Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Wednesday 17/03/10 Napton to Braunston

We actually arrived at the boat last night at about 6 pm. While I filled the water system, no leaks this time and lit the stove Diana trundled back and forth with the wheel barrow unloading the car. The battery voltage was still quite good when I turned the power on but lost half a volt running the water pump. The engine fired up first shot and pushed a few more amps into the batteries. As time was getting on and the stove was not up to temperature we decided to drive down to the Folly pub to eat as we have heard some good reports about the new management. Where the top dining room use to be is now the pool table and food is served in the lower dining room round to the right as you go in. I don't know if they are still claiming to be a pie pub, but they have dropped the large range of pies from their menu, however they had beef and ale pie on the special board so we gave that a try and it was worth  it. The pie contained lots of large pieces of meat in a very tasty gravy. The chips were hand cut and nice and long and it was all fresh and hot. I would say its the best pie that I have eaten there for 12 or 13 years when it was a pie pub. The beer was good as well with a nice pint of Hook Norton. To finish off I had a nice fresh pancake with ice cream. We will defiantly visit again.
We returned to a nice warm boat and settled down for the night.

This morning the weather was grand, nice warm sun and just a light breeze, during the night the inverter had shut down on "low voltage" the batteries were sitting at 20.5 volts. We started up and moved down to the lock where I loaded our 4 new Trojan batteries aboard, the only down side that I can see with these batteries at the moment is that they don't have lifting handles, just two slots where a removable strap handle is fitted. We then drew back along the towing path clear of the lock moorings to fit them. I was a bit concerned that they would be to tall and I would have to modify the battery box, but the lids went on with at least a millimetre to spare above the terminal posts, these batteries have both posts and bolt, as I used the bolts it meant the top of the post was the highest point. Being American the terminal bolts are probably AF, luckily a 14 mm spanner fitted nicely.
This all done we were on the move, I unloaded the old batteries while we were in the lock and then moored below the lock both to carry the batteries from the lock side to the car and also have a bit off lunch. I returned to the boat after moving the old batteries only to see that the Sterling Battery Management panel was showing zero charge. First thought was that the alternator had packed up, so I stopped the engine but the readout was still zero, no discharge. The next thought was the panel was faulty, but on investigation I found that I could rotate the signal wire connector on the shunt round the screw. Now the mystery bit, the screw was dead tight, but I could still move the connector, this connection has not been touched since I put the panel in about 6 years ago and in that time it has never failed to give a reading. The problem was cured by putting a washer on the terminal screw to make sure the ring connector was tightly nipped up.
We set off again  at 2 pm  down the flight. It looks as if the bywash culvert has collapsed on the second from the bottom lock, lock 9 and the boat in front of us flooded the towing path. seeing this we waited until they had left the lock and Diana had drawn the top paddles before dropping down lock 10.
There were three boats moored opposite the towing path below the Napton flight, one of them had his front mooring rope right by the "No Mooring" sign.
As we passed under bridge 107 there were two dead foxes floating in the canal, I found this quite unusual as I very really see a single dead fox in the cut, but two together seems most strange, I wonder how they got there.
By now I had expected them to have lifted the sunken butty on the puddle banks,but no,its still there, out side the motor with a dumb barge on the out side of it making the channel quite narrow, it was like this last time we passed through. We carried on into Braunston mooring for the night just after 6 pm opposite the old "Mill House", I can't remember the new name, I hope they don't leave the extractor fans running 24/7.

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