Day 1

Well, here we go then. Left Kelpie about 09.30 and nothing much to report. Quite a few boats out including loads of canoes, kayaks and paddleboards. Plenty of rubber dingies and little day boats scudding about. At one lock, I forget which, there was a woman in a little boat with 5 kids from about age 5 to 14. They’d never done a lock before so I showed to two oldest what to do and we got through OK. The boat looked a nightmare to steer though, it was quite small with an outboard that looked too big so the merest hint of throttle and twitch on the steering sent it careering off from side to side of the river!

I got to Hermitage lock at Earith by 18.30 and stopped for the night. Phoned the lockie at Salters, the tide will be right between 11.30 and 13.30 so need to leave about 08.00.

I thought all was going well but inevitably there is an electrical fault. I think the Solar Panel controller has failed. Certainly the display isn’t on and the leisure battery voltage fell to 5.5V. I’ve bypassed it for now and am running the engine to recharge the battery. Up to 7.9V now. I’ll leave the fridge off over night and go to bed as soon as it’s dark. Hopefully it will charge OK from the engine once I’m under way tomorrow.

Biggest problem is the water pump won’t work on 5 volts so I took the top off the tank and scooped some out with a cup for a cuppa. No showers though until I fix it. Oh well.

Ah, just tested the water and at 7.9V it works again. Time for tea then bed.

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