Lived on-board Hadar

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Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year’s Eve


This Morning we paid a visit to Jacquie and Stein on NB Like Ducks 2 Water for coffee and mince pies and a good chat.


Upon our return we had lunch then took down the Christmas decorations and lights. We then fitted the 2nd set of solar powered led lights in the saloon.

Then we sat back and to watch the TV movie Ben Hur (Channel 5), which we had wanted to watch the other night but it started late and went on to past midnight, well past our bedtime, so seeing it was being repeated today in the afternoon was great news to us. We will follow this with The Guns of Navarone (BBC2) and then The Pirates of the Caribbean, at Worlds End BBC1), to round off this New Year’s Eve TV viewing.


Friday, December 30, 2011

More Rewiring


As time ran out yesterday I did not complete all the rewiring necessary to bring Hadar up to scratch. So this morning I completed it. Nothing major in terms of what physically had to be done but both were very important.

The first thing was to add a cable from a battery –ve terminal to the hull. Fortunately one of the cables I removed yesterday fitted perfectly, so now the –ve side of the 12v is now properly earthed to the hull.

The second item was to ensure the 240v Earth was also connected to the hull, which it wasn’t, but it is now. For some reason I had disconnected it at some previous time and I am not sure why I did it, probably because of some previous problem which I know have no recollection of. I do remember disconnecting at the switch box end, and left the generator end connected as it is easier to get to the switch box to reconnect if so desired, rather than having to get to the generator. Which has now proved to be a handy thing I did, I just can’t remember why I disconnected in the first place.

At least now I am happy that everything is as it should be electrically speaking.

As a consequence of the added load of the new freezer we had started to run the generator for a third time each day at about 3:00pm. Due to the improved performance of the charger and batteries we decided to revert back to our standard running of the generator twice today, and so far at 4:30pm everything is still ok. Tonight we will leave the new freezer running, which we had been turning off overnight, to see if the batteries will now cope with the new overnight load.

Fingers crossed.

I wonder if I can find a scrapyard to sell the old cables too, after all copper is very valuable!


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Battery Rewire




Having now had 3 people say that our cables from the Victron invertor/charger and the batteries, and between the batteries, were too small, today we replaced them all. The existing cables are 40mm and we have replaced them with 70mm ones, these measurements are the cross-sectional area of the wire, not the diameter for none electrical people, just in case you, like me, thought that’s a hell of a large diameter cable! The diameters are 7mm and 9.5mm respectively.

We had been told originally by Simon Pollard who had visited us at Crick when we had our battery blow up. He came to check the Victron and discovered the temperature sensor was causing it to overvoltage which is what blew the battery up. At that time he had commented that the cables to the Victron from the batteries were too small.

We have been trying for the past 2 years to get to Whaley Bridge to get Brett from Kuranda to check our electrical system, especially following the blown up battery incident. Recently we have been having problems with the charger not starting up correctly, which has steadily been getting worse. On Tuesday we visited Keith & Ann on Oakfield, and he also thought out cabling was undersized, so yesterday I telephoned Brett and he confirmed this. Not only this but the Victron had been cabled directly to the 1st battery and then each subsequent battery, but Brett stated that the +ve and –ve connections from the Victron should go to opposite corners of the battery bank. The reason for this apparently is to distribute the charge/discharge across all the batteries evenly, rather than to the 1st then the 2nd, etc.. Unfortunately for me when I studied electrics at college in the late 60’s, batteries in parallel was not covered, in fact in those days it was considered not the done thing. Of course battery technology has moved on since then, so it is an area I am unfamiliar with in electrics/electronics.

After speaking to Brett we decided we really ought to change the cables whilst we were still here in Braunston, so we  measured our existing cables and I then went to Midland Chandlers and they made the required cables up for me, which I collected from them first thing this morning.

Taking out the old cables and replacing them with the new ones went far better than I expected. It took 2 hours start to finish which was not bad really, considering the scale of the task of 4 batteries to rewire and new cables to feed through from the batteries and master cut off switch to the Victron. Especially as it is something you really need to take time over to make sure that you get it right first time, and especially making sure no accidental shorting occurs, sparklers are for Bonfire Nights only! We will only see the real benefit of this when we change the batteries for new ones, which we will do when we do eventually get to Whaley Bridge this year.

P.S. please note the links to the Victron Invertor/Charger is a newer updated version which is 3000watts whereas ours is 2500watts, apart from that they are identical.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve


The pheasant has cooked today, ready for tomorrow. Adam & Adrian on “Briar Rose” passed by this morning on their way to collect their Christmas turkey from the Braunston Butcher. They came for tea and mince pies before setting off for the weekend. We had a good chat and caught up on all their news.

We are now chilled out for the Christmas weekend.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Shopping in Daventry

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Friday being market day in Daventry, we thought today would be a good day to visit Daventry. The bus was late arriving, due no doubt to the extra traffic on the roads being the last day before Christmas Eve. First stop when we finally got to Daventry was to find a coffee shop for a cuppa. One of our objectives was to find a Freezer thermometer, so we thought Tesco, Waitrose and Aldi would all be good places to start, seeing they sell frozen foods. We were wrong there. Still the visit to all 3 made us glad we had done all our food shopping already for Christmas. We did find a little electrical shop which had one which was great. We browsed the charity shops, and the market stalls. We had lunch at The Saracen’s Head.

Daventry Saracens Head

We both had the Chicken Tikka which we always enjoy at Wetherspoon's pubs, with half a Ruddles Best each.

Jo found herself a nice skirt in a charity shop, which she will wear on Christmas day. We also bought some more DVD’s for Christmas viewing, seeing as we are struggling to get a decent TV signal in Braunston. Blockbusters did us proud, with 3 we wanted to see at reduced prices and what was even better was when I went to pay for them I was told The Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Blu-Ray was actually £7 and not the marked £10, which was even better. We also got Angels & Demons from a charity shop for £2.99. Jo finally bought some new batteries for her TV remote control, perhaps she will now stop throwing a hissy fit when her remote doesn’t work! Although we had a few spits and spots of rain throughout the day, it did decide to chuck it down just after we got to the bus shelter to wait for the bus back to Braunston. As earlier it was late arriving no doubt again due to the extra traffic around. It did stop raining by the time the bus dropped us off in Braunston Village and we whilst we were up there we walked to the butchers to get some meat to pop in the new freezer.

Braunston Butcher

People were popping in to pick up their turkeys. Unfortunately they did not have the rather delicious lemon chicken pieces we bought from them last time we were here, which is a shame because they were rather tasty. Still the sausages, pork and lamb chops looked very nice, so we had some of them.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Father Christmas has Come Early to Hadar!

For some time now we have been thinking about adding a small freezer to increase our frozen food storage. We had 2 ideas forthcoming.

  1. To purchase a 240v AC chest freezer to go in the hold. This would be the cheapest option with chest freezers from as little as £119.99, with a capacity of 170litres but would need to be run off of the invertor.
  2. To purchase a small 12v DC upright freezer to go in the galley in the place where the tumbler dryer is, this being the expensive option with prices starting from £409, with a capacity of 40litres.

We have weighed up all the options and pros and cons for a few months now. We were edging towards the 12v option. We have been very impressed with the Shoreline fridge/freezer we have had since Hadar was built. The price is the drawback, but the advantages are that with a mains freezer if the invertor fails then there is no backup, at least with the 12v version it will run off the batteries, and we have 2 ways of charging the batteries, generator or engine, so at least we have a back up system with the 12v version. Jo was also concerned that even a small chest freezer would be too large for our requirements, plus the hold gets extremely hot in the summer, which would not be ideal for keeping a freezer in.

My original concept for the design of Hadar was that the majority of electrical equipment would run directly from 12v. The main exception to this would be the washing machine, which although we mostly run it whilst running the generator the invertor is large enough to handle it if needed.

With all this in mind we recently decided to have a look at one of the small freezers in Midland Chandlers to see if it would be large enough inside for what we needed.

So this morning we visited Midland Chandlers to have a look at one. We walked around the appliance area but not one was in sight, so we asked if they had one in stock. Fortunately they did, just not on display. It was wheeled out and unpacked. It wasn’t the type advertised on their website, and apparently a previous customer had ordered one through them, and when it was sold to them, the company sent through another, which was rather handy for us. It is a Philco PHCT36FZ. Jo reckoned it was large enough internally for what we needed, so we did some discount negotiation and bought it. I also bought some cable and a connector block to be able to install it.

Philco Freezer PHCT36FZ

We needed to get one of our trolleys to carry it on, so we returned to the boat, and had lunch. After lunch we then moved the tumbler dryer into the hold, and I fitted the new section of cable from the existing fridge/freezer to where the new freezer would go so it was already for us to manoeuvre the new freezer straight in once we got it back to the boat. With all the preparations completed we returned to Midland Chandlers with our trolley and picked up our new freezer and returned it to the boat. It was connected, fitted and working in no time.


It is now sitting above the washing machine where the tumble dryer used to be. This was the best photo I could get under the circumstances.

We like Christmas presents like this, even if it is a few days early.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Onley to Braunston

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Braunston Redshaws

Having spent 3 days moored at Onley, and the thin ice had gone, we set off for Braunston this morning. We continued through to the water point and elsan disposal between the A45 bridge and the stop house to empty out and top up. We also filled our 2 water carriers so we have plenty of water on-board whatever the weather brings. We winded at the marina entrance and returned to a mooring opposite Tony Redshaw’s which will do us nicely for Christmas, these moorings being 14days during the winter, which will suit us just nicely.

No doubt we will find lots to do whilst here, including catching the bus into Daventry.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Rugby to Onley

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Onley HM Prison moorings

We had said we would get up early to shop at Tesco’s seeing as we are using awake and drinking tea in bed by about 6:00am. Not this morning though. But we still managed to get in there fairly early before the crowds. This will be our last major shop for the Christmas period, but if we can get a mooring in Braunston for Christmas then we can top up from the Londis village stores and the Braunston Family Butcher.

Braunston LondisBraunston Butcher

Shopping done we emptied the toilets whilst we could, disposed of rubbish and then set off. We pulled into the water point below Hillmorton locks, well as close as we could get, which was about a foot out from the bank, due to the sloping stone walls of the Oxford Canal. Whilst we were filling up a lady came along with her water container on a trolley, to the other water tap, turned the tap on and our water disappeared! Still it didn’t take long for her to fill it up. We set off up through Hillmorton locks following a training boat out from Willow Wren. Well not that closely, they were at the bottom lock when we had arrived, and were taking a long time to start up through the first lock, but then again I do know that Willow Wren are very thorough with their Helmsman’s certificates. However we did catch them up by the time they were leaving the top lock.

Whilst coming up through the top lock, Nick off of Aldgate came down the towpath, and we had a quick natter whilst the lock filled. We then carried on to the moorings close to HM Prison Onley, between Bridge No.80-81. We moored up with our galley doors opposite a bird table on the towpath, which delighted Jo who added a few more hooks to hang fat balls and feeds from. The birds have been tucking into the food supply already, a Robin, Blue Tits and Great Tits having been fighting over the food, and hopefully Jo will be able to get some nice photos over the weekend.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Newbold to Rugby

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Yet another short journey this morning, 1.3miles brought us to Master’s Bridge No.58, and a towpath mooring between the bridge and Broughton Park, much handier for shopping at Tesco’s which we will do before we head off for the weekend.

Before lunch, we set off for Maplin’s with my shopping list as follows:-

We returned back to the boat with these plus the following:-

The invertor is for our TV in the boatman’s cabin, which up till now we have been running of the main invertor, but I have decided to fit a separate one specifically for this TV, it will save having to get out of bed to switch it on or off!

The resistors are so that I can convert our Christmas LED lights to operate directly of the boat 12V supply, rather than batteries.

The cable is for wiring up the invertor.

Whilst we were in the shop Jo spotted the solar powered LED’s, which she has been looking out for, and at half price at £9.99 a set we bought two sets.


Then I spotted the radio, and although I had been waiting for the New Year sales to get a new one, I thought that at £20 off and now £49.99 I wasn’t going to do much better in the sales. Our old radio’s display failed a couple of months ago, and although it still worked it was difficult to tune into radio stations without a display. I have already installed the radio and one set of the LED’s, which now need to charge up. I will install the invertor and wire it in at some point in time, possibly tomorrow.

As we were about to have lunch Del & Al off of Derwent6 appeared and we had a quick chat and arranged to meet up tomorrow for a more comprehensive natter.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Grimes Bridge to Newbold

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Newbold 2

A fairly uneventful journey this morning to Newbold, where we had an excellent lunch at “The Barley Mow”. We are going to stay put here until Wednesday to ride out the strong winds they are forecasting.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Alderman’s Green to Grimes Bridge No.26

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Grimes Bridge

A frosty morning and even a couple of patches of very thin ice on the canal, but bright and sunny, which when you are heading south this time of the year makes for squinting eyes.

Jo wanted to take on water at Ansty, but we couldn’t get in close enough to get a hose onto the bow, we will have to top up at Newbold when we get there. We have moored up at Grimes Bridge No.26 where we moored on our way north past here, a good deep mooring for us, out in the countryside for the weekend.  There are private offside moorings here as well as Les Wilson Narrowboats.


Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Coventry Basin to Alderman’s Green

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We set off from Coventry basin heading for Tesco’s at the Ricoh Arena. Just before we got to Tesco’s we came across a large teddy bear still floating in the canal, which we had noticed on our journey down to the basin. I pulled the stern over towards it and Jo helped it towards the boat with the long mop until I could grab it and drag it out.

Bonnie the Bear

Jo has named her Bonnie the Bear. She looks very depressed, sitting on the cabin roof, but wouldn’t you if you were wet and cold, and had been swimming in the canal for a few days. Once she has dried out we will find her a new home where she will be loved. We moored just north of New Inn bridge No.8 which is very handy to get to Tesco’s.

Tesco Ricoh Arena Coventry

It is a huge 24hour store, and we spent nearly 2 hours there! Mind you we were not rushing. Once we had finished shopping and had lugged all the shopping back to the boat, Jo packed everything away whilst I carried on cruising.

We continued on through Sutton’s Stop lock, to just before the Coventry Cruising Club moorings, near Whiting's Bridge No.5.


Monday, December 05, 2011

Burton Hastings to Coventry Basin.

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Today we set off, but didn’t get very far, only round the first corner and the engine died. Having fitted a new fuel filter over the weekend we now had an air lock. Fortunately the wind blew us back into the towpath, and I started bleeding the fuel system, right through to the injector pumps. This time, not only did the engine fire up, but it ticked over from cold, so changing the filter seems to have worked, possibly. I say possibly because I also cleaned the air filter, so it may have been this, or a combination of both, but at least we are back to full working order again. Just as we set off again we came across David & Margaret on Adrestia coming the other way. We had a brief chat before proceeding on our ways.

Just after passing Hawkesbury junction we met up with Roy off of Gerald No.13, and again we had a brief chat before we carried onto Coventry Basin.

There was only 2 other boats in the basin, so plenty of room to moor. We had a quick lunch and then set off to do some shopping in Coventry City. We like the city, it is so close to the basin, and there is all the shopping we need there. Jo stocked up on some more bits & pieces fro Christmas, especially at Poundland and 99p Stores!

Harry Potter Deathly Hallows both

We bought “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” parts 1 & 2, that’s our Christmas Day viewing sorted then. We even have the popcorn ready on-board! Although we were shopping late for us, we usually go shopping before lunch, it was not dark enough to see the Christmas lights, which are probably really great to see.


Saturday, December 03, 2011

Engine Fuel Filter

Fram Fuel Filter

Over the last week or so I have noticed that the engine stalls from cold, and it has been getting worse, so this morning I fitted a new fuel filter. Hopefully this will cure it, we will find out Monday morning when we set off again. This is the first time we have changed the filter, so it has lasted nearly 4 years, which is not bad I guess.


Friday, December 02, 2011

Christmas is on the Way


Yesterday Jo and I decorated the boat ready for Christmas, Jo did the tree and I fitted the lights, twinkle twinkle.

We moved from Stoke Golding to just south of Mill Bridge No.8 near Burton Hastings.

Burton Hastings (2)

This is where we met up with Ian & Allison on Gosty Hill, who were moored here on our journey up the Ashby, so we now know it is a deep water mooring.


Thursday, December 01, 2011

Market Bosworth to Stoke Golding

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Stoke Golding

A bright sunny mornings journey started with topping up the water tank at Market Bosworth and then stopping briefly at Sutton Cheney to empty the toilet and dispose of rubbish, before continuing on to Stoke Golding. We have moored just outside Stoke Golding Marina, which has proved to be a deep water mooring for us. After lunch we walked up into Stoke Golding.


This rather large roadside building is passed on the way up the hill to the village, it is apparently the original factory of H.J. Hall the UK’s largest independent hosiery manufacturer, who are now based in Hinckley.


This narrow building has some writing on the front, which looks like “Workingman’s Institute”, but it is worn and hard to see clearly.


This is the George & Dragon pub, which looks very smart, having been refurbished this year..


The village sign depicts the crowning of Henry Tudor following the Battle of Bosworth.


This is the church of St. Margaret of Antioch, The white banner is advertising the forthcoming snowman competition, providing there is snow of course!


This is the White Swan which also seems to have had a recent coat of paint and new signs.


This house is already to be lit up at night for Christmas.


When we returned to Hadar, Jo dug out the Christmas decorations, and she set decorated the Christmas Tree.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Market Bosworth Market


This morning we walked up to Market Bosworth. On the way we came across this in a garden.


And this quintessential English cottage.




As we neared the town centre we came across the Dixie Grammar School. In the small market square was the Wednesday market. We stopped for a coffee in Café Torte down a little passageway just near the butchers in the market square, we got a pot of coffee for two and had 2 cups each!


Market Bosworth has many unusual but pretty looking buildings including this one.


This is St. Peter’s Church which was open, and very beautiful it was inside too.

Jo bought some vegetables from the market, whilst I bought this pheasant from J. W. Lampard & Son Butchers for £3.50.


That’s Christmas Dinner sorted!