After a quick sprint around the supermarket this morning to pick up a few last minute bits and bobs, we are now ready for the bank holiday weekend. Only the working day to get out of the way first. Naughty-Cal is ready and waiting. We topped up the diesel tank last weekend and refilled the water tank on Monday morning, so all we have to do is load our gear onboard and we are ready to set sail this evening. The destination for this evening is Torksey Lock ready for our descent onto the tidal Trent in the morning. We are heading to West Stockwith tomorrow, where we plan to spend a couple of days chilling out and unwinding in the pleasant surroundings of the basin. We are taking the dinghy with us, as on Sunday we plan to spend the day exploring the canal. We have previously made it through the first two locks but not much further, so this time we plan to spend the whole day exploring this very pretty stretch of water.
On Saturday we made another new purchase for the boat. Now we don't normally fall for all of the marketing ads and videos. But in this case this Copper Stone pan by JML seemed to tick all of the boxes. We needed a new multipurpose pan for the boat anyway and for what seems to be a quality item it was only £20. What was there to lose? The marketing video makes some very bold claims about nothing sticking, they melt plastic in it, let it cool down and then it just slides straight out, same with caramel and eggs. Impressive we thought but not really what we need from a pan, although any good non stick is always a bonus. So we parted with our purple note and decided we would give it a try, if nothing else it looks the part! Actually we were really quite impressed with it. At first glance while making omelettes I thought everything had stuck to the pan but actually after I had left it alone a few minutes the whole omelette slid away from the pan leaving no trace in the pan. Not bad for something cooked with no oil. So far so good. We were so impressed in face that we may well buy the bigger version to keep at home as we are getting ready for a new pan at home as well.
The lock gates at Hull Marina are currently inoperative due to a fault with the gates. From their Facebook page:
"It is with sincere regret that due to severe
mechanical lock failure on the eastern inner gate, that for reasons of safety
we shall not be operating the lock gates until further notice.
We have been working with the council who plan on sending divers down ASAP to
inspect the extent of the damage and then formulate a plan to repair."
The last time the lock was shut for this type of repair it was shut for around 12 weeks. If that is the case this time it could be a long and frustrating season for some people locked up in the marina. No doubt this will be scuppering plenty of bank holiday plans!
Since launching Naughty-Cal in March we have noticed that she had become ever so smokey from the exhaust and there was an acrid smell to the smoke. Mind you nothing quite so smokey as the Freeman we encountered on the Trent over Easter! We had become slightly concerned that there may be something amiss with the big green lump. With the full service completed and no obvious signs of anything to worry about we were a little dismayed when she was still smoking away. Until that is we put in 100 litres of fresh diesel from Burton Waters on Sunday. Almost instantly, well as soon as the fresh fuel was pulled through the lines, then the smell pretty much went and the smoke was much improved. We are now pretty certain that is was a suspect batch of fuel that we have been supplied and once the stuff left in the tank is diluted down further that the smoking and smell will stop completely. Problem solved!
Despite us seeming to have spent a lot of time out and about enjoying ourselves this weekend it has also been a very productive weekend as well. The main job was always going to be the engine service on Saturday and despite our initial concerns about how long this would take, and not starting the task in hand until midday, we rattled through it and by 3pm we were both changed and showered and with a beer in hand enjoying the sunshine. We must be getting quicker at this servicing lark! Yesterday we had an altogether more relaxing day, calling into the marina on the way from Saxilby to Lincoln to fill up with 100 litres of diesel in readiness for next weekends bank holiday weekend. Then it was on into Lincoln to meet up with some friends and enjoy a few afternoon beers in the sunshine on Brayford Pool. With dinner cooking away in the slow cooker we couldn't stay with our friends as long as we had hoped. Our current slow cooker draws quite a few more amps then our previous one so leaving it for too long without the engine running or being plugged in just isn't sensible. So at 4pm we headed back to the marina to plug in, listen to some music and have a few more drinks before we then tucked into a delicious slow cooked chicken with stir fried vegetables.