Saturday, July 29, 2006

Electrical problems and a towpath band session

Despite the noisy surroundings, we slept like logs outside Tescos. Next morning we were off to meet Pete and Rob that evening at Cowley. On this stretch we always meet the gravel barges. Here we head for the bushes because they don't give way to anyone!

Then we seemed to have a problem. The engine starter battery was obviously pretty low that morning and we only just got started. Watching the voltmeter as we travelled showed that the charging system was behaving erratically. At this rate we would in danger of being stranded when we needed to start the engine next time. Mooring up at Cowley I inspected the battery with a volt meter, a hydrometer and a general visual inspection. It all seemed OK, so I suspected it might be time to invoke our membership of River Canal Rescue to get a more technical appraisal. I phoned them up and they said a man would come out soon.

Well, he did come, but not for four hours. Meanwhile Pete and Rob arrived expecting to cruise off directly. The RCR guy was persistent in tracking the fault and eventually put the blame on the alternator controller. After a good deal or rewiring he routed the controller out of the system so I was back with a simpler, but he said, just as effective system. The charging did seem to be working better.

All this took two hours and by now it was too late to cruise off so we decided to stay put for the evening and after a plateful of pasta and chicken by Kath and sauce by Lloyd Grossman, we broke out our musical instruments and had a towpath band session. Do we really play better when we've had a few drinks, or does it just seem like it? I vote for the former.

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