Thursday, February 26, 2009

Productive day

The morning started very busy with cleaning out the Morso stove and cleaning the chimney. From then we moved on to the engine and changed the oil and filter on the Beta 5o and checked the belt tensions and topped up the stern greaser. We then changed the centre rope and made up some new clip on side fenders and Al made some scones....

Then we went out in the afternoon to try and find those windlasses we saw on our walk....and hey presto we have two spares now. Busy Busy Busy!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Shop till you drop!

We did some oiling today....yes oiling! we oiled the galley tops, the draining board, the cratch A frame and the cratch table.... Then we set off out as Al fancied a bit of shopping and Del needed some bits for the 150 hours engine oil change...can you believe it, we have now done 150 hours and haven't been anywhere.

We walked along the cut to bridge 17 and then made our way up the hill to a large farm shop place called Heart of the Shires (
We had a nice coffee and a scone (with jam of course) and a pleasant wander around the stores which had loads of interesting items. We also picked up a plate (to replace the one we broke) and also got some birthday cards for some of our friends.

We then made our way back and popped into the Chandrey at Wilton Marina and got ourselves a chimney cleaning brush, oil and filter and some rope for side fenders.

Coming back up through the locks we saw a very colourful and unusual bird. It turned out to be a male Mandarin, which we had never seen before in all our travels on the waterways. It was such a pretty bird, which had bright orange wings which poked up like sails. It was having a go at all the ducks around it.

We also spotted a couple of windlass in the empty canal, so we will be poping back there tomorrow to try and pick them up with the sea searcher.

Football's on again tonight so best stay put.......and Oh Al's just broke a glass so we might be back to the shops again tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Working off those pancakes

We got all the polishing finished today and touched up some of the paintwork. Derwent6 looked fantastic again. Then Del went out on his bike while Al done some work on the PC.

You can see that British Waterways are getting on with the locks at Long Buckby but still have quite a bit to do. It seems so weird that the plug has been pulled and the boats are just sitting there waiting to move again.

But to be fair to BW they were working hard to get everything up and running.

We have all been to Norton Junction, but who has been to Norton village.....Well we did today, it is a pretty little village with no shops but has got a nice pub (The White Horse). The bus service goes to Daventry but it is only two miles up the road and you could walk it.

We then went on to Daventry and the country park.....We wanted to see where this new canal into Daventry will go. You can walk right round the reservoir and at the far end BW still have signs showing where the canal will go. This Daventry arm will follow the reservoir drain off back to the canal and will need a couple of locks, but will be fantastic when it's done.
You can follow this drain off into Daventry and it's only a couple of miles to get to the town centre this way, and a nice walk.

This is where it will link to the Grand Union, but we were surprised that it seemed to go underneath. Just the other side of the fence, where the bike is, is where the BW workers were working on the towpath. Why are they repairing the towpath in an area that will end up having a canal running through it, we're puzzled...

Well the Pancakes are ready so get out the sugar and lemon, put on the football and get fat for a night...Yum Yum!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday's washing day

It seemed weird today with no-one but ourselves on Derwent6 after having friends and family on board for the last week. We had the chance to get loads of washing done like towels and sheets, while we were rigged up to the water tap. So the Beta 50 was fired up and run for five hours...yes five hours!!!
While this was happening Derwent6 got a complete wax polish.

When this was done the bike came out the cupboard and we posted some letters at Long Buckby Whalf.

We then decided, (because we had given the waste tank a pounding) we would have a proper pump out. By proper we mean a good rinse out. So we moved Derwent6 back to Weltonfield marina and got there just in time before they closed. There was another boat getting diesel so we had to wait, but they still didn't mind hanging behind to do our pump out.

We then found a nice spot and moored up for the night.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Friends from the Beech

After having company over the last few days we had to get some washing done so ran the engine for a couple of hours and rigged up the water hose and did a couple of washes and tumble dried them both. We then had a quick clean through the boat because we had visitors turning up at midday. What has happened to the weather, we had a lot of cloud and strong winds. Boats were still trying to get through Long Buckby locks and having to reverse in the strong winds back to the junction...Fun to watch! The new lock gates are now in and it won't be long before the lock outside the New Inn is operational.

Maxine and Graham arrived with the dog Moley (our first dog on Derwent6). Maxine and Graham run a fantastic restaurant in Kent called The Beeches Restaurant ( and have also been long term friends. They run some really good music nights every Thursday and the last Friday of every month. They also have a magic night on Wednesdays. It was great to see them......

We went over to The New Inn pub for a bit of Sunday Lunch, but were disappointed when we went to order dessert to find that the chef had gone home. Oh well! we thought, it may help the waist line and do us good.......

We then went for a walk up the canal towards Leicester to take Moley the dog for a walk.

When we got back Moley was exhausted and we didn't get a peep out of her. We chilled out in the afternoon catching up with all the gossip and Al did a nice Sunday tea. Another lovely Day!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for coming Guys!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Swaning around and goodbyes

Again we got up to bright sunshine on our mooring outside The Bridge Inn, so had breakfast out in the cratch. We were soon joined by a friend......

who decided to have breakfast with us....

We then made our way up to Braunston and the tunnel. With it being half term week this section was so busy. We followed five other boats and passed six, but it made it very interesting. We had some fun in the tunnel which is over a mile long, we passed another four boats and the last one decided to ram Derwent6 by steering down the centre of the tunnel and not giving us enough room to pass, we were nearly stationary. They must pay more licence fee than we do because he definately felt he had the right of way. Still on damage done.

We got back up to Norton Junction and reversed back up to the water point. Len & Terry unloaded their stuff and after another meal in the nearby Chef and Brewer they made their way home. Thanks both for a lovely week......

A bridge too far

It was so difficult to move this morning we had a lovely spot...The Sun was out and there was no wind, but we had a table booked so had to set off at around 11.30. It was a nice break for us as Len did all the steering, Terry got deep into her book, we just chilled out taking in the scenery. It felt like spring already. We then got to the Napton flight and got water at the bottom and a cup of tea as there was a nip in the air. At the bottom we passed two bloggers, Ten Bob Note and Lazy Days, but there was no sign of life and light was fading. So we moved on then to The Bridge Inn where we were booked in for Dinner, we had a great time. The bridge is quite famous due to the fact it was there before the road went over it. This bridge was the first brick test bridge on the canal system which is why it has the number 111, It was tested by coal carts pulled by horses, and you can see all the pictures in The Bridge Inn.
We were treated to a night time drink before we left, which made sure we got a good nights sleep.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

It's been a lovely day

The sun was trying to peep through this morning but it was also trying to rain, but in the end the sun won and we left our lovely mooring all be it at around 11.30. We headed along the Oxford towards Fenny Compton. It was like a spring day and you had to pinch yourself that we are still in February, as the canal twisted and turned its way towards our destination. Passing picturesque bridges.
We got to The Wharf Inn at Fenny Compton turned and then moored up and then popped in for a bit of lunch. It was really good value with a big plate of hot dog and chips for just 99p, Check out the lunchtime menu for yourselves. After coming out of there we wended our way.........
After being spoilt the night before with it being so quiet we found another nice mooring and shut Derwent6 down for the night. We have a great Internet and satellite signal tonight so you won't get a peep out of us till late morning.

We're Cruising at last

We left Braunston at around 10.00am and it was still very foggy, we then made our way up to Wigrams turn and on to the Napton locks. Len was at the tiller so it gave us all rest. The plan was to have some lunch in the Folly Pie pub and after mooring up and getting to the front door , we found out that it was closed and only opening at 6.00pm in the evening. So it was Cornish pasties on Derwent6. Yum Yum! Then it was up through the locks and on our way to find a resting spot in the middle of nowhere. We had a lovely meal and then sat and watched a DVD as it was the first time we couldn't get a satellite signal and a very poor internet signal, so not many pics.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

First visitors staying on Derwent6

Another busy day today as Dad & Terry are coming up on the boat at Midday. so it was a quick clean through Derwent6 and a Tesco delivery later and they arrived.

We set of through Brunston tunnel avoiding the landslide and then down through the locks. We were then looking for a place to moor down by the pub and who should stick his head out the side hatch, but Les from n.b. Valerie. ( ). He very kindly moved back slightly so we could get in right outside the pub. We then chilled out with wine and nibbles and went over to the pub for a evening meal where Les came and joined us...a lovely evening.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hooray! and Hadar

Well can you believe it we're on the move!!! We set off early (still through some of the ice), to get up to the water point at the top of the Watford flight and filled up the water tank which took a hour and a half. This gave us time to get some washing in and tumble dry, and this added another half hour to the water filling.

Everyone was on the move today with six boats coming up through the locks, one of them being the welcome sight and wonderful sound of Hadar the coal boat. We were down to our last bag of coal and no wood, so it was Hadar to the rescue, and five bags were quickly thrown on the roof of Derwent6.

It was lovely to see Jo and Keith, as from the early days of following blogs Hadar was always one we were envious of. We felt we already knew them and they gave us a big welcome. Thanks guys for your help. We then made our way down the locks and noticed some nice wood fallen from the trees, so it was rude not to throw that on the roof as well. We always said "we won't be putting things on the roof", but that didn't last long.

So with wood, coal and water and us well down at the bow we now needed to stop for diesel. We got to Weltonfield and they did us a 95 - 5 split at 75p a litre, so we were happy with that. It was a bit more than we've paid before but needs must..... We made a friend while we were there.

So that was it, we were now all tanked up and ready to go anywhere.....

We got to the junction at Norton and then reversed up, through all the British Waterways boats, to the lock so we could get some more washing done. You could see that they were getting on with the locks at Buckby, and the canal did look strange without water. We sat down and had something to eat and then made our way up to the pub, The New Inn, for a few pints of Frog island (yes we're now trying all the real ales) We left the pub half p***ed so couldn't blog last night....Well what do you expect we've been dry for 18 days.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Ice breaker and our first blogger on board

Woke up today with a slight thaw overnight but the ice was still over half a inch thick, so we decided to stay put again. This will be the 17th day we have stayed put, with our waste tank now nearly full and water and diesel tanks nearly empty, and we are now on our last bag of coal. We were out gathering extra sticks for kindling when we heard a crashing noise in the distance. It was a British Waterways boat smashing it's way through the ice, going backwards and forwards to get momentum. It was such a welcome sight as the last boat to past us was n.b Pickles2 17 days ago. You can see the channel it had cut through the ice but we still could not get out to that channel, but it was melting fast.
Then we could feel movement through the locks and low and behold three boats came past us in the other direction breaking up the ice completely, the third boat being n.b Shadow and fellow blogger halfie. When he saw us he quickly pulled up behind us and banged on the side with a lovely cake in his hand. The kettle was already on so we sat down for a good natter. He came round with his brother Dave and Dave's two children who were having a whale of a time. It was great to meet you all and thanks for the cake!

At last we should be on the move tomorrow as we need to get to a water point to take on water and get some washing done (Del's running out of pants) Let hope it doesn''t freeze tonight.