Friday 6 January 2023

Just a Quick Checkup

 We decided a few days ago to make a brief visit to Alchemy on Friday - we have enough flexibility in our diary to be able to look at the forecast to decide on which day to do certain things! It also happened that a friend of many years, back in our Wadebridge days, sent us a card that arrived mid week. Christine had he idea that we might call on her in her new home - she moved to Cheltenham from Keysham a year ago - and, yes, should would be available mid afternoon. (BTW, the next day we received in the post a couple of Christmas cards that were date stamped mid December! So, if you are still thinking that someone has forgotten you this year, do not give up hope just yet!)

We had set our alarm and set off from  Devizes about 8.45, reaching Droitwich at 10:30 after a reasonably uneventful journey with no unexpected delays. The first task was to turn on the heating - in the past few years it has been reluctant after a long lay off so we are hoping to visit often enough to reduce the idle periods. This time it behaved very well and fired up straightaway.

An engineer had visited whilst we were back home and done one or two tasks which we wanted to review - all seemed well. One of the things he did was to run diagnostics on the Webasto and concluded that no further maintenance we needed at this time.

We are still somewhat puzzled about what happens to our diesel when we are away from the boat. We now always turn the heater off completely (or at least so it says) but diesel seems to disappear. This time the gauge showed just under 50% when we moored up yet today it was down to 25%. At the same time, the electricity reading on the mains bollard had gone down abut £10 with, theoretically, no demand. The small solar panels should at least provide a trickle supply for any small amounts needed and all the 12v circuits were switched off (of course, the bilge pump is wired directly to the batteries so cannot be turned off, by design)

This meant that we opted to fill the fuel tank - just a short trip across the marina with a painful application of a little plastic card to a small machine! The wind was fairly strong - not as bad as when we returned to the marina in October - but we are gradually getting better at predicting the effect of the wind. The position of our berth is such that when we are lined up to reverse into the small gap the wind is broadside on so we have to turn well upwind and quite a sharp angle to the pontoon, let the boat drift down and then make a quick dash into the gap before the boat turns too much. (To explain more: when the boat is free in the middle of the marina the wind moves it sideways ninety degrees to the pontoon. As soon as the stern is just into the gap between the pontoon and the next moored boat, the wind causes the boat to rotate . If we start lined up by the time we ar5e half way in the boat has turned so much that we cannot get any further without endangering the next boat or the pontoon)

It was now time to eat our sandwiches which we brought from home before locking up once more. On the way back we stopped off in Cheltenham to visit our friend for a couple of hours. We were most impressed with the design of her new flat. The remainder of the return trip was also uneventful.