Tuesday, 31 July 2012

New Flag Required!!...

It was time to continue our journey and go through the final pair of locks on the Atherstone flight.Our departure was slightly delayed due to the rain, we were ready to go but then suddenly a downpour, so we sat it out before the clouds parted and there was lovely sunshine again. We weren't far from the first lock and with only two I left my bike onboard this time. We got through the locks in no time as luckily they were both in our favour, although as has been the case on the whole flight, the locks leak water through the bottom gates so top paddles had to be opened to allow the gate to open. Fortunately for me on both locks boats were waiting to come up so I was able to leave the gates open and jump back aboard as James and LJ passed through the bottom gate, that saved me having to run and catch up and James having to hover whilst I do so. 

Next was a stop off at the water point to fill the tank, although we have been very conservative with the water and still had half a tank, I started the washing machine going once through the locks so we could go on with a completely full tank. On the way to the water point James notice an over hanging tree had stolen my Team GB flag and it was hanging in the branches, I was getting ready to make a grab for it as we passed under but unfortunately it fell before we got there and was floating in the canal, so instead I was going to have to try and pluck it from the canal as we passed, James slowed right down, I was in position to grab but my reach wasn't long enough and it went by, James then reversed but with the all the water moving around the flag disappeared so that was it. New flag now required!

We stopped off at the water point I started the fill, the pressure on this one wasn't too bad and as we only need half a tank it shouldn't take too long, there are also rubbish binstoo here , this isn't always the case though,. Whilst all this was going on the washing machine finished so I hung it out on the front deck as it was lovely and sunny with a slight breeze - perfect for washing drying. Meanwhile James was preparing a snack for us on the move. The downside to this perfect set up was the look of the sky in the direction we were heading - very dark clouds! Passing by the Bongo we headed off for a new location.

A little snack to keep us going
Bet there's rain in those clouds!!!
Watching all the boats going past
After only about 10 minutes of leaving there were the first few drops of rain, inside I went closed the side hatch, moved the washing inside and closed the front doors just in case it got heavier - good job too because it poured down - with waterproofs ready I took the tiller as James got into his and then my turn, and there was lots of rain. We had a little patch of sunshine before the rain came again.  

There are good moorings for stopping off in Polesworth but we carried onto through Pooley Fields Country Park, the canal runs right through it and there is even a mooring point if you want to stop off at the visitors centre. Pooley Fields is a SSSI and has several pools created from mining subsidence.  We also passed Pooley Hall which is a Tudor brick mansion from 1509 and according to our canal book (thanks Mum) is possibly the oldest occupied building in Warwickshire.

Pooley Hall through the trees
And a distant view 
Once out of the tree lined canal we moored up, so least if the sun does come out the solar panels can do their work.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Olympic Flag…

After being all ‘Bah Humbug’ about spending our beer, bangers and beans budget on plastic flags for the recent jubilee I have given in to popular demand and Deb has requisition one ‘Team GB’ flag for LJ.

Come on TEAM GB! - Note small iron burn hole ;)

Stocks are getting pretty low on LJ so breakfast was some fresh rolls and coffee. Hard life init! Well I say fresh rolls – we made enough dough for last night’s pizzas and left the remainder in neat baps (or batches as they call them in these parts) ready to bake in the morning. Not bad at all with Morrison’s 27p marmalade and cheapo coffee J

Last night's leftover pizza dough

Plenty of breezes today which was really pleasant when the sun was out but a bit chilly compared with the last few days when it hid behind the clouds. A great morning for sitting and reading on the rear terrace before starting the jobs for the day.

Onto the jobs, only a few though don’t want to waste the weather. Deb was back onto polishing the brass on the chimney pot. Not an easy job, I don’t think it has ever been done! I started a bit more paint work – front hand rail today. It had already been prepped and smoothed with wet’n’dry but there was no guidelines on the point pot, probably due to the fact that we found it in a locker and it was a Robertson’s raspberry jam pot. We did have another colour though with some identifying marks. A quick Google advised that it was likely enamel resin paint specifically produced for narrowboats. Boat owners seem to fall into either the ‘it says marine on it so it’s worth £30 a litre’ or it’s the 'right colour I’ll slap it on' camps. I have seen everything from budget exterior gloss to JCB paint to exterior masonry paint being used over the last few months! Again not saying who is wrong or who is right I guess its horses for courses, I will carry on using the locker paint till it runs out then worry about new suply.

As I mentioned stock is getting low so while all the other boaters are lighting BBQ’s again we will be tucking into stilton (at least I think it is stilton) and onion quiche (or have we gone far enough north to call it flan?) With tea and a bit of my budget quick and easy fruit loaf later (might post the recipe for this one as it is so quick and easy to make) when we catch up on the Olympics’ progress  - as long as Deb doesn’t want to be waving her flag at the telly! 

Latest update tonight is that our dead cert for gold came 29th in the cycling road race
 letting the Kazantzakis romp home, so doubt I will watch for long.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Lock Time ....

After our look round the market in Atherstone we waited until late afternoon to start our descent down the Atherstone Locks.  The locks are grouped with five together and the further six grouped in three pairs, James and I had decided to do the first five and then moor up for an overnight stay, but we were making good progress and quite enjoying it we continued on through the first pair and then the second.  I had my bike so getting between the locks was easy for me, once the two gates were closed it was 'on me bike' and heading for the next one to get it ready for James and Lois Jane to enter.  We were quite lucky that we had passed another boat coming the other way so the locks should be in our favour, unfortunately though most of the bottom gates were letting quite a lot of the water out so the levels weren't right and I couldn't get the top gate open, therefore it was a case of opening the paddles to let more water in and then quickly getting the gate opening before it all escaped again!  

Once away from the flight of five the pairs are quite rural and James even had a go of opening the bottom paddle before running back to take charge of LJ again before she went too far down, he has the job of keeping her off the cill on the way down.  A couple of the locks were quite deep, I'm pleased I was at the top doing the hard work!

In the lock ready for the descent
Now waiting for the bottom gates to be opened
Going between the pairs I took the opportunity of getting a different angle of Lois Jane, we always seem to have photos of her looking along the roof or side so here are some different views.

James enjoying a solo trip
We have certainly been enjoying the nice warm sunny days and today as it was a bit cooler with a breeze and some clouds we even got some more outside work done.  James was getting some of the battle scars ready to paint and I started polishing the brass on the chimney, it is only a small bit but I think it will take some time.  

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Hot enough for sun hats!...

Sun hats AND sunglasses

Glad were close to town today! We’ve moved up closer to the locks but only by a mile or so. We need to use the elsan and rubbish disposal facilities at the top lock. We had an inkling that we would pop into Athertone as it was market day and then start the flight.

Today there is no breeze, once we are in town (about 10ish) we can feel the temperature rising quickly – it might get close to 30 deg c today.

Atherstone’s market square is only a small one but popular with the locals. The fruit and veg stall looked bountiful but not a patch on Leicester’s for quality and variety and the prices were at least double.

Market in front of the church

We had a brief look around the church, again very big for a town this size. It’s octagonal tower used to house a bell as heavy as a 50ft narrowboat. The 14 cwt lump was taken out hundreds of years ago as it was the type that swung in a full 180 degree arc. It was putting immense pressure on the tower so now stands on guard at the entrance.

Octagonal belfry
Atherstone is a pleasant and bustling town. Charity shops aplenty don’t do much to hide it’s demographic. Neither do all the signs offering discounted meals to OAP’s – how does two courses and coffee sound for £3, not bad eh!

Off the high-street
Back to the boat after buying a couple of Cornish sorry beef and vegetable short crust pasties (nice to see a local baker outselling the Greg's next door) and wait for late afternoon/early evening before taking on the flight. With no rain in sight until Sunday how long will it be before the authorities start imposing lock restrictions I wonder.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Two Days of Sun - is Summer Finally Here???

Well we woke this morning to sun streaming through the windows, nothing better to get you motivated to get up and about. We were cycling back to Hartshill to pick up the Bongo and decided to go back into Nuneaton to have a look round in the sun.

We got parked ok and strolled through the town again, everything seems so much better in the sunshine. It's a shame the River Anker runs under part of the town and not made a feature of, although there is a small pleasant garden area it does run through where we stopped for a coffee.  

There are some lovely old buildings in the town and we came across a fantastic hardware shop, Nuneaton Toolbox. I spotted a small galvanised bucket outside which I had been looking out for and so went inside, it was amazing there were just rows of shelves and literally 'stuff' everywhere I'm sure they must have stocked anything you could possibly want ... and more, we also found the tea and coffee stain remover that we have been looking high and low for that as we have two stainless steel mugs that we used when we are on the move that have become very stained, not for much longer. Anything hardware this is your place, a huge variety of padlocks, bolts of every shape and size puts places like B&Q and Homebase to shame.  It was so amazing James took these photos.

Situated in the George Eliot Building

Just one aisle of many 

And another

Another building that I liked the look of
We stopped off at Asda for a couple of bits and with these loaded onto the bikes it was back to Lois Jane.  The Cobb BBQ was lit ready for the burgers and as the solar panels had done a really good job and started to earn their keep we didn't need to run the engine to charge the batteries, the Smart Gauge was saying 100% and that was with the fridge running overtime all day (it was 32c inside as it had been shut up all day), the only downside to this was no hot water (as the last was used showering when we got back), and we hadn't had the Eberspacher on for the hot water either, so once the burgers were cook James filled the kettle and and put it on the Cobb and hey presto hot water for washing up.  What a very 'green' day, for a change.  

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Summer Tiiiiime and the livin is easyyyyyy...

Well we all know the tune but if not - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIDOEsQL7lA but this one by Ella and Louis has gota be the best version. 

The xc weather forecast shows that we may expect cloud in the Atherstone area by Friday next week J

First me then Deb then the weather had the briefest of showers this morning  before the clouds started to burn off to leave a warm, blowy summers day.

First port of call was the water point about one hundred feet away to fill up the tanks. We have used less than half this week and haven’t been too careful with it which is good news. We cleaned the mud off the bikes at the same time as the water pressure was quite powerful and the wharf was paved. 

Water and bike cleaning point
We used the same water point last year on Sarah Louise and it still leaks! Disappointing really as this place could easily be one of the highlights of the Coventry canal. It boasts easy access to town, good visitor moorings and the old boat yard. Harts hill boatyard has some of the old buildings up for lease. With the canal and rivers trust now in charge of the system (British waterways is no more) there is a great opportunity for someone here. The wharf is looking sorry for itself at the moment though, but a bit of brickwork on the yards entrance, some heavy weeding and a spanner for the leaking water point should see it acceptable in no more than a long weekend.

Part of the old boat yard
Maybe I’ll email the charity and offer to sell them some hours of labour where needed for a reduction in my waterways licence! The area will look better, more visitors will arrive and I will save a few quid on fees, who is to lose?

It was a short voyage to an open sunny point between the edge of Mancetter and Atherstone. Quite quiet on the cut with only a few boats out, more expected later though as the hirers make their way away from the boatyards through the suburbs into the Warwickshire countryside.

Wider, more open parts of the Coventry - a contrast to the Ashby

A new day a new view!
We left the bongo clean and polished at the last mooring point with only a few miles to cycle back to pick up. The advert on eBay is getting a lot of hits (and a few watchers) but the only emails have been from scammers wanting to pay through PayPal. PayPal is secure enough to buy/sell something small but they are quite slow in responding if purchases have been made fraudulently. A buyer can pay using dodgy cash, as soon as you see it in your account, hand over the keys and V5 only for PayPal to put a hold on your account a day or so later! I’ve changed the listing to cash only on collection and deleted my email address. If we don’t get what we want for it this week it will have to go back in as a straight auction with a low reserve, either way we should be cycling our ten miles every other day or so away from the canal to really get to know an area not up and down the same bit to pick up the van. 

The next time we move will be down through Atherstone flight of locks so I will have to get the video camera charged ready. Eleven in total but spaced out towards the end so we might do an overnighter between the latter ones.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

The Back End of Nuneaton...

We left our mooring late in the afternoon following our usual ritual of worrying about where we could next park the car and when we would collect it. We decided this time to do the van leg of the journey first and the boat last. So a mile walk to the van, load the bikes in, hour driving around looking for a parking space, 7 mile bike ride through mud too deep to walk through back to the boat for a 4pm sarnie for lunch (just like the good old days in the office). 

I had thought that this section of the towpath had all been restored, but evidently it was just the section where the boat was. There were no roads within a few miles of the canal so we had to stick to the towpath. Our slick road tyres were finding traction tricky and Deb resorted at one stage to using her bike as a mobility aide through the mud and walking in the hedge at an angle of about 30deg from vertical. My philosophy was that the mud should have been washed out of the puddles by other bikers with more suitable knobbly tyres, leaving the best chance of traction through the middle of the puddles and their gravelly bottoms rather than trying the muddy circumference that was sure to spit me off. It was a gamble though as the middle of the puddles are the deepest and wettest (as I recall from my CSE geography lessons). The gamble paid off and I made it home unscathed. 

The cruise was at our usual slow place and it was a great evening for it. No other boaters passing by (they're all tucked up in front of Eastenders) just the evening dog walkers and joggers to nod politely to. Jacket spuds in the oven (powered by our now working generator) and pint of 'ome brew on the rear hatch, this is the life. We were waved at by paper reading pensioners and accosted by a drunk BBQ'ing  Irishman wanting an in-depth conversation into the nuances of our solar system (as in our electrical charging panels not the the collection of planets and their moons in orbit around a sun, together with smaller bodies such as asteroids, meteoroids, and comets - who do you think I am Brian Cox?). A quick stop to check the coupling was ok on the generator turned into a half hour audio presentation by 'me-duck', a local boater, describing every safe mooring point and pub for the next five miles as well as his interpretations of the Health and Safety  at work act 1974, as he has just broken his ankle at work after a mere three weeks employment.

We even passed 'Splosh'. Splosh and crew were our resident neighbours in Hinckley. A very warm and genuine family unit tightly squeezed into 60 odd foot. Mum and dad taking a three week break from work with daughter and granddaughter and a planned trip to Llangollen and back. A quick toot of our horn saw beaming smiles and vigorous waves as we passed by. Nice to see them again.

As you leave Nuneaton you can see a very neat hillock in the distance, obviously influenced by man, possibly a motte where a bailey may have stood. It looks great for a bit of a hike and a perusal of the surrounding landscape. Unfortunately a quick google search doesn’t throw up much encouragement; the hill is just a grassy spoils heap in the middle of a quarry.

This kinda sums up the area really; no offence intended to any Nuneatoneons but the place is a bit of a boil on the bum of Warwickshire. I do feel slightly qualified to comment having lived for several years in Basingstoke. I tried Wikipedia to see if I could see endearing features that I was missing and there are quite a lot of interesting facts throughout history (after all it has been around 900 odd years) but few seem to be celebrated nowadays. Of course there is the author George Elliot, Mary Whitehouse and Larry (shut that door) Grayson; but even ‘inckley had its ‘osiery manufacturer and ‘inckley triumph.

I did find some interesting facts that I have pilfered from a wiki Uncyclopedia that made me laugh here are a few excerpts.

                Nuneaton (often commonly spelt Gnuneaton), is a township in the Midlands, which was originally founded sometime between the Triassic Period and 1984, the year of the first Police Academy film, as an elaborate practical joke.
            The township was built by prisoners in the nearby penal colony of Coventry, and is notable for resembling every other slum in the region. The town has something of a frontier mentality, where inbreeding and a total disregard for law and convention is ingrained in local culture. It is possible to tell a resident of Nuneaton apart from peasants of other shanty towns, due to the physical deformities amongst the local population, notably extra digits. This mutation is known as Nunism, and the locals as Nunites. The typical Nuneaton greeting of "Gimme Six!", met with a slapping of hands, can be regularly witnessed in most local hovels. This is known locally as the "hundred hand slap", and was famously stolen by automotive manufacturer Eddie Honda, to advertise their Street fighter range of hatchbacks. Additionally, Nunites can be identified, by their feet. As well as the extra toes, it is required that all Nunites have white socks. Anyone with any other colour, is not a local, despite any facial mutations they may have, and will not get served in Bilberries, the local mecca of sophistication.
            The River Wanker runs parallel with the town sewage system, and is a haven for numerous wildlife, including plesiosaurs and brummies. In common with most parts of the third world, every man, bear, dog, woman, child and other creatures, without gills, descend on the banks, to partake in their weekly communal bath. However the town's most famous landmark is Mount Judd, an anthill, which towers some six foot above the rest of the cesspit. Mount Judd is the primary location for the borough's repeated attempts at space travel, and public executions.
§        Nuneaton is affectionately referred to as Treacle Town, due to the local population being very thick. The average IQ is 58 points.
§  People in Nuneaton are also referred as{ Codders }Due the stealing of the fish from Hinckley in the 1700's
§  Camp Hill has more single mums, than there are rats in branches of Starburger.
§  Nuneaton was forced to twin with nearby Bedworth, as no other towns wanted to be associated with it.
§  The town's biggest export is STDs, and biggest import is taxpayers money, in order to issue 100,000 giros every fortnight.
§  The local branch of Dixons sold two AA batteries for five pounds, making them the most expensive in the world.
§  It is customary in Nuneaton after drinking several pints, to urinate into your own socks, which must under all circumstances be white.
§  For every baby, there are 5,000 nappies dumped on the pavement a day.
§  Until 1989, it was only possible to view Nuneaton in black and white.
§  In 2001, it was deemed necessary to replace or re-design the Queens Arcade - the birth-place of the worlds first pigeon. The Ropewalk Shopping Centre was commissioned after 4 years, it was redesigned 7241 times.

Okay it’s all very tongue in cheek but ‘many a true word is spoken in jest’ Now on to Atherstone!

Friday, 20 July 2012

Where's Summer Gone??

Well James and I are finally off the Ashby and onto the Coventry again. Not that there is anything wrong with the Ashby, far from it, it was just suppose to be a trip of maybe a couple of weeks that ended up being nearly two months, how time flies. It certainly is a rural canal with the only industrial part being around Hinckley and I suppose with it being a dead end not a lot of boat traffic, we have certainly noticed the difference back on the Coventry, lots more boats and people walking and cycling the tow path. We have moored about a mile south of Nuneaton overlooking fields on both sides, although one side is through the hedge on the tow path, still very nice.

The tow path here is very good, we had a wander back down to Marston Junction (where the Ashby goes off the Coventry) and the map/notice board was saying how British Waterways and Nuneaton Council had a joint venture to make the tow paths what they are today, however it did take several years to complete, but well worth it.  

Me at Marston Junction
The start of the Ashby from Marston Junction
Heading along the Coventry to Nuneaton past the junction
Yesterday we cycled the mile or so up to Nuneaton and then about a half a mile of road and we were in the centre of Nuneaton. Having left the bikes at one of the few 'bike parks' we took off on foot to explore the town. It is a good sized town with all the usual high street shops and central shopping centre (and really could be anywhere), but what I really liked was the George Elliott Park, with all its flowers in full bloom, the grass areas and a fantastic kids play area. Unfortunately, on our stroll back to the bikes it started to rain quite heavily so we took shelter in the library and caught up with the news from the papers there. Then back to our leisurely cycle along the tow path to Lois Jane.

A formal area of the park and the museum 
This morning I checked the bilges out and although a little rain has got in, cruiser sterns are notorious for rain water getting in (and I really don't know where from!!) but anyway a quick mop out with only two wrings and all is dry again, so a very happy Debbie. 

Once the rain subsides we are hoping to move this afternoon - closer to those 11 lock at Atherstone!!!

Monday, 16 July 2012

Summer for a day...

The evening weather was kind to us yesterday, with the winds abating we nearly had a sunset!

Pretty sky but the ducks are swimming in the fields

Lots of boats with stoves lit again

The tow paths here are in an awful state, thick mud, deep puddles and no grip on the mooring pins. We resorted to using the spare pine through the eye of the first one so each line had two pins at opposing angles – they held fast.

If we stay here another day we will end up here for a week. It’s a convenient location and a nice spot for people watching; there are permanent moorings, paddocks and water points to keep us busy. No we definitely need to be off tomorrow morning.

Lunchtimes (actually brunch times) fish and chips saw us through the day finishing with a power saving (no need to spark the generator up) cheese salad sarnie and a coffee made with boiling water from the flask (well not boiling really but just about adequate we really need a better one). The fish and chips were a bit of a bargain as well; half price at Morrison’s all in one box for £1.50, 15 minutes in the oven et voila. We even broke the bank with a small tin each of ‘saver’ mushy peas at only 8p a tin; they were pretty good quality and a lot cheaper than I could have made them from scratch! Pickled onions and a slice of bread reminded me of our many trips to Harry Ramsdens overlooking the grockles on Bournemouth beach a couple of miles from our house in Poole. At about £1.65 each it was certainly a lot cheaper though and the view was nearly as good.

A probably too large a glass of calvados (glad we bought so many random drinks on previous holidays – what are we going to do when the cellar runs dry?) had us ready for ZZZ’s at a decent hour for a change. We would be up early (ish).

I could hear the dawn chorus starting and I reminded myself of our early start, not that early though. The kind weather man had forecast a high of 28deg C right over us and uninterrupted midday sun and I wanted to be moored up by 11.00 latest, don’t want to burn to a crisp! The dawn chorus came and went and I was back to the ZZZ’s. Water fowl tend to have their dawn at a slightly more reasonable time and I awoke again (properly this time) to the whisper of drizzle on the roof light.

Sadly the weather forecast was figment of my dawn til 6.30 imaginations. The reason we had agreed to leave so early is that there was a window in the weather between 6.30 and 10.00ish, after that we could expect 10mm plus from the heavy rain clouds before lunchtime.

We were up and straight out by 7.00 and making enjoyable progress on our first proper run for a long time. I do like early morning and late evening cruises; I can go at my own pace and not conform to everyone else’s hurried plans. I travel at about 2.5mph possibly 3mph if there are no moored boats and nesting wildlife close to the water’s edge. It suits me and I really don’t care if I manage only six miles in my unhurried two and a half hours where the hurried others can get oh, maybe eight miles in that time.

The rain had started by Marston Junction, but it was only light. We are moored in another pleasant spot just up the Coventry; the next leg see’s us through town (loads of gardens to nose at!) before we get to Athertone and its 11 downward locks – double porridge on that day then!!

New neighbours come to say Hi!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

A weeks holiday ...

James and I have just spent a week away from Lois Jane celebrating Jess's 21st Birthday, this was after Lyn came to visit us at the marina and even managed to stay for a couple of days, although unfortunately it rained most of the time.  We did get to go out for a stroll down the canal and the following day a trip to Leicester to get the last minute bits and pieces for the 21st Birthday celebrations.

Fruit and Veg market at Leicester
We left Hinckley on Saturday and headed to Mums where we were staying for the weekend and then down to Jess in Winchester on Monday, where she would be arriving by train from Poole.  We were aiming to meet her at the station but wanted to stop off at her house to get some banners and balloons up before she arrived, we managed to do this and then get to the station just as her train pull up at the platform - what good timing.  Mum and Lyn arrived later in the afternoon, followed by Pam and Pete who had cut short their holiday in France to get there.  We all then strolled into Winchester to The Willow Tree where we had a Birthday dinner.

The Birthday Girl
Cake Anyone??
The Olympic torch was due to go through Winchester on Wednesday so James, Jess and I headed to the centre to watch it go through, it was so busy with people lining the streets hours before the torch was due, the atmosphere was good and it was all over in minutes as the man in white past us carrying the lit torch.

The Crowds had gathered
And finally the Torch
We headed back to Hinckley and Lois Jane on Friday, calling in to Mum on the way to collect the last of the packages we had ordered for delivery there including our two stools for the breakfast bar so we can finally use it properly now.  Richard, the engineer for the generator, had called James to say the part was in and tested and we arrangements were made for him to come and fit it on Saturday.

So Saturday came and so did Richard, he fitted the generator and now it was testing time again ... and yes it worked perfectly so it would definitely be a Sunday departure from the marina.  So I spent the rest of the day catching up with the washing.
Complete at last!!
Today (Sunday) it was a visit to Morrisons to stock up the depleted cupboards, lunch of fish and chips and then finally it was time to leave the marina, we arrived there on 12 June expecting to stay maybe up to a week and ended up being there for over a month!

We left later than planned and were heading for Marston Junction but as we were later leaving we decided to stop earlier and are only about a mile from the marina BUT we are back on the canal and it is a lovely sunny evening even if the tow path is like a mud bath.   

The Ebony and Ivory Duck Club Meeting on the Ashby

Monday, 2 July 2012

Spot The Difference...

Pic 1

Pic 2








Richard came over within 10minutes of calling with the rebuilt geni, a new box of bits and a shiny new coat of paint. Unfortunately the geni was outputting nearly 320 volts (ouch!) and wouldn't adjust down using the magic box of bits. The only way we could get it to 250 volts was to adjust the engine revs right down (we should have just two options 950 rpm and 1500 rpm. We adjusted it down to 950 rpm and 1150 rpm) by the time the voltage was right the geni wasn't pushing enough current so we had no power still to the cooker! A quick call to his boss confirmed Richards thoughts that the rectifier from USA was duff. So looks like we are here for another ten days at least!

Good job we like it here - off to the marina tomorrow to pay some more money and see if they will give us a couple of bob off.

Fingers crossed