Southwold Beach Huts
Friday, 25 February 2011
Southwold Beach Huts
Thursday, 24 February 2011
Naughty-Cal will be relaunched looking fresh, clean and hopefully like a shiny new pin. The whole boat will have been cleaned from top to bottom so it will most definitely be about time to get her out on the river and get some use out of her. The last few months of cleaning, fettling and endless modifications along with the big freeze have resulted in precious little time spent out on the river. Come Easter it will be time to remedy this.
This Easter we are again cruising in company and the plan thus far is to head upstream on the River Trent as far as Nottingham before having a leisurely cruise back downstream towards home. A nice, easy and relaxing run to start the 2011 boating holiday season. This gentle start should highlight any problems we are likely to have for the rest of the holiday season and give us the chance to iron out any issues before the more serious cruising starts in earnest in June.
It should be a pleasant change for us. A lot of our cruising is dictated by tide times and tide heights, however a gentle cruise along the upper non tidal stretches of the Trent will leave us at our leisure to choose as and when we leave our mooring. The first short stretch of the journey will be tidal from Torksey Lock to Cromwell Lock, but from there all the way up river to Nottingham will be a non tidal cruise. A pleasant change indeed.
It has been a while since we last cruised the non tidal Trent and it will be nice to revisit some of our favourite spots along the way and hopefully discover some new places on our travels. It will be a leisurely twelve days with no set agenda, a chance to relax and unwind in tranquil settings. So let us pray for some early season sunshine and a week of blessing from the weather gods to make it a thoroughly enjoyable holiday afloat.
Wednesday, 23 February 2011
March each year we pull Naughty-Cal out of the water for a couple of weeks to give her a good fettling in time for the new boating season. This year we are pulling her our slightly later towards the end of March as Easter is late this year and we want her looking her best in time for our first holiday of the year.
So far we have:
- Purchased the antifoul paint. Last year we bought some from the Newark boat jumble. It worked so well that we have purchased the same stuff again. The chap who produces the paint is a small manufacturer and as such his prices are excellent. This year it has cost us £20 for a 2.5 litre can. Enough for two coats on Naughty-Cal’s hull.
- Purchased the stern drive oil. Naughty-Cal had a full stern drive service last March so this year will just need the oil dropping and replacing. If there is any water contamination in the oil we will have the shaft seals replaced as well.
- Purchased fluid for the hydraulic trim ram. Last year we developed a hydraulic fluid leak from the stern drive trim ram. This left the hydraulic fluid looking like milkshake. The leak has been fixed and the fluid replaced, but the oil in the reservoir is still milky presumably from water still in the system as the oil is no longer leaking out. We will replace this fluid again to try and flush out the water.
- Purchased a new set of mooring ropes. The set currently on the boat have lasted two seasons and about 600 hours of use. They are now starting to show signs of age so we took the decision to replace them all. We picked up a great deal for some braided lines so couldn’t say no. We got 38m of 12mm braided Marlow navy rope for £23.50. RRP on this rope is £2.40 per metre. This rope should be far more suitable for our boat than the 14mm three strand rope we currently use and will look a lot smarter as well.
- Purchased a new set of fender ropes. We recently purchased a set of fender flutes to allow easy adjustments to the height of fenders when coming in to moor. Our existing fender ropes are however a little bit too hefty for the flutes. So we have bought a new set of braided Marlow fender ropes also in navy. These will allow the fenders heights to be set much more quickly and will match the new mooring ropes.
Items on the list that we still need to purchase include:
- New heads for the machine polisher
- T-Cut, Autoglym Super Resin polish and G3 cutting compound
- Gel coat filler
- Sterndrive anodes
We have acquired a few minor scuffs during the last season that will require a few repairs. Most of them should flat out and polish back up but one at least will require some filling. Also we have a few holes to fill where the old transom gate was fixed to the superstructure. The new transom gate has fixings in a slightly different position so the old fixing holes need some work to look visually acceptable.
Hopefully this little lot of repairs, maintenance and polishing should take a couple of weekends before Naughty-Cal is relaunched and ready for the 2011 season. It will be the hardest season of boating we have attempted to date, so hopefully, after her spruce up Naughty-Cal will be in a good mood for the rest of the year!!
Tuesday, 22 February 2011
There are those who really don’t like mooring in the area, thinking that the ditch is boring. These folks tend to disappear as quickly as they appeared in the first instance. Folks are all different and it is fortunate for the rest of us as it keeps the waterway relatively free from boat traffic.
Fossdyke between Torksey & Saxilby
Saxilby Visitor Mooring
Brayford Pool, Lincoln
Monday, 21 February 2011
Saturday was a dull, damp and rainy day for pretty much the whole 24 hours. So with this in mind we tackled some much needed spring cleaning. First up was the midships bedroom. The whole room was stripped out and washed down. A slight mildew problem beneath the mattress was discovered and swiftly treated with Milton to remove the immediate signs of the mildew spores. A more permanent solution will have to be found to allow extra air circulation beneath the mattress at a later date. Still with the room freshly cleaned and fresh clean bedding fitted the room has a sweeter aroma and welcomes you for a good night’s sleep.
Next up was dejunking the saloon area. Over the last couple of years we have accumulated a fair amount of items we very rarely use aboard, so the majority of these have either been sent home or stashed away in a more suitable area. With the junk cleared away and the area thoroughly cleaned Naughty-Cal’s interior is looking much fresher and less cluttered. A good start to the new boating season.
Sunday was another dull day but at least it had stopped raining. We were joined for breakfast by our cruising buddies and after a good old full English breakfast with oodles of coffee and orange juice we set about fixing the new flag staffs onto the radar arch for the Sealine Forum burgee and the Lincoln flag. Whilst up there the OH removed some clutter from the arch that we don’t need, namely the TV aerial mounting bracket and the radar reflector mounting bracket, neither of which are currently in use, so even the exterior of Naughty-Cal was decluttered this weekend. After this declutter it was time to pour the diesel additive into the tank for the diesel cleaning session. I suppose only time will tell whether this does the fuel any good.
After this it was time to start planning out summer jaunt to the Norfolk Broads. The plan is still evolving so watch this space but current plans involve a trip a further down the coast to the sleepy seaside village of Southwold. After this visit we will then enter the Norfolk Broads via Lowestoft and Mutford Lock departing again about 7 days later via Great Yarmouth Harbour. I dare say the plans will evolve yet further between now and the beginning of July. Anyway chatting over the plans gave us a good excuse for taking a visit to the Pyewipe, as if we need an excuse!!
Friday, 18 February 2011
This weekend will start with the fitting of the new stainless steel grab handle on the dashboard. An extra we realised would come in handy (no pun intended there) on our last trip out to sea when the water got a little choppy. The other half was doing the driving, so, with one hand on the steering wheel and one hand on the throttle lever was able to steady himself against the boats movement. I, as navigator, had little to hold onto. The addition of a grab handle on the dashboard, just above the chart plotter, will enable me to have a much more comfortable ride in choppy seas. Finding a suitable handle was proving difficult as we wanted it to look as though it was a factory fitted item. We stumbled across the “right” handle at the boat jumble last weekend for the princely sum of £10.
Next up is the fixing of the two new short stainless steel flag staffs for the top of the radar arch. We have acquired a selection of flags over the last couple of years but have been limited to flying the red ensign from the rear flag staff. Now, we will be able to fly our Sealine Forum burgee as well as the Lincoln flag from high up on the arch.
As we refilled the diesel tank earlier this month we have decided that it is about time for our annual fuel treatment. Not a subject we are normally too fussed about but for the sake of £15 we treat the fuel tank once a year to discourage bug growth and water accumulation. The additive also cleans the injectors and fuel lines so helps keep Naughty-Cal running reliably. The bottle treats 500 litres of diesel, our tank holds 225 litres, so we will add about half of the bottle and save the rest for the next time we refill the tank.
And finally for this weekend is some more spring cleaning. This weekend I will tackle the midships bedroom and the bathroom. First up, in the bedroom, will be stripping back the bedding and removing the mattress to clean the areas beneath the bed. Then the mattress will be thoroughly vacuumed before having a good dose of Fabreeze to freshen it up a little. Later in the year when the weather is warmer the mattress will be taken home for washing and drying. After the area below the mattress is cleaned the whole bedroom will be freshened up with a good wipe down with EVM. The walls in the bedroom are lined with a mixture of vinyl and GRP so are really easy to keep fresh and clean.
Next up is the bathroom. This small room is fully lined with GRP so is quite easy to wash down and keep clean. This weekend we will give the area a thorough polish and wax to ensure it stays easy to clean and stays smelling fresh. The secret to easy cleaning of the GRP is EVM environmentally safe cleaner. Followed with a good polish with Autoglym Super Resin Polish and a good coat of a good quality Carnauba Wax the bathroom should be easy to clean all year long. A little hard work now saves a lot of time later in the year when we want to be using the boat not cleaning it.
And when all of these small jobs are completed there may be time for a quick trip out if the weather allows and some time to kick back and relax with a few beers. If the weather holds out it may also be the weekend for giving Naughty-Cal’s exterior a good clean. She comes out of the water next month for a good polish but it is still nice to keep her looking clean in the mean time.
Thursday, 17 February 2011
Now we are really into hire boat country and must be on our guard, fenders at the ready. That said the northern rivers have more of a charm for us with their pretty villages, waterside pubs and windmills a plenty. The first stretch of river from Great Yarmouth to Stokesby is still very tidal and the flow of the water can catch out the unwary, cutting corners on this stretch of river is not recommended as you will soon be left high and dry on the many mud banks.
Our first port of call will likely be the Bridge Inn at Acle. A large riverside pub with a fantastic riverside beer garden with crazy golf, outdoor pool tables and a games room. The food the last time we visited was very reasonably priced and of good quality. With plenty of moorings, we should be able to moor in such a fashion as to make us less of a target for the hirers!!
Now it is time to head further inland. Destination Coltishall and then Wroxham. It will be a fairly long day of cruising with little time to stop or inspect the scenery. The intention being to skip out a lot of the rivers and pick them up on the return leg of the journey back to the sea. Wroxham is also a handy stop for stocking up on provisions from the excellent butchers and bakery and also provides a good night out with takeaways a plenty for the return to the boat.
After the night in Wroxham we will head off in search of the River Ant. The river Ant leads onto Barton Broad from where a number of dykes lead to a selection of different places to see and visit. We will, time permitting , aim to visit a few of these but plan to spend the evening at the Sutton Staithe Hotel. A favourite spot of ours not only for the good food but also the stunning scenery.
Heading further down river our next intended stop will be St Bennets Abbey. The ruins of the former abbey are perfect for exploring and the local fields provide excellent easy walks for many miles along flat fenland footpaths. St Bennets Abbey is the perfect spot for a BBQ, weather permitting and is often quiet and unspoiled.
With the holiday drawing to a close, we are now getting closer to the sea. Our final turn off the river will be to Potter Heigham where the notorious low bridge closes off the navigation to larger vessels. Naughty-Cal may or may not fit through this bridge, we are not quite sure just yet and much will depend on the water levels at the time of our visit. If she does go through we will spend the evening at Deep Go Dyke, a secluded middle of nowhere spot. A nice spot to chill out and unwind. If the boat wont go through we will most probably continue on and head back down river to reach Stokesby Ferry.
By now we will be running out of time and weather permitting will have to head for home. The route home will take in the stunning Norfolk coastline and it would be rude not to drop in at the now familiar port of Wells next the Sea. An overnight stay here for excelent fish and chips, then the following day will be the now familiar trip from Wells to Boston, before heading back up the Witham at a somehwat more sedate pace.
Wednesday, 16 February 2011
Tuesday, 15 February 2011
The Berney Arms Inn is a remote pub, until recently only accessible by rail or by boat situated at the junction of the rivers Yare and Waveney. We have never visited this remote spot so it will be the ideal place to rest and a fitting start to our adventure on the Norfolk Broads.
Monday, 14 February 2011
Yesterday we visited the Newark Boat Jumble where we picked up a whole host of bargains for Naughty-Cals annual spruce up next month.
Last year we purchased some antifoul paint from a chap with a local paints business and we were so happy with the performance of the stuff that we bought some more. As repeat customers we got a further discount and in the end paid £20 for a 2.5 litre tin. To put this into perspective, the stuff our boat was originally painted with was £97 per tin and didnt perform as well as the new paint.
We also bought a new dry bag for our life jackets, a stainless steel grab handle to fit onto the dashboard and a new set of moorings ropes. Again a bargain at £23.50 for 38m of 10mm braided Marlow mooring rope in navy.
To top the weekend off we finally got around to installing the last two LED replacement bulbs into the bedroom area and also managed to get the seven day timer for the Webasto heating installed and working. So we awoke to a toasty warm boat this morning.
All in all a very successful weekend.
Friday, 11 February 2011
This weekend we shall have the second attempt at fitting the seven day timer to the heating system. A new unit has been delivered to the marina so fingers crossed it should be a five minute job to fit the new controller tonight.
The tomorrow looks to be a perfect cruising day. First up we really need to wash Naughty-Cal now that we have water on the pontoons, then refill the water tank and head out for a days cruising. Who knows where we will end up. Sadly it wont be an overnight stop as we are heading out in the car on Sunday.
Sunday is the Boat Jumble at Newark Show Ground. We have a list of items ready to purchase ranging from antifoul paint to a new set of mooring and fender ropes. Who knows what we will end up purchasing though. We never end up with what we are looking for!!
Thursday, 10 February 2011
For this one you will need, a packet of ready made puff pastry, 2 chicken breasts, mushrooms, onions or leeks and a packet of phillidelphia cheese (or any other soft cheese) and one beaten egg.
To begin fry off your chopped onions then add the chicken breast. It is best to chop the chicken up into cubes or strips so that it can be distributed through the pasty. Finally add the mushrooms to the mixture and fry for a further five minutes. Whilst the mixture is cooking, take your ready made pastry and roll out into a large rectangular shape. Spread half the soft cheese onto the pastry leaving a 1.5cm border of clean pastry around the edges. Remove the chicken mixture from the heat and stir in the remaining soft cheese to the mixture. Finally spread the mixture out onto the pastry. Use part of the beaten egg to moisten the 1.5cm pastry border then fold the pasty over sealing the edges well. Finally glaze the pastry with the rest of the beaten egg.
Stick the pasty in the oven for 15 minutes on a medium heat and sit back and relax whilst waiting for the pasty to cook. Remove and serve with your choice of side dish.
Tonight we are feeling naughty so will serve this dish with chips and onion rings!!
Wednesday, 9 February 2011
United Kingdom 50
United States 19
United Arab Emirates 3
So a big hello to all of those who take the time to read this blog from around the world and a big thank you for your valued viewings. If you have any questions along the way please ask them and I will do my very best to answer them for you.
Tuesday, 8 February 2011
Never mind there is always the weekend, and at this early stage in the week, the forecast for the weekend isnt looking all that bad. Who knows what the weather will be doing by then though. It will of course have changed its mind at least once a day!!
The milder weather of late is encouraging the growth of spring bulbs with shoots appearing in gardens, parks and grass verges around the country. The mornings are getting earlier, the nights are getting later and srping is certainly on its way. The birds are singing earlier in the morning, even the trees are starting to bud. Lets hope that this is the start of a long, happy and enjoyable boating year.
Monday, 7 February 2011
Still it has been another excuse to get yet more little jobs finished and struck off the list. First up the new Sealine clock was fitted and looks very smart in its new location above the galley.
Secondly was refueling. This wasnt as bad as we had anticipated and 60 litres was enough to fill the tank to the brim. Anymore and it would have overflowed so we were saved a second visit to the petrol station. The only slight problem with this job was trying to balance the diesel can on the gunnel whilst the boat was blowing around.!!
The final job for the weekend was fitting the heater timer onto the Webasto diesel heater. Our fears about this job being difficult were quickly disolved as the unit appeared to be plug and play. So with a 12v power supply attained and the unit screwed to the wall all appeared to be going well. Until we tried to switch it on and discover we have a faulty unit that wont even switch on. Never mind the wiring is all done now and when the new unit arrives this week, it should be a five minute job to fit it and get it working.
Thursday, 3 February 2011
First up is installing the new shiney Sealine clock. Shouldnt be too difficult, Three screws should be easy enough to fix.
Secondly there is the new seven day timer to fit to the existing Webasto diesel heating system. Currently we just have a thermostatically controlled on/off unit. This works fine, but during the winter months it is not fun arriving to a freezing cold boat. With the new timer installed we can set the heating to come on a couple of hours before we arrive and turn up to a nice toasty warm boat. Plus we can leave the timer set to come on if the temperature drops below a preset limit, a frost guard if you like.
Third up is taking the boat to fill up the diesel tank. The one job im not looking forward too. This one is always guaranteed to empty the wallet!!
Tuesday, 1 February 2011
You can guess that if/when he does bang into something that none of the fenders will be in the right place!!