Low impact

The evening passed with a visit to St Marie to discover why a patient at a plastic surgery facility was murdered. Naturally, the team eventually discovered the culprit. My next entertainment took me back to 1940’s Brussels and an English woman used as bait to attempt to snare the Resistance. And finally, to sleepy Surbiton where The Goods were working against the clock to get their Spring planting in the ground. They wound-up asleep at Jerry and Margot’s party having gone there at 20:30 to complain about the noise.

Noises off woke me from my slumber just before 02:00. Some noisy individuals seemed to be walking down Alonáki Beach and then along Grammeno Beach. Georgia’s dogs made a good racket which I hoped would prevent them from entering the camping. I kept watch from my pit by means of the CCTV cameras. They eventually went on to annoy others around 02:30 at which point I resumed my slumbers. Fido wanted out at 05:30 but I even went back to sleep after letting him out and back in again.

It seemed to take forever to get going this morning for both me and the dogs. Usually, they come to me under the awning to have their collars put on however, this morning I ended up taking the collars to the gate and putting them on there so keen were they to get out.

The walk was uneventful as I kept a close eye on Luis and Fido to ensure there was no skiving off to root through the garbage bin. Someone had righted it but I feel sure there was still something of interest still on the ground nearby.

It was a bright, clear morning with a full moon heading for the western horizon. The sea was calm and there was little wind. The view from the end of the Promontory was magnificent. There was plenty of birdsong as we walked back over the field towards the camping. Oskar managed to come back with everyone else but it will be interesting to see whether he manages it again this evening.

Full moon over Kountoura

I rode off to Krios via the greenhouses as usual. The hill up between the greenhouses seemed a little steeper, partly due to the battery giving around 120W of assistance and not 140W+. Gregory and his dogs were nearly at the car park so I continued on to await their arrival. Bella was the first and even broke into a run! Apparently, she’s a little like Luis who takes him time and only runs whenever there’s something sufficiently of interest to merit the extra exertion.

Gregory watered the trees, I petted the dogs and surveyed the almost flat-calm sea. The seagulls I thought I could see turned out to be floats marking and supporting fishing nets. There was also a diver not far away as I noticed his position float as I rode along the road.

Just after 09:00, I started back to the camping as lethargy was beginning to overtake me. I fed the dogs before unfolding the brown chair to put it on the decking in the sun. I then placed myself in the chair to soak up the sun. After an hour or so, it was getting quite warm so I transferred myself indoors to make something to eat. The dogs, meanwhile were scattered around sleeping in the sun as all good dogs do.

Nikos alerted me to a potential customer who was wandering the camping looking for information. He’s at Paleochora camping but on the beach using the showers and the washing machine. I toured the camping with him and gave him all the lowdown. He was telling me that he hoped lockdown would end soon. I replied that my money was on Easter as a more realistic time. He left me to talk to Nikos and I went to take my bread out of the oven.

The loaf is substantial so it won’t be necessary to eat too many slices at one time! Something to do with the quantity of ground sunflower kernels, flax and pumpkin seeds in the mix. Certainly a bread with body! The proof will be in the eating.

Having used my SmartShunt a few weeks, I felt it was time to fully charge and discharge the battery so as to calibrate the SOC (State Of Charge) and capacity. There are a number of factors controlling the maximum and minimum voltages but they are not necessarily entirely consistent between each device due to the differences in battery chemistry.

For example, LFE batteries can be charged to 100% and discharged to 0%. Not necessarily guaranteed to make them last so long but possible. Flooded lead has completely different characteristics so the kit has to try to accommodate several chemistry types.

The Smart Shunt is nearly the last device in the line so is the best for controlling charge/discharge. The aim of the game is to get all pieces of kit to play nicely together as well as getting the best balance between battery life and power availability. Naturally, if I had all Victron components they would all be compatible as well as talk to each other. But they are expensive!

The current task, having fully charged the battery, is to see how far it can be safely discharged before one piece of kit decides to call it a day and shut down the battery. I won’t be left in the dark as the system fails over to grid power if there’s no battery power or sun.

The problem is that some controls are activated by voltage which is rather an unreliable method when LFE batteries are involved. Calculating the actual power stored and used is far more reliable which is where the Smart Shunt comes in.

The Evening Walk was far from uneventful. The full moon rose from behind the mountains as we walked across the field. I could see a couple of cars in the beach car park so guessed there would be fishermen. Some lunatic in a car arrived whose idea of exercising himself and his dog is to have the dog run after the car. Needless to say, there was a little excitement as the dogs sorted themselves out but I called them to me and they came with very little additional persuasion. Some fishermen were walking back across the rocks and three more were coming across the sandy area from the point. They had very strong lights which was surprising as I could see pretty well by the light of the moon.

Oskar managed to be one of the first through the gate on the way back so it’s possible that yesterday’s experience of being locked outside whilst the others ate, may have had an effect. Or then, maybe not. After all, he’s very fluffy!

Full moon over Paleochora
Sunny and warm with no wind. A perfect day.


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