Yesterday’s plan had been to set off early enough that we didn’t get caught in the rain that was expected around lunchtime.  Also included in the plan was Bryn joining us for another while, so we had to wait for him to arrive.  Bryn came aboard a few minutes before the rain started, and it was then much heavier than forecast.  Nye and David walked through the rain to join us for a last chat before we left.

By the time we’d chatted and waited for the rain to pass, it was too late to set off.  We have no fixed itinerary so that was not a problem.  Bryn stayed on board overnight so we weren’t going to repeat the delayed start today.

We’d sat at the same mooring in Marple since The Night ‘Afore (December 30th).  The batteries were continuously discharging throughout.  Even the brightest winter sun can’t keep up with the idle load on Bartimaeus, and anyway doesn’t shine for long.  Using the fridge, the kettle and the cooker needs even more power.

While making a drink in the evening I heard a strange beep from the control console.  It turned out that running the kettle had dragged the battery voltage down far enough that it had triggered a warning.  A few minutes later I noticed that I had two emails – the first telling me the voltage was too low, and the second saying it was OK again.  I then got another pair of emails each time we used the kettle.  This morning the battery level was showing at 64% – the lowest we’ve let it go.

So today I was very keen to set off.  We were soon at Higher Poynton where we filled with water too.  A group of boys were setting up to do some magnet fishing.  They were very polite and friendly, and helped Clare remove an adapter that had been left on the tap by a previous user.  While we were filling, one of them managed to get their magnet stuck in the canal wall just ahead of us.  We offered them the use of the boat as a platform to try to release it, but to no avail.  We left them waiting for the underwater camera to arrive…

Heron on Canal Bank
Fishing (Without a Magnet)

I had intended to fill the diesel tank at Bollington Wharf again, but it seemed very quiet as we came past – it is the New Year holiday today after all.  We’ll be able to get fuel elsewhere.

Clare Driving Under a Turnover Bridge
Clare Driving Bartimaeus under a Turnover Bridge

As we neared Macclesfield I handed the driving over to Clare so that I could hop off and run ahead.  We know that there are excellent mooring pontoons, but only for four boats.  I’d remembered that we would pass a good mooring spot just before we could see the pontoons.  It turned out there was a space on the pontoons, so I was able to signal to Clare to keep going.

The battery was back up to 97%, a perfectly acceptable level to end the day on.  What a relief to be able to boil the kettle and not get a complaining email.  We’d just tied up and got inside when a sharp shower came over.  We just keep getting lucky!

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