Monday, July 27, 2009

Said our goodbyes

Well today we said our goodbyes to Cliff, Lou, and the children. We then got in the car with Len & Terry & travelled down to Kent to see some of our friends. We don't know if you know but Len is on kidney dialysis and before we left we had some boxes to get rid of. For anyone interested Derwent6 copes very well with the dialysis machine running over night, and it allows Len the freedom of the canals.
Well we walked the boxes (only two of them) to Napton Narrowboats marina because it shows in the Nicholson guide that they take disposal. When we got there this guy came out and asked if we had a boat in the marina. No we said, "Well you can't leave that here" After explaining that we were off the cut he still wouldn't let us leave these boxes. We then let this guy have it and told him he needs to speak to the Nicholson guide which he said he will do. So we had to find some space in the car to take them with us down to Kent, not a easy task, but we managed to do it.
When we were down south we got to see Steve & Erica, Bernie & Sarah, Zoe & Greg, Maxine & Graham, and Steve & Deb. Thanks guys for your company it was great to see you all.
We got the train back to Derwent6 on a £9.00 ticket because we had booked in advance, and we have got to say it was a very quick service back to Rugby and then a cab back to the boat.

It's nice to be back on our own for a bit, but we have had a lovely time....What would life be like without friends and family.........

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fishnets, Beer and Music

We left this morning in bright sunshine and made our way up to The Bridge Inn because they were having a Beer and Music Festival this weekend and we wanted to make sure we got a mooring. When we arrived Cliff managed to get in but Derwent6 couldn't, so we headed up towards Napton and turned. We manged to both get a mooring a bit further up and settled there for the day. We then had some lunch and decided to go Geocaching. The first treasure was only about a mile away and when we found it we were in for a surprise as it was a big box with loads of toys in it. Thomas had brought with him something to swap in the box and manage to get himself a Hotwheels VW beetle car, he was over the moon. We then walked up to Napton locks and all the boys got some fishing nets. On our way back a thunderstorm was on the way and we just managed to get back to the boats before it tipped it down. When it stopped, out came the fishing nets, and they did manage to catch a tennis ball which was floating down the canal!
In the evening we made our way to the Beer and Music festival and had a lovely meal in the pub. We then had the choice of 21 ales to choose from while we listened to some great music. The kids loved it dancing the night away. We had to leave before it got too dark so we didn't have to worry about everyone along the towpath. Another lovely day.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Poo! that smells.

Cliff left us early morning to take the kids through Braunston Tunnel and we all helped locking them through Braunston locks. We had Samuel for the day and he came onboard Derwent6 before they left. He didn't want to go in the dark and was frightened of the bats! We said our goodbyes at the top lock and walked back down the flight. We then thought we would have a pumpout at the marina as we had to turn anyway, but Samuel was not amused.
We then filled with water and waited for the motley crew to arrive from their trip through the tunnel. We waited and we waited...blimey where had they got too. Well it turned out they had got beached while trying to secure a loose BW boat which had come off it's moorings and with the use of the pole one of them nearly fell in.

When we were all back together we set off to find a spot in the country. We had good weather all day and guess what it rained as we set off. After Braunston it was nice to be back in the peace and quiet of the countryside. We played some games with the kids before retiring to bed.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Out into the country

We left this morning and made our way past the point of where Cliff & Lou picked up the hire boat. Cliff had always wanted to see Braunston as we had always talked about it on this blog. The weather was showers but we were lucky as we seemed to be dodging them. We got through Calcutt locks ok and then made the turn into the countryside. We had Matthew on board today and he had a go on the tiller but seemed to enjoy adjusting the engine revs more. With a big bowl of bread on the roof, the ducks and swans were doing all right as well. We got to Braunston at around 2.00pm and moored up outside the pub. The girls walked up to the shop, while Cliff went around the marina he was looking forward to. When we all got back together Del and Cliff went for a walk to Wolfhampcote Church and went to find the old tank along the disused railway. It is quite a nice path out to the old village and the old route of the canal. You can still follow the old canal route and it is full of water. When we got to where the tank was, it turned out to be a special pursuit vehicle, but it was in good condition and you could go right inside it. We then got back to Derwent6 and went over to the pub so the kids could climb on the equipment there. Ella just loved the slide and this springy bird!!!! We stayed put that night, it had seemed a lovely long day.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Back through the locks

After the day at the castle, Del didn't feel so good, but we headed off towards the Stockton flight again. Al helped out putting the hire boat trough the locks to give Cliff a chance to see how the locks work and how difficult some can be.The boys all thought the walkie talkies we had on Derwent6 were great fun because we were able to all talk to each other when going along. We never got that far, but we did get as far as Long Itchington before we moored up for the day. We then thought we would take the kids on a little geocaching spree. We had one treasure just 400 metres away, but were disappointed not to find it, so we set off in the other direction and after a while looking for it, and determined not to give up, we found it...all be it small. We made our way back via The Cuttle Inn pub, back to Derwent6 where the girls had mustered up dinner. As the hire boat was a nine berth we had a nice large table for eight to sit round. We all had a super night.

Sorry to all our readers that we are not blogging very much, but we are so enjoying our time with the family. It just makes a change not having to worry about signals and things. We will be getting back to normal, after things have returned to normal!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Princess's & Knights at the Castle

We got up to bright sunshine and got rid of all our rubbish from last night before heading off to Warwick town centre. It was about a 20 minute walk to the castle and we made sure we were there bang on 10.00am when it opened. Thomas, Jack, Matthew and Samuel were so excited as they all love castles. We got our tickets and Thomas wanted to see the Dungeons which are new for 2009. Ella, the smallest of the five, wanted to go to the Princess Tower where we had to learn to bow and curtsy and dressed up as knights protecting the princess. We watched the knights battle it out in the castle courtyard and a fireball being catapulted 200 metres. We watched Eagles flying above us in the bird display and we were up in the most highest towers.

When we got back we had a BBQ on the park benches next to Derwent6. A fun day!!!!!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Beware of the Wasps

We left Stockton flight at 9.30am and it was Thomas's turn to stay on board Derwent6. We made our way through Bascote Locks and at Wood lock there was one gate out of action due to a Wasps nest inside the lock gate. This took us out into the country before hitting Leamington Spa. We've got to say it must be a least 10 years ago when we last went through here, and we were pleasantly surprised. It was very clean and well kept with new houses backing onto the canal and new towpaths. There is even a new Lidl's with good moorings. We then got to the Saltisford Arm and managed to get in by breasting up the two boats.The first night here is free and then it' s four pounds a night and as we want to take all the children to Warwick castle tomorrow we will be staying a couple of nights. Cliff had a casserole going all day on the slow cooker and we all sat down with the sun setting on the bow of both boats. A nice night to the perfect day!!!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Out with all the boys (and girls)

Horrible drizzle this morning.. but was up doing some interior cleaning and then we made our way down to Calcutt locks again as we were meeting up with family. Cliff, (Del's brother) Lou, and the five kids are hiring a boat from Calcutt marina and Len & Terry were coming on board with us. So we waited for them to have all their instructions before heading off towards Stockton Locks. Cliff did really well handling the 60 foot, nine berth boat they have and only went in the trees once! We got to the bottom of the flight with no problems and the kids loved it. We moored right outside The Blue Lias pub and got a few drinks with the kids playing on the swings and slides.It started to rain when another two crew members turned up, Karen and Kerry. We all had a good night drinking wine on Cliff's boat till the late hours.

PS We will not be blogging everyday now for a few weeks due to the fact we don't want to be worrying about doing it everyday, and want to enjoy our time with our family, so for all you hardcore people out there, please be patient with us.......we promise we will blog when we can!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Ahhh Diesel

Woke up to lovely sunshine this morning, so after some breakfast we headed off to Calcutt to get diesel, which was now reading one on the gauge. We don't worry because we carry a spare can of diesel in case we ever need it, but it's the agg of bleeding the system if you ever run out. We arrived at around lunch time and it had been reasonably quiet on the cut. We were able to go through the lock, fill with diesel and go back up to the junction with no traffic...amazing! We got a nice people watching spot right at the junction, it's fascinating what happens here with everybody getting in each others way, but it gave us a laugh! Two guys were putting up a banner and were chased off when they put their stake right into a wasps nest and they chased them half way across Wigrams marina.

We then had some lovely minty lamb chops before settling down to watch the last part of Torchwood.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Getting some exercise

We continued to clean the boat today doing some polishing and brasses and oiling the woodwork. We are now running low on diesel so will have to move tomorrow. This afternoon we thought we needed to get a bit fitter so we set up the ETrex GPS and went Geocaching. The first find was only 0.3 of a mile away and we found a small camera film case in a hollow of a tree.Then we moved another half a mile away to pick up a second one lodged in a wall on a disused railway, where there was a disc in it from Canada.That then took us to another new one, in a field full of bulls! The last one was only two days old and someone had beat us to it by a few hours. They got to it at 7.40am in the morning...have some people got a life? We're keen but not that eager! We took a nice circular route back to Derwent6 which took us through Wheat, Barley and Rye fields and also a field full of beans.These only need a week more and they will be ready for picking, it would be rude not to borrow some. We saw loads of ladybirds and this funny looking character. The fella looked like a moth but also like a dragonfly with double wings. Does anyone know what it is? We then got back and had Roast Pork, run the engine for a hour, before settling down to Torchwood.