Tuesday, 3 May 2016

On the move again at last: now on the South Oxford

Having spent a week in Braunston it was time to move on. We're now aiming for Oxford. After watering up and emptying a couple of loo cassettes we headed for Braunston Turn ... but Braunston wasn't letting us go quite so easily. Just past the Boatman pub was No Problem tied up, with plenty of space in front. I stopped and invited Sue on board for a coffee. It was good to have a decent chat with her - Vic came on for a while too. As we were talking Moore to Life came and tied up behind us, then so did Seyella. We have met Chas and Ann only once, and have not met the crew of Seyella (Geoff and Mags) at all.

After a salad lunch we finally set off, just as it started to rain! The rain didn't last long and we cruised along the Oxford/GU towards a bright sun making the water sparkle.

On this five mile stretch we saw only our second batch of ducklings.

Carrying straight on at Wigram's Turn we were now on a waterway we haven't been on for a few years (we can't remember how long).

We managed to squeeze in to a gap in the moored boats just below Napton Bottom Lock when a boater kindly moved his boat a little to make room. There are lots of boats on the 48hr moorings - will there be queues at the locks?

Jan cooked up a lovely roast gammon meal, then we went for a walk up the locks. Back at the moorings below the locks the sun was setting over the canal.

The weather is improving: we had hardly any rain today and the sun shone for most of the day. We still have the cold wind, though ...

Oh, you will, of course, want to know how the alternator performed. Well ... there's not really much detectable difference between the new way of wiring it up compared with how it was immediately before. Which is a bit disappointing. And, until I get a relay, I have to open the electrics cupboard door and switch "on" and "off" the alternator manually every time I run the engine. I suspect another major issue is the batteries themselves. Although they are only a year old, they probably haven't been kept as fully charged as they should have been, so they now do not hold their charge. Why do I think this? The battery voltage has dropped to 12.1V off load after the engine has been off for five hours. When the engine is running the battery voltage goes almost immediately to 14.4V and soon after to 14.7V, with the charging current dropping to a few amps, then to zero. Perhaps the electrolyte has been "boiled off" - but I can't top up as the batteries are "sealed". Hmm.

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