Sunday, 24 March 2013

More on the battery watering system

We woke early this morning.  I knew it because the bedroom was dark.  Peering through one half closed eye I noticed there was snow covering the Houdini hatch glass.  So it wasn’t early after all!

Not being able to go cruising has become so depressing I decided to end it all and shove my head in the stove…….

After five minutes Jan informed me my head was in the wrong stove! Smile 

OK… back to being serious.  We’re still enjoying this boating business, even if we haven’t been able to go anywhere.  And I was just checking the stove had lit properly!

After breakfast it was time to identify the problem with the automatic battery watering system.  The tubing was drained and the distilled water carefully returned to the header tank.  Then the Flow Meter was removed.  It has one 8mm nozzle on the primary side and two 5mm nozzles on the secondary.  I tried blowing air through the meter but there was a blockage.  After a deep breath I tried really hard to blow through the meter and almost blew the valve in the seat of my trousers.  The next attempt was to push the nib of a biro down the primary nozzle.  This revealed there was a spring loaded valve preventing the chamber from opening.  It appears the Flow Meter is designed to be fitted to a pressurized water line.  One assumes if the header tanks runs out of water then the valve will close.  Our header tank is gravity fed which means there will never be sufficient pressure to open the valve.  But the Flow meter is required in our system because it’s the device that splits our 8mm tube into two 5mm tubes.  To overcome the problem I’ve rigged a temporary solution and jammed the Flow Meter valve open with a tooth pick.  The system was then reassembled and water flowed through the meter to the battery caps.  The header tank is now almost empty which means we need to purchase more distilled water.

After lunch we took the folding sack trolley and a diesel container down to the marina to purchase more diesel for the Lockgate Refleks stove.  This involved a certain amount of manoeuvrings in the cockpit whilst we both got into jackets and boots.  Fortunately the temperature isn’t low enough to turn the snow to ice and the gangplank therefore wasn’t the hazard it might have been.

The snow on the towpath is quickly turning to water.

There is still snow on the roof of Waiouru which reinforces to us the effectiveness of the insulation.

Further down the towpath we came upon this hardy gentleman.  I thought the expression was “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun!”  Fishing in this weather?  It’s too cold for the fish!

He informed Jan there hadn’t been a bite all morning and he was going to give up.

The bridge was up whilst the contractors complete some scheduled maintenance.  It looked like they were replacing the hydraulic hoses and some of the hydraulic valves. 

It’s the second consecutive weekend the bridge has been closed to vehicular traffic.  However pedestrians can still cross using a temporary bridge on the far side.

After almost 20 years of working in Australia one became used to working in very hot and dry conditions.  It was important to remain hydrated.  This is the other extreme!  Still, I think our blood is thickening!

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