Wednesday, 19 June 2013

A wandering we will go……

The internet connection last night was the worst we’ve experienced since starting our cruising on Waiouru.  Even with the phone connected to the Australian outback aerial on the roof the signal was constantly dropping out and it took ages to send the blog post.

This morning Jan was up very early (4.00am) and being the sweetie she is work me at 6.00am with a hot cup of tea and a biscuit to remind me we planned to move early as we needed to catch the bus back to Market Harborough.  Apart from the poor 3 Mobile connection last night’s mooring was quite nice and certainly quiet.

At 7.00am we slipped our mooring and with the engine (just) on tick-over quietly moved off leaving our fellow boaters to their dreams.  It was a short distance to Saddington Tunnel and in anticipation of it being wet inside we’d worn our new leather hats and rain jackets.

Jan sang her way through.  I think she might be frightened of the dark!

We found a short piece of armco piling just beyond bridge 73 where we moored and walked across the fields into Fleckney.  The No44 bus arrived approximately 10 minutes later.  Our seniors concession pass wasn’t recognised by the on board scanner but that didn’t seem to worry the driver.  It was a very interesting 40 minute drive to Market Harborough as the bus took a very long and circular route passing through small villages and rolling countryside <marvellous>.

The first task at Market Harborough was to go to the post office and collect our Post Restante parcel.  The teller did mention she hadn’t handled a transaction of this type very often and went to speak to someone more senior.  I had offered my bus passes as proof of identity as it has my photo on it.  However they wanted to see my debit card (which doesn’t have a photo?).  We duly took possession of the package and then Jan went to Sainsburys whilst I headed up the High St to find a shop that could take some passport photos of me for my visa application.  I’m reluctant to use those automatic booths as I’m not convinced I’d be able to produce a photo of the required standard.  One of the pharmacies had a photo centre and once in possession of my six photos I headed back to Sainburys to help Jan pack all the purchases into our day packs.  We then went to a tea room for a light lunch.  The choice of shop was mine and; as usual; I failed spectacularly.  The tables were dirty, along with one of the plates, and there were lumps in the sugar bowl.  Now you know why I’m reluctant to take Jan out for a meal!

The bus journey back to Fleckney appeared to take less time but that might have been because we were the only passengers.

Back at Waiouru I opened the parcel to find the Mio P350 PDA we had purchased used off eBay for £20 was in it’s original wrapping.

That was a surprise and a positive start.  PDA’s pre-date smartphones but are not all that old.  When purchased new the Mio would have cost the original owner around £250.  And our bid of £20 was accepted. Smile  It wouldn’t turn on and I was hoping all that indicated was a flat battery.  I was right <phew!>.  A couple of hours were spent configuring the software and connecting it to the laptop.  Then a sample map was loaded.  The <@#$%^&> screen was blank.  More fiddling around until I accidentally touched a button and the map appeared.  All of this could have been much quicker if I’d taken the time to read the instructions instead of diving straight in.  It’s a bloke thing! 

Paul <Waterway Routes> you may want to note your maps appear to work on a Mio P350!

The plan is to mount the Mio somewhere in the cockpit where the steerer can see it.  I’ve placed it on top of the sliding hatch as a temporary measure to see what it looks like.

The inbuilt gps was still finding its location hence the series of red lines and dots around our location.

It’s possible to transfer user data between the Mio and the laptop.  The Mio will also record our route as a ‘breadcrumb’ and we can add points of interest (eg, mooring spots) as we are cruising.  So we should be able to build a personal record of our cruises that can be laid on top of the standard maps.

Tomorrow Jan is planning to visit the factory shop at the local Fleckney woollen mills.  She probably needs more wool for the latest knitted blanket!  After that there might be time for another short cruise north.

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