Yesterday morning we took full advantage of being connected to shore power. We had run a load of washing the day before. I put the 120W greenhouse heater under the airer and left that running overnight. I also set the immersion heater to come on in the morning, so we were able to have hot showers. I took the chance to do an equalisation charge on the batteries too.
The limit of navigation on the Thames for boats as long as ours is at Lechlade which was less than a mile upstream. The forecast was for sunshine and short showers, but I was annoyed that one of the showers managed to arrive just as we were entering the lock. It didn’t come to much though. By the time we were setting off out of the lock it was already dry again.
I drove at a gentle pace as the sun came out. When we had come through Halfpenny Bridge (named for the toll price when it was first built) we looked for the moorings mentioned on the Environment Agency website. We spotted a small cluster of bollards, but nothing that looked suitable for a boat much bigger than a canoe. With the propellor turning slowly I was able to match the river flow and drift sideways for a closer look. There seemed to be a possibility of mooring at the pub, but by the time we’d got over it didn’t look suitable.
We pulled away again and headed a little further upstream. There were moored boats ahead. The navigation limit is mostly about the possibility of winding. I was happy to go a little further as long as I felt happy to come back in reverse. We paused opposite a good looking bank. A man on the bank called out that it all looked very peaceful. I took us over to the bank and Clare hopped off with a rope. The bank here isn’t as straight as some of our other moorings, but we have been able to tuck the nose in and both spikes are solidly in the ground.
This was our second day in a row of travelling but not using the diesel engine. While we were exploring Lechlade the solar panels brought the batteries back up to 100% charged, and then to “float” – the ideal state. It’s the first time solar power has been able to charge us to float while the boat was occupied.
Today’s forecast was for rain most of the day, so I prepared last night by putting the pram cover up so that the stern deck area would be dry space. I also brought some wood in from the bow locker in case I got enthusiastic about woodwork.
It took until lunchtime for my enthusiasm to kick in. I decided that the job I most wanted to deal with was relocating the TV. Since we got the sofa in the cabin, watching TV involves spinning it through a right angle. That makes all sorts of things less convenient. The plan with the new radiator was to free up a space on the wall opposite. All the cabling for the TV runs through the tandem cupboard, so the first job was to take the tandem to the stern deck.
I have neglected the wiring arrangements in the tandem cupboard after a few minor changes, so I took the opportunity to review what went where. I also wanted to be sure that all the connections required for the TV would reach to the new location. I had to fetch another ethernet cable from the stowage under the bed, but otherwise all was fine. The actual move was very simple, just a few screws, and then a temporary tidy up of the cables – I’ll do a better job once the radiator is in place.
I touched up the paintwork where the radiator supports had been previously, and I mounted a small picture to cover the holes left by removing the TV. It will do for now, but I think my next project will be to make better use of that space. With the TV gone, some of the unused space inside the tandem cupboard could become cabin shelf space. There are some more wet days in the forecast…
The rain continued most of the day as expected, but eventually cleared up in the late afternoon. We went for a short stroll over the wet fields, looping back to Lechlade at tea time. We decided to have dinner from the chip shop, as other chip shops will not be available for the next few days. The water levels are increasing slightly downstream from us. We hope they won’t increase to levels where we cannot travel.