Monday, 2 May 2011


We left Doncaster this morning...round 10, after emptying the toilet casette (just in there is no emptying area anywhere on our map for the next few days). The emptying point at Doncaster is hidden, unless you know what the local moorers use...there is a sewer drain lid which has to be lifted (using 2 keys from a guy on one of the boats). I decided to break one of my barbecue tongs and make my own keys and make a note to use it in the future when we pass by. I actually wanted to chat to British Waterways about our pending stay up at Sheffield, but the BW office seemed boarded up in Doncaster...

Anyway, we left. 2hrs later the side of the river started showing signs of life...runners, walkers etc. We came out of the Sprotbrough lock, and found a BW visitor mooring.(48hrs) opposite the big hire boat, and icecream truck, and Sprotbroughs entire population who were sitting on the opposite bank. The suns been out and it's been a really great day. I took a walk (the long way there..) to the SPAR in the town, only to find a return route about a 10th the distance...:)

Batteries are my daily challenge. I have now completely gone bonkers, and changed the configuration..."to see" if it's more practical. I have one battery, connected to the freezer. I have one battery for the boats 12V systems (water pumps etc). I have 2 batteries connected to the inverter for leisure usage (tvs, laptops etc). The freezer battery is only charged when I physically use a battery charger. The battery for the boat 12V stuff, is connected to the solar panel only. The leisure batteries are connected to the alternator, and are recharged only by running the boat engine. The reason I've done it this way is to actually see if the solar panel has enough oomph to keep the boat stuff working...and to give the alternator less work to do to keep the leisure batteries powered up. So far I've been quite impressed with the solar panel. It has measured 13.6Volts on it's battery, so I decided to use a clamp cable to give it more work to do, by bridging whichever of the other batteries I felt needed help today. When I was cruising, I bridged the solar battery with the freezer battery. When the boat was stopped, I bridged the solar battery with the leisure batteries. Having the ability to channel the solar power around seems a much better way than having it fixed to an entire bank. My batteries are always heavily under load, so there is no hope to ever have them all fully charged for my challenge is just keeping them all above 12.4V. :) Sorry for the technical blog today.....I've discovered that just connecting the entire bank all together with solar and inverters and freezers etc all as one...doesnt give me the recharging flexibility I the moment...with half my batteries old ones...

Sunday, 1 May 2011 opinion has changed!

Never really had a high opinion of Doncaster....I dont know why....but this time I discovered that just down the street from the Visitor Moorings is a Tesco, a Frenchgate shopping centre, a high street, a lake, and a lot more. It just shows you...every town has a silver lining if you can find it :)

We've been allowed 72hours mooring here, so we'll be leaving in the morning, and heading on towards Sheffield...via a few stops. Our plan is to find a mooring where I can go fetch the car, and drive our eldest to his exams during the month of May, before leaving the area for more relaxed cruising...all the way retracing our steps....probably heading for Liverpool,Manchester, Birmingham and every canal in between...I could do with some Penine quietness...via Leeds and Skipton....ahhh choices choices :) It's nice mooring in a city, but 3 days is enough for me...I like to be on the move....if I've seen the same duck for 3 days, It's time to find another one :)))