even after a decent charge the evening before and just a couple of hours watching TV so obviously not holding the charge that was going into them. Anyway the replacements were going to be a normal terminal layout against the 170`s having both neg and pos terminals at the same end. So much easier to obtain and cheaper. The reason we went into the marina to have the job done was the sheer weight of the old batteries (80lbs) and their awkward to get at location.  Second reason was the need for some new cables to be made up. My main worry was getting a hernia in the area of my stoma, something I was warned about in hospital could happen if I tried to lift/push heavy things. An hours labour charge and the fact I did not have to source the batteries was well worth it although I would have been so happy to have done the job myself if my fitness level was higher.

The batteries were just two years old and should have lasted longer but we believe a stupid accident a while back cut their life span significantly.

We were coming through Harecastle tunnel and had the washing machine on. Now for those not aware of how boat electrics work this meant we had an inverter running during the wash. The inverter converts the 12volts into 230volts for mains powered appliances like washing machines. Now on board we have an electric mains water heater. This is generally used when hooked up to a mains electric shoreline so would not be used by us when out cruising. Our hot water comes from the engine or our central heating boiler. Some boats can use a mains electric type of water heater on the move but let`s just stick with our set up on Nb Valerie.

So we have the inverter on running the washing machine. Anything running on mains electric does so via the inverter including the water heater. Now as we cruised along one of us went down into the boat and in doing so brushed against the switch panel and activated the water heater. This in turn caused the inverter to work hard pulling a lot/most of the 12 volt power from the batteries to feed the water heaters high power consumption. I noticed something wrong when we exited the tunnel and saw the huge discharge showing on the volt meter. So from this day the batteries were weakened.  The addition, soon after this incident, of our large solar panel probably hugely shielded signs of the weakening batteries.
Sorry fellow boaters that was a bit long but I needed to make all clear to non boaters.

As the title says we moved away from the medical mooring Wednesday. Set off along the summit level heading for Marsworth and the Tring reservoirs. The video below was made by the two happiest boaters on the move that day. It might not be anything special to you readers but to us it was like the news film showing Mandela walking to freedom or the the people breaking through the Berlin wall.

We shared the locks each taking a turn on windlass and tiller. Just by not trying to be clever I found the lock gear winding fine if taken slowly.
Moored up alongside the Startops reservoir last night was amazing. The high winds coming over the reservoir buffeted the boat and the rain beating down on the roof formed a musical accompaniment. Snuggled up in bed it was a wonderful way to fall asleep after a very special day. 


Dave,Beryl Bradshaw said...

Welcome back to the world of cruising. Great news.Enjoy! just take it easy.All our love Beryl & Dave

Carol said...

Freedom - can’t beat it!

Geoff and Mags said...

Well done, both of you. glad to see you out and about again. ENJOY!

Unknown said...

So you're on the move, eh? Kept thinking, put up the sails and the remembered, this is not a sailing
vessel! Does NB Valerie have to return to the same area as before to enable Les to have his required surgeries? And was surprised there was no snow; however understand too much rain. We have extremely cold temperatures here and much snow. Hoping it melts very slowly, otherwise severe flooding could result.

Anonymous said...

Yea indeed. Free, free at last.
Keep chugging on.
Nice to hear a bit of Les's voice.
Karen in Pullman

KevinTOO said...

I bet that trip was the best tonic you could have, well done to you both, take it steady and no rushing about... OK?
Kevin xx & Harry xx

Sue said...

Now this HAS made me smile. Lovely to read this post xx

Janet said...

Glad to hear your good news. You are in a lovely spot now, although not so close to a good half hourly bus route. Startops is a beautiful place. More open than Cowroast where you have been and hopefully more folk about for casual converstation. Good walking though through to Tring and other more rural places.

Chas and Ann said...

Being an x boater at the moment seeing the movie reminded me that Ann and I must get back to our boat.

Unknown said...

Where do you shop? I can get packets of chopped nuts and BARS of cooking chocolate! I love you much too because you 'get' my London humour. It's still weird that you think custard is a dessert though! LOL x

Anonymous said...

I'm really pleased to hear that you are on the move once more. Just take your time and you'll be fine. I bet you couldn't wait for this day to come! With Jaq's new-found boat handling experience you can share the work both off and on ship.

Thanks for the explaination about the inverter. My O level physics ought to help me, but it was quite a few years ago now!

Bon Voyage

Les Biggs said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. Yes it was so good to cruise again although we still have the Urology op to come so perhaps a return to cow roast for a very short period will be the plan.
Sue it`s always nice to see you smile.
Chas/Ann you are still boaters. Ex boaters don`t have a boat any longer.
Alistair so glad the long explanation helped someone. Still choked I missed your visit.
Carol not getting involved with kitchen things, I just enjoy the product testing.

Del and Al said...

Such lovely news, you don't have to go far for it to feel great, and you can't beat a change of scenery :-) Bet you feel good x

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Del and Al,
Yes indeedy! It has been hard going sitting and looking at the same bit of hedge for nigh on three months. Startops End is one of my very favorite places. It is filled with lovely memories--one of them being the first time I met you both!
Stay war, stay dry!
Love JaqX

Ian and Karen said...

Great to hear you've broken free!
What a lovely feeling to be on the move again.
It was a moving day for us too, but sadly moving into a house....Ho hum. We'll be back one day. Meanwhile we'll keep following your journeys to keep ourselves touch with the boating community. Love to you both, K

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs