Sunday, October 28, 2012

Spooky Sunday

It was another cold night and we needed that extra hour where the clocks went back. We got up knowing the day would appear to go quickly with the nights now drawing in. Del set about cleaning out the bilge and filling the stern gland greaser and Al started on her pumpkin for Halloween.
It stayed dry for most of the morning so Del polished the port side of Derwent6 while Al did some washing. This made it rain!!! We watched the MotoGp and Indian Grand Prix over lunch and into the afternoon, when the rain came down harder. By five o clock it was dark and Al put her pumpkin to the test while she watched Strictly.  Whooooo!!!

On the Grid at Welford

There was a frost on the roof early and it was very cold, but with clear skies we still wanted to move today.
It was lovely cruising weather and with a hot cup of Cocoa on the roof who cares about the cold.
The only thing slowing us down was the leaves which are now at their worst. With the Axion propeller all we need to do is drop into neutral every now and again to let them drop off.
With the chimney smoking away it was very tempting to stop but we pushed on to Welford.
We quickly got the telly set up and watched the Grand Prix qualifing. Del then spent the afternoon woodcutting, so we are now stocked up for a few days. We relaxed for the rest of the day and Al was ready to be glued in front of the telly for her Strictly.

Shaken not stirred

We were woken up early by a boat going past at 7.00am which had shaken us around a bit, but we were not stirred (perhaps we should have moored up better). As we were up we had breakfast and then caught the 10.40am bus into Rugby. From there we walked down the footpath to Cineworld.
Al wanted to see the new James Bond movie Skyfall and we hadn't booked and took a chance to see if we could get in. We managed to get into the 11.30am showing and Al was ecstatic!
When we came out she was still ecstatic, and Del's name is Bond...Del Bond! Yep, we enjoyed it.. From there we grabbed a Maccy D and then made our way back to Rugby. After a bit of shopping in town we caught the bus back to Crick. It was a lot colder today and it was nice to get the fire going when we got back

Smoking to Crick

The day started early as we had a Tesco's delivery coming between nine and ten. We sorted out Derwent6 for take off so we could blast off once the shopping was loaded and put away.
We said our goodbyes to Keith and Ann on n.b Oakfield who kindly got rid of our rubbish for us, and set off, with n.b Piston Broke close behind us.
We soon got to the bottom of the Watford flight just as someone was coming out. The lock keeper waved us both up the locks and helped us get up the staircase.
It was then all systems go to the Crick tunnel. This tunnel is always a wet one, so it was coats and covers on and we went for it.
We could see two boats heading towards us and after just squeezing by we then realised they had their fires going with smoke billowing out (maybe from damp wood). We couldn't see a thing as the tunnel light just reflected back in our faces.
It wasn't till we were nearly out that we could see the exit. Del felt like he had had twenty fags.......Smoking!!!!
We then got to Crick and were lucky enough to get on one of the fourteen day moorings, and Paul and Lynne moored close by.
After a chat we said we would meet up in the evening. After a quick shower, we met at 7.30pm and walked up to The Red Lion pub. We had a lovely meal all of us, but forgot the camera. We got back to Derwent6 around 10.00pm.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tea for Six

As the original plan was to have our safety check today, and it was done yesterday, we took the opportunity to have a lie in. Once we had got up we got cracking on some jobs which needed doing. Del did the brass porthole liners and cleaned all the glass while Al run the hoover round, cleaned the woodwork & organised a Tesco delivery. We then had lunch, and Al baked a sponge cake while Del got rid of the rubbish. At 3.00pm we had Keith and Ann, and Paul and Lynne round for a cup of tea and Al's cake. We had a chat about everything putting the world to rights.
It has been a dank day again here so even though it wasn't that cold you still felt you needed the fire ticking away in the corner....nice for relaxing in front of in the evening...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Safe and Sound

We set off early this morning. We had to... not only were we meeting up with Paul and Lynne on n.b Piston Broke to get through Braunston locks but we also had to get onto the Grand Union because we were meeting up with Nigel, the guy doing our Boat Safety Check for us. It was still dark when we left Onley and it was a bit tricky getting through bridge 80 which is being repaired.
We turned at Barby marina, not a winding hole, but we were pushed for time so was grateful for it.
We then pushed on to Braunston where we met up with Paul and Lynne on n.b. Piston Broke who were on the water point.
They followed us up to the first lock and it wasn't long before we both were going in and out together making it quick up the flight.
It was then through the tunnel where there was no traffic for us both and we soon got out the other side.
It was here we spotted some cut up wood on the towpath and quickly stacked it on the stern of Derwent6. It wasn't long before we got a "Hey" from a boat moored two hundred metres away. I've just cut that up he said and was soon taking it off the stern deck. We managed to pick up a few leftovers and with apologies carried on our way.
We moored up at Norton Junction and sorted ourselves out.
We then got a call from Nigel asking where we were and if he could do the check this afternoon. "Great" we said, "I will be about a hour as I'm half way up the Buckby flight". He turned up and managed to moor behind us and quickly got on with the checks. He was with us a hour and we passed with flying colours. As he was leaving we were then met by Keith and Ann on n.b.Oakfield and we stood for a chat for another hour. We then all retired to our own boats and chilled for the rest of the day, very happy with our certificate.

Meeting up with Loads of Friends

We left on Friday to go down to Kent and was meet at the station by David, who took us back to our friends Bernie and Sarah's house. Later, Al went to a pamper evening with Sarah, and we stayed with them overnight.
On the Saturday Del went gliding with Bernie and in the afternoon we went to Al's Mum and Dads. In the evening it was friends Dave and Linda's joint 60th birthday party where we met up with some old friends we hadn't seen for a long time.
We had a lovely night with everyone.
That night we were able to stay at Terry's (Del's step mum) and then on Sunday it was over to Debbie (Del's sister) & John's. We were meeting up for Jay's (our nephew's) twenty eighth birthday. It was nice to meet up with Cliff, Lou and the family and also get together with Dale, Terry and Ron.
Deb and Woody had done a lovely spread for us all and we pigged out leaving us sprawled out on the sofa's The kids jumped into the hot tub in the garden which kept them all amused for a hour or two.
 We left there at 10.00pm and went back to Al's Mum and Dad's to get our head down.
 In the morning we had breakfast before we got the train back to Euston and then back to Rugby, where we got the bus back to Derwent6. We arrived at 2.30pm and we lit the fire to warm things up, it didn't take long. We then got a phone call from the guy who was doing our boat safety check this week. He said if we could get down to the Grand Union for Wednesday he would knock thirty pounds off the price as he would have no travelling expenses. We can certainly do that!
After the weekend we were shattered and were pleased to get back in our own bed. We won't get much sleep as we have a early start in the morning...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Breakfast Bash

After a very windy night we woke up to find one of the windows was leaking water and the bung which we put in overnight was soaked. So Del set to work on it by taking the glass out and resealing it and cleaning out the drain off holes. We then walked down to the bus stop and got the 11.08 bus into Rugby.
Here we met up with Keith and Ann on n.b. Oakfield and Paul and Lynne of n.b.Piston Broke in Weatherspoons for breakfast.
We all had a good chat about where we had been and what we had been up to. After a couple of hours we all went our own ways back to our boats on different parts of the system. There were a few bits and pieces we needed in Rugby, so we picked those up and we got back just in time to watch the England game on the box. It has been a bit warmer here today and we didn't need to light the fire till about 7.00pm, lets hope it continues. They say we are due another Indian summer over the next few weeks, hmm we'll see!!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Crack on!

We had rain overnight but things were clearing up by the time we opened our eyes.
So with blue skies on the horizon we pushed off. It was lovely skies but the wind was horrendous and we began to wondered if we had made a mistake when we got to Marston Doles.
Al got off to do the lock and Del held Derwernt6 on the centre rope, well he couldn't hold it in the wind, and the stern got pulled round. Al managed to get the gates open in the lock and Del managed to jump on the bow and walk along the gunwales just in time to steer Derwent6 into the lock gates. Phew!
Going down the Napton flight is always very scenic and easy going down, but in the wind it's a different kettle of fish. We saw lots of boats getting into trouble in between pounds but we had learnt our lesson at the top.
With a hire boat coming up at every lock it made things a lot easier. We soon got to Wigrams turn or Napton Junction which is what we like to call it.
The wind had put a lot of boats off and it seemed very quiet along the M25 section of the canal, so we decided to push on further than we anticipated.
We then got to Braunston and you get the feeling of being back in an area you know so well.
We carried on the Oxford towards Rugby and here we met Paul and Lynne on n.b Piston Broke and made plans about meeting up tomorrow for a catch up.
We pushed on to Onley where we spotted this calf trying to get out of the canal, it managed it in the end with a bit of help from it's mother.
We felt we had done enough for one day so we moored up in one of our favourite spots.
After setting everything up Del started on chopping the wood we had left on the roof. We thought we were all set to watch the football in the evening but that was cancelled due to a water logged pitch. It might be another early night then...


We checked out the weather and they said it was going to clear up during the day so we set off early and made our way to the water point. Another boat was already on there but there were two taps so it was slow going for us.
With a full tank we made our way into the countryside. We only got a mile out and we met a boat, across the canal, off it's moorings.
It couldn't be reached from the towpath so Al had to stand on the bow of Derwent6 and then jump onto it's gunwales. It just so happened that a CART lenghtsman (a guy checking our licences) came along, the first we had seen for a long time. He grabbed the centre rope Al had managed to throw to him and he pulled it over.
 At last we were on our way again but our plans to get where we wanted had been scuppered. To make things worse it started to rain as we twisted and turned through this beautiful part of the Oxford.
When we got to Priors Hardwick we decided to call it a day even though the rain had stopped.
The nights now are closing in and we lit the fire and settled down for the night, in fact it was a early night....

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Weekend Relaxing

As we had a nice fourteen day mooring here at Fenny Compton we decided not to move. Also at the pub there was a Folk band we wanted to see as we had heard good reports. On Saturday were up early watching the Grand prix qualifying and then we did some winter preparation jobs on Derwent6. Del checked the central heating and engine anti freeze and also put a bit in the waste tank. It was time to clean out some of the filters and check for any leaks on the way. Al took the time to have a bit of a clear out (more room for shoes) and cleaned the galley cupboards. She also walked down the shops and picked up a few things. In the evening Al sat down to her Strictly Come Dancing and after that we walked down to the pub. We saw a band called Dr Buskers and the Odds and Sods.

It was like a folk comedy show and we thought it was so good.
We laughed all night, in fact our faces ached at the end of it. To announce their breaks they played a song and the lyrics were More Beer, More Beer, More Beer...
We came out of the pub at 12.30am and crashed into bed knowing we were up early in the morning to watch the Grand Prix.
Sunday, a bit worse for wear, we watched the Grand Prix. It was very cold as we had a frost outside so the fire roaring was a priority.After the race Del polished the side of Derwent6 and oiled the cratch boards while Al read her book in the sunshine. Del then went out on his bike for a few hours. It got very overcast later on in the day so we plonked in front of the telly exhausted from our early start.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

More music at Fenny

The weather prospect was poor today and after a late night we weren't up at the crack of dawn. In fact we got up just in time to see Doug and James and Stephen and Jayne leave together and managed to help them down the lock and say our goodbyes. By the time we had got ourselves together it had started to rain. Well I'm afraid we were going to stay on our twenty four hour mooring with this fella for a extra day as it wasn't busy here. We had what we call a zombie day!!!
We woke up to rain in the morning but wanted to move, so we got ready to go by 7.30am and as we pushed off the rain stopped.
We spotted the progress on the Cropredy marina which still looks like a mud bath at the moment.
As we got to the next lock we noticed the lock beam was missing, but with a bit of string it caused us no problems and CART turned up just as we left the lock, saying it will be finished today.
We got to the bottom of the Claydon flight of five locks. It was here, a few years ago, that Al fell in at the middle lock, so as you can see she was very careful crossing the gate. Respect at all locks is the key.....
The sun was trying to come out as we went through the flight and by the top lock it was also trying to warm up. It was then pleasant cruising across the countryside towards Fenny Compton, with most of the locks in our favour we seemed to get here quite quickly.
We then stopped at the marina and had a pumpout and a look round the chandlers. We had a walk round the corner and Del spotted a mooring that Derwent6 would squeeze into, and with about six inches to spare, he was right.
Al walked up to check out the pub and the shop and found out that there was a band on tonight and tomorrow night, so we might just stay for the weekend. We watched the first half of the football and at 9.00pm we walked along to The Wharf Inn to watch the band.
It was a shame, because although they were all very good session players, not one of them could sing. We got back to Derwent6 at around 11.45pm and dropped into bed..