Saturday, April 21, 2018

Just like old times

We pulled Derwent6 back to the end of the arm at Welford and then turned using the wind to go back into the village.
As we pulled into the basin there was Mark on the coal boat with his fresh delivery and he loaded on our one bag of coal we were owed.
We then picked up Del's Mum and Keith as we had planned a trip for them.
The weather was stunning; a warm 74 degrees, blues skies and not that busy on the canals.
They got themselves comfortable and we set off through the lock and back out to the end of the arm.
We then turned right and headed towards Foxton. It was good to see North Kilworth marina with three boats in and nearly finished.
We then entered Bosworth Tunnel and after a three hour cruise reached the top of Foxton Locks.. We turned and moored up..
 We got as close to the locks as we could and then walked down to the Foxton Locks Inn in glorious sunshine and found a lovely table outside.
We had a few drinks and a bite to eat but got very comfortable and didn't leave till 3.00pm. We took a slow walk back to the boat and on the way Keith very kindly brought us all an Ice Cream.
We left at 4.00pm for our journey back and the weather was holding out for us. It was great to be cruising in the sun again, but with the trickle of the water and the sun in your face it was hard to keep your eyes open..
It was a good job we had the tunnel to wake us all back up and prepare us for going back up the arm and then the lock.
We turned at the end again and then got out the wine and a few nibbles before we said our goodbyes.
It was a lovely day and another memory. We use to be taken out on this very trip on n.b Thema, and it was nice now to return the compliment and give us all a trip down memory lane with the roles reversed.

The best a man can do!

We have been enjoying being on our own at the end of the arm here at Welford and used the time wisely. Del has constantly been working on the outside of the boat with brasses, polishing, painting the plank and pole, engine belts checking and central heating service, plus adding a few new bits like ropes and fenders..

Yes after ten years, three months, and eleven days, Derwent6 is looking like new again. This is the best Del could get Derwent6 to look, and she looks fab..
Al on the other hand did the same inside and with the smell of some home cooking, Derwent6 really is home..
To top things off Mark on the coal boat pulled up along side us with a new crew member.
Meet three year old Oscar, the rescued dog, and what a very happy little dog he is..
He has fell on his feet with Mark and a very good companion on those long winter days. Oscar has already fallen in three times so he is learning fast what boating is all about, and that he can't chase ducks when they are swimming.
We topped up with diesel and grabbed a bag of coal, only the fifth bag we have brought this winter as there has been so much wood..
So Derwent6 is ready for the off and a cruise could be on the cards for tomorrow.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Peace and quiet

We had a bit of a lay in this morning and thought we would move around 10.00am. It was lovely to see some sunshine for the first time in ages and it actually felt warm, a good cruising day.
We said our goodbyes to Sian on the boat next to us and then set off nice and slowly to the lock. It was against us but Al soon had it filled and we were on our way.
 We just wanted to move out of Welford and have some peace and quiet at the end of the arm.
It can get a bit shallow along this stretch but with all the water we had had it was fine. At the end of the arm there were loads of moorings and we got in prime position for more polishing..

Del likes it here as he can watch the full size gliders being towed up and then looking for thermals to stay up..

Tooty the cat was also pleased to be out in the country again, doing what he does best, catching mice!
We also had the cratch cover open in the sunshine, and a glass of wine was in order, lets just hope the weather has now changed for the better!


We were up and about to watch n.b. Mochyn Du come out of the shed and soon both boats were alongside each other looking like new..
Mark had to drive to Gosport in the afternoon, so we decided to stay till Saturday morning. This gave us some time to do a few more jobs, cleaning up the cratch cover and some brasses, of course..
We chilled for most of the day actually, having a rest from the last six days of back breaking work.
It also gave us a chance to put everything back in its place; away went the white spirit, paint, gloves and all the tools we had used on prep work. You don't get a lot of room on a narrowboat and everything has its place....
Looking forward to moving off tomorrow..

All Done at Last!

It was up early again for Del as we had to get the last coat on N.b Mochyn Du as soon as possible so it had maximum time to dry before coming out tomorrow. Mark and Del started at 7.00am and were done by 9.00am as the second coat went on very easy..
Mark then carried on with some polishing and getting another coat on the gunwales.
Del then went back to Derwent6 for breakfast and we chilled for a few hours. We met up with Mark and Sian (who had returned from going South) and had a couple of drinks in the pub to chat about what next!
For Del, it was watching the football in the evening..

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Helping hand

We was up early again and Tooty was looking out of the window thinking "It's raining again"
Del went over to to help Mark on n.b. Mochyn Du to get his first coat of blacking on his hull.
Ssshhh don't tell him!
We got it done by midday and then waited for Dave from Axiom to fit Mark a new propeller.

With job done for the day we went back to Derwent6 and had some lunch and then chilled in the afternoon. Late afternoon we went over to the pub and had dinner, preparing ourselves for the last day of painting.
We then went back to watch the football and grab another early night.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Floating again

We just had the buttons to go back on and while laying in bed could here Les getting things ready to float us.. Del put the front button on and then had to fit our new rear button.
There was a bit of cutting of the chain links and then fitting the covers on, but Les never rushed us, and after 20 minutes we were ready to go.
It takes two hours to drain, but only 10 minutes to fill.
The planks were slowly removed with skill so we weren't pushed to the back of the dock. It was nice to be floating again! and Derwent6 looked stunning.. We pulled out and switched places with n.b Mochyn Du.

Covered in dust Del did actually use the hose to wash off the roof. It was nice to be out in the air and with so much light... Del then walked over to help Mark who was now in the dock. They scrapped and jet washed the sides, which after two years was in very good condition and very easy to clean. It then had to be left to dry which would take the rest of the day. We took this opportunity to chill for a bit and then waited for Mr Tesco to turn up to fill out our cupboards again.
It's nice that the days are getting longer and we had a bit more light, we watched some telly as we hadn't been able to do that for a while and it rested our aching bones waiting for another onslaught tomorrow.. Best get to bed!

Day 3 Blacking

We got up at 7.30am with good intentions of getting another coat on Derwent6, but when we opened an old pot of blacking we had, it had turned to treacle and was difficult to put on.. We did manage to get another coat on around the water line where it is more susceptible to rust, so that made our mind up to just let it dry all day while out of the water.
It turned out we needed it as the gloss paint took an age to dry in those damp conditions. This freed us up for the day and we were waiting for paint to dry, literally..
At 4.00pm the pub was gagging so Del went over and met up with Mark's Navy boy friends, not a good move, but all that waiting had made us thirsty. Skeggsy, Marks mate had come up to help, he had even brought up some things for the boys and flower's for the girls, thanks Skeggsy!

Things got loud and things got messy, but we did eat and it took some of the aching pain away. We had a great night as we always do as they took the micky out of civvy Del all night. Mark very kindly paid for our meals that night, thanks Shipmate!
When we got back the smell was subsiding, which meant it must be drying nicely or we were just getting used to the smell.. We fell into bed..

Day 2 Blacking

The alarm was set to go off at 6.00am at dawn and Del checked the hull to see if it was dry and got things ready before we both set to work.
We managed to get the first coat on in three hours and we had Mark off n.b Mochyn Du to give a little helping hand. Del then got to work on the tunnel bands and did the white section while the blacking dried..
Les came in at 10.30am with our anodes in hand and soon got to work to get them fitted.
As there was still some life left in the old ones, we now have four fitted.. At 2.00pm Derwent6 was ready for its second coat and Mark helped us get this on. This time it was a little easier and we managed to get it on in a couple of hours.. With time to spare we set on the gunwales and rubbed them down and painted them.
Del then painted the red on the tunnel band and Derwent6 was looking good.
As you can imagine we were totally knackered and again walked over to the pub for something to eat.. Sunday roast was on the cards and we bought dinner for Mark, for his appreciated help today. Back, arms, feet and hands aching we fell into bed. One more coat maybe?

Day 1 blacking

We waited for Les to arrive in the morning to let us down in the dock so we could get to work on blacking Derwent6. He came in at 8.00am and we were down by 10.00am and out came the scrapers.
It was very hard work scraping the sides down, in fact it took us both four hours before we could jet wash the sides..
We also spotted that we needed new anodes which will be an extra cost as they have to be welded on.

After jet washing it was the long and painful wait for the hull to dry before any paint can go on, we decided to let it dry over night with blowers on and get up early and try and get two coats on during the next day..
After a hard working day we went over the pub for steak and chips and a couple of pints and then it was straight to bed.