Monday, 13 July 2015

Bring on the Sun

It's been a while since my last post. We should have been going into dry dock last week, however, best laid plans and all that, it didn't happen. A text to the boatyard the day before to ask what time they wanted us produced a phone call to say there was a boat in the dock being stretched and they couldn't get it out in time. I wonder when they planned to tell us!
More positive, we had arranged for some solar panels to be fitted this week. The Captain has been resisting having them on aesthetic grounds but the idea of charging batteries while we are out exploring during the day finally won him over.
We chose 'M & R Controls to supply and fit three panels, potentially giving us 300w of power on a sunny day. I can recommend them for their good service. All our E Mails were answered promptly and the fitter turned up on time as arranged and did a fine job of installing the panels. Four hours later there were 12 Amps going into the batteries. We had popped into Brinklow Marina for a couple of nights while the work was done but cruised down to Hillmorton after to test the system in the sunshine. I sat around on the towpath eating strawberries while the Captain played the guitar. I even let him eat some in between tunes. The Amps poured in and even during the cloudy periods there is at least 4Amps going in, enough to run the fridge/freezer.
As Oakapple has no gas on board we have to rely on the batteries to power most things. Hopefully we won't have to run the engine nearly so often, that is as long as the sun keeps shining. Something not to be taken for granted in an English summer!
We are now back at Brinklow waiting for our daughter, Emma, to arrive for a few days cruising up the Ashby Canal. She usually brings the rain with her, so the pitter/patter of raindrops on the roof comes as no suprise!

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