Friday, November 30, 2012

Jacket Required

Lovely sunshine this morning but very cold. It was a good job we kept the fire in. We both had a list of jobs to do so we were up early. We first went shopping. Del bought the hot water tank jacket and also some chainsaw oil. He also had to get some bulbs for the warning instrument panel for the engine. Al got some bits for herself. When we got back, Del got to work at fitting the Jacket and the bulbs, we still have our fingers crossed that the tank will hold out.
We then chopped up some more wood topping the locker up for the cold snap we are about to have. In the rest of the light we had left, Del did the brasses while Al did some washing. In the evening we just chilled, well actually keeping very warm.....

A turn back to Rugby

After another wet day and us staying put we decided to move today...
We set off at 11.00am after Del had chopped up and cleared the wood on the roof, and then got water at the bottom of Hillmorton Locks.
We then took the tricky turn, tricky because of all the hire boats which are in the way here. After a lot of shunting we managed to get round, god help a seventy footer. We then made our way back towards Rugby passing our little spot with the fallen tree.
We stopped and picked up all the bits and pieces we had left last time, just tiding up the forest so to speak!!
We got moored up at Brownsover and pulled Derwent6 back into a spot where we could get telly, we also managed to pick up a good WiFi connection, a bonus....
In the evening we met up with Del's Mum Pat and Keith, and we had managed to get some ten pound discount vouchers on line for at Frankie and Benny's, and got a nice table (Sorry we forgot the camera). We had a good catch up and Del opened his birthday present, a Waterbuoy for the engine set of keys. They should now float if we drop them in the canal.. They gave us a lift back to Derwent6 at 10.30pm and we went straight to bed. We will be keeping the fire in for the first time tonight as it appears it's going to get chilly...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Up's and Down's

Well as you all may have gathered we have stayed put for the last few days as the sky looked so angry.
We have been loosening and tightening ropes as the water levels have gone up and down. We only noticed inside when we started to roll out of bed in the night, the doors slam shut, and it is difficult to walk through Derwent6. The water here has risen by fourteen inches and the golf course has some new water features.
We have really shut ourselves away this weekend with some good telly. Del was into the last race and conclusion of the Grand Prix and Al has been into Strictly and Jungle. On Monday we walked up to Butler's Leap where we got a breakfast for £3.75 with a bottomless cup of coffee for a pound. Del updated his PC and loaded a few games which he got for his birthday. On the way back we met up with Keith and Ann on n.b. Oakfield and stopped for a chat, but it wasn't long before Del was inside playing his new games......not a peep out of him for the rest of the night!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Full Manic day

After a very tiring day yesterday, we had a bit of a lie in. It was nice to see the sun shining and we needed to move today for water so we set off at 10.00am.
Del spotted some wood on the way and we pulled Derwent6 over.
The chainsaw came out and we chopped up the fallen tree and managed to get it on the roof. We then made our way up to Rugby where we turned and then filled with water.
Al walked down to Tesco's and got some food shopping while the tank was filling. Del then moved Derwent6 over to the elsan point and did a manual pumpout on the waste tank and we got rid of our rubbish.
Al came back and we had some lunch and Del then walked down to the builders and picked up a pallet for some kindling. It was then back to Tesco's to pick up the heavy goods like wine, beer and fruit and spuds. Phew!!!
We set off again at 2.00pm and moored just outside Rugby again, and got set up for more bad weather we are supposed to have.
Del then got the wood we had collected and chopped it up so we could keep warm over the next few days. He managed to get it done just before dark!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Del's Day

We still can't believe we had a day indoors yesterday with all that rain and didn't realise what was going on outside. When we looked out the golf course was flooded and the towpath was a river. Yes Derwent6 was leaning a bit on her tight ropes but we didn't realise it was that bad.
In the morning Del opened his presents and cards with a cup of tea. Here is a bit of Al's card which even had Shipmate on it, where does she find them...
We then braved the flooded towpath and walked to Rugby station. We caught the train down to London and walked round Oxford street where Del got treated to some goodies.
After that we went on to Covent Garden for a few beers.
We then had something to eat at Del's favourite restaurant Hard Rock Cafe. He had to stand and everyone sang Happy Birthday to him.
From there we went over to Camden Lock market and found a good bar to watch the football in before getting on the train at Euston back to Derwent6.
We had a bit of a delay getting back due to more rain and flooding at Northampton, but we arrived at 11.30pm and the towpath was just a wash.
Del had a lovely day, a big thank you for all his cards and lovely messages from you all.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Del

Just to wish my lovely Del a very Happy Birthday!  Bit shorter hair, but you haven't changed a bit! Still a Rocker!!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Clearing Up

A wet start to the day so we had a lay in and snuggled in bed till 9.30am, listening to the rain on the roof. When we surfaced we had a bit of breakfast and then set about cleaning Derwent6 from the inside. It had got quite dusty & dirty with Del working in the engine room and walking to and fro through the boat. So a good hoover was done with the sides wiped down followed by Al cleaning all the floors. Del then cleaned the engine room and had a bit of a sort out. The rain was with us for most of the day but we did have a spell where Del managed to get out for a walk for wood, but had no luck finding any. It now starts getting dark at 4.15pm and we just shut ourselves away round the fire, (even though it's quite warm for this time of year) and watched the football in the evening....

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

One More Go (with a different technique)

It was a bloody cold night and a lovely day. We haven't used the central heating, due to the fact it seems to get the water hotter then the engine, which causes more stress on the weeping tank we have at the moment. So Del crept out of bed and lit the fire with ice on the portholes. We would have kept it in if we'd thought about it! Is it cold on boats? yes at the moment....
Due to the fact we couldn't get the tank sorted at a boatyard as it was Sunday, Del decided to have another go at it. We are getting low on water now, as every time we have to drain the tank we use 55 litres of water. As you can imaging Del's soldering technique was getting better and Del was going to try something a bit different. After cleaning it up, he then tapped in the top and bottom edges of the split making a bigger hole but it left something for the solder to drop into. He needed to fill it with flux and then get the tank really hot and then fill the hole with solder using a wire brush to check it for pin holes. Hey presto it seemed to work.
As it was a nice day we then walked up to Wickes and we went to Pizza hut for lunch. Del got some bonding putty in Wickes, which mixes with a hardener. It goes on like blue tack and you cover the area which has the problem. It doesn't look neat, but goes rock hard after a hour and sticks to the tank well.
So we filled the tank again and we had no leaks. So we run the engine and we had hot water again, still no leaks (fingers crossed).
We had the rest of the day watching telly with Strictly, I'm a Celeb and the Grand Prix.
On Monday we woke up to no leaks. Al left at 9.30am and got the train from Rugby down to Kent. Not an easy trip as a lot of the trains were cancelled due to a vehicle hitting a rail bridge at Coventry. She went to see her mum and dad and pick up some bits for Del, more about that later.
Del started on the tank and walked up to Wickes again and got some cavity foam insulation to cover the hole in the coating on the tank . This was then covered with tape to hold it all in and stop it foaming all over the place. He also changed the gearbox oil while the covers were off.
We need to give it 48 hours to dry before we use the central heating. We still feel very nervous about it all as we still wonder why it split in the first place. Time will tell!! Al got back to Derwent6 at 10.00pm after more delays on the way back at Northampton....

Sunday, November 18, 2012

No Success, so try and try again

Well we had no water pump noises over night and things looked good on the calorifier front. That is until Del got up and checked it out. It had a very small weep underneath it and a small pin hole was found by the split. Del got the soldering iron out to plug it up, bad move. All it did was open it all up again!
So it was drain the tank and start again. Well we tried it with a really neat joint, it still leaked, so we tried with a untidy joint, it still leaked, then we tried it with a bucket load of solder, and it leaked again. After using a hundred and fifty litres of water we came to the conclusion that solder was not going to fix this joint. It did stop the leak enough for us to have a shower though! We are going to now try brazing it, once we get a brazing stick or we may ask the boatyard on Monday if they could do it for us. We still always have Plan B.....

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Plan A or Plan B

We didn't get much sleep as we were working out an action plan to get the split calorifier sorted out. Del was up early to light the fire and get the kettle on it for some hot water. He then started on taking off the insulation to find out how big the hole was on the calorifier. It turned out (after chasing it up the tank), it was a small split and it wasn't too bad to get to...
Plan A was first to try and repair the tank, as the split was easy to get to, and three quarters of the way up the tank. Plan B was to start arranging a new tank and find out the best price. The problem with Plan A was Del didn't have all the tools, so we had breakfast and then walked up to Wickes where Del purchased a Blow torch, flux and solder. Al carried on shopping while Del walked back to Derwent6 and got started on the repair.
The tank was drained and cleaned up with wire wool and then the flux was added. We didn't hold out much hope as the solder wouldn't take, but after a lot of fire and smoke, he managed to get something on there in the end. It didn't look pretty, but it was holding.
Del then had some bleeding problems, and we started to panic a bit as it was getting dark. We needed to run the engine, as the batteries were getting low, but in the end we found a small bleed screw at the back of the tank. With the engine running we kept our fingers and toes crossed. Well it seemed to work (don't know for how long), we just had a small leak from the engine coolant pipe as the clip wouldn't tighten up, and the insulation needs repairing. We will be doing that tomorrow, if it all holds out overnight. So we now have some hot water again, phew! Lets hope we get a better nights sleep tonight and don't wake up to the water pump running!!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Looks like our luck just ran out

We left at 9.00am this morning with a blanket of fog in front of us.
As we got to the top lock at Hillmorton they were in our favour. We got to the middle lock and they were working on the same lock as they were last year. "Oh they cocked it up last year mate, and we're having to put it right" the guy said.
They were fitting a new gate and we've got to say we like the slogans they have cut into them.
We got rid of our rubbish and made our way down the last lock. We then took it nice and easy up to Clifton. We love this time of year as it is so quiet and peaceful. We got moored up, lit the fire, and then had lunch.
In the afternoon Del was back out on his bike and Al reading again. All was going well until we were watching telly in the evening, and the water pump started running. Del rushed to the stern and soon found the calorifier squirting out water from its middle, seems like our luck has run out.
The first thing was to turn the water off from the pump by tripping it's power source, and then shutting down the calorifier. We now only have cold water, and Del will investigate tomorrow, but it looks expensive.....

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Top Chandlers

We were up and about early as we had a early night last night and were lucky enough to see this fella..
It still feels warm for this time of year so we went for a walk along to the new Hillmorton Chandler's called The Canal Shop.
This is the chandlers that used to be at the bottom of the Buckby flight and who are really nice people. We used to get our paint from them and wanted to see if they still did it.
The shop is still a treasure trove with everything the boater needs, including the laundry.
You can also order stuff on-line.( We ended up buying loads. Sliding bolts, chimney hat, rope, and paint. They do coal and gas and also diesel at 88p a litre with self declaration. You can't get a pump out there though...They also do a new peat coal which apparently burns just like coal and will keep your fire in overnight, and it is a lot cheaper then coal. After chatting to Richard the owner, he offered us a sample.
We thought he would give us a few nuggets but he gave us half a bag load. The only problem is they look like sheep poo but believe us they don't smell.  We will be trying them when it's cold enough.
When we got back to Derwent6 we had some lunch and Del went out on his bike while Al read her book. With football in the evening we will be glued to the sofa.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A water and washing day

We stayed put on Monday due to the poor weather, so decided to go early today. We left at 8.10am with a red sky and took the turn towards Braunston.
We got to the tunnel with no problems thanks to the Axion Prop which shook off the leaves. In the tunnel we got a hundred metres to the end when another boat entered the tunnel. Still, we managed to pass OK.
The good thing was that meant all the locks were in our favour and we made good time into Braunston (not that we were in any hurry).
We then filled with water and got chatting to a few people who we normally see over the winter period. We left at midday and headed towards Rugby.
It seems to be exceptionally warm for this time of year and with the wind behind us things were going well. Al even managed to get two loads of washing done...
We passed the new Hillmorton Whalf with it's new Canal shop. They were advertising diesel at 88p so we will be taking a walk down there tomorrow to check it out.
We moored up just before the locks at Hillmorton as we felt we had done enough for one day.
It was still warm and we had a load of gnat's flying outside the side window, something we have never seen in November. As the temperature dropped we lit the fire to snuggle down for the night.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sunny Sunday

It was a lovely day and we thought we would just potter today. Del was on Derwent6 getting all the leaves off again and then he did the brasses for a bit. Del then had a break to watch the Moto GP. Al relaxed reading whilst stoking up the fire and making cakes. In the evening we chilled round the telly watching the weather for the week and Strictly. We want to move tomorrow but the weather doesn't look too promising.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Chim Chiminey

We had rain first thing and after a late breakfast we walked down to the chandler's at the bottom lock at Buckby, but first Al wanted to go round the garden centre.
We ended up buying some wine glasses as we were down to our last two. We then went into the coffee shop for a scone and a cup of tea. At the chandler's Del bought a new chimney brush as we had worn the last one out, and you've got to keep the chimney clean.
After walking back to Derwent6 we just pottered about in the afternoon, and of course it was Strictly for Al.........


It has been nice again to be sitting tight and relaxing over the last couple of days. They have even cut our grass for us.
Del has been back out on his bike and Al has had her head in a book. Del, of course. did some brasses and has put a new chain on the chainsaw while Al cleaned inside Derwent6, but we have enjoyed doing nothing for a bit.
It has been nice having Keith and Ann here and we have exchanged boats for coffee hours and Al has been into Daventry with Ann picking up a few bits and pieces. We have even had Mark on n.b Callisto, the coal boat, topping us up in all the right places.