Wednesday, 22 August 2012

E Pontoon at Bardney - Part 2

 Party on girls

 And the boys look like they are having fun too.

 How can a brush create so much amusement?

 Water fights were bound to happen but beer fights!!

Still it kept Steve amused.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

E Pontoon at Bardney - Part 1

 Fantastic sunset as we head for Lincoln Boat Club on Friday night

 Cruising on the Witham

 Glorious weather

Moored up
Get this party started

Thursday, 16 August 2012

A Weekend's Musings

What a great weekend we had last weekend. The weather was fantastic for the duration and for one of only a handful of times so far this year we had the canopies off all weekend. It was a good job the weather held up as we left them in the car.

The weekend started as so many have done recently with a Friday evening trip to Lincoln Boat Club for a few beers and a few games of pool. After closing time we had a few more beers on Naughty-Cal in the company of some of the clubs members before turning in for the night rafted up on the boat club mooring.
Saturday morning saw us up bright and early to take the short trip from the boat club mooring to the city centre moorings. From here we spent the morning shopping and strolling around the city centre with a brisk walk up Steep Hill to the cathedral and castle followed by a more sedate walk back to the boat. By the time we were back at the boat it was time to crack open a bottle and set off for Torksey, our BBQ destination for the evening. The run to Torksey was peaceful even though the canal is busier than normal and visitor moorings are at a premium. With the boat moored up we set about drinking with friends and BBQing a variety of meat, fish and vegetables.  

Sunday morning saw us have a lie in, not a common occurrence for us by any means, but we must have needed it. By the time we had woken up, freshened up and had a couple of cups of coffee it was gone 10.30am. We decided that there was little point having breakfast and set off for Saxilby where we would have brunch instead of breakfast and also would have a tank of hot water to wash the pots with. Saxilby was still busy but we managed to fit into a small mooring. Here we had a fantastic brunch of duck eggs and granary bread before finding out we were moored behind some fellow Canalworld Forum members. Well it would have been rude not to stop and say hello and share a few cold lagers.  Sadly our chat was stopped short as we had to head back to the marina, have dinner and put the canopies back on in time to head back to work the next day. But it was a great end to a great weekend.

Here are just a few pictures of our sunny weekend.

 A quiet Fossdyke

 A very busy Saxilby. No moorings here.

 Long term moorings on the Fossdyke

 Naughty-Cal at Torksey

 A quiet Fossdyke yet again. No boats on the move.

Approaching Saxilby

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Another Holiday Option

We briefly caught up with some friends over the weekend for a quick chat at the Pyewipe. They have just come back from a week long holiday at Wells next the Sea. On their return trip along with some old acquaintances they decided to stay out in the Wash estuary for a second tide, ordinarily we sprint across in the one tide. They spent the remainder of the first tide and the first part of the second tide anchoring in the shelter of the sand banks just outside the navigable channel beside the Charlie Buoy of the Boston Deep Channel.

The photographs they have shown us are quite simply amazing. Having crossed the Wash many times now we have still only really seen it over the high water period with the sand banks covered by the sea. To see the area at low water it looks completely different and a much more welcoming and inviting sight. At high water in gloomy conditions the Wash really does appear to be a very inhospitable environment.

The boat crews enjoyed a sunny afternoon of playing on the sand banks, seal watching, dinghy racing and simply relaxing onboard as the sun shone down on them. The pictures they have taken have really got us thinking about yet another holiday option for the end of this month.

We hadn’t expected a third salty water based holiday for this year but with favourable tide times for the week that we are away, it is now a choice high on our list of preferred cruising options.  This trip would give us a real mix of cruising, from the tame waters of the non tidal River Witham to the tidal river and the sea beyond also with the chance to spend some time at anchor thrown in for good measure. Plus as we would have the dinghy with us we can also take some time out and explore some of the many dykes and drainage ditches that run into the Witham along its route.

This is a completely unexpected holiday option, that wouldn’t see us travel far, yet it would be a whole set of firsts for us and Naughty-Cal. Who knows where we will end up now.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Another Lincoln Weekend

We must be getting lazy because for the third weekend in a row the furthest we have ventured is Lincoln city centre. You don’t need to go far to enjoy yourself as we are currently finding out. The sum total of our travelling this weekend has been just five miles and that is in two trips!

It all started on Friday night with a cruise down to Lincoln Boat Club for a few beers. As we were in Lincoln to do some shopping on Saturday night we moored on the boat club mooring for the evening before heading onto the Riverside Centre moorings on Saturday morning. From here the shops are all within easy walking distance of the boat.

With the shopping finished and the sun shining we couldn’t really be bothered to move on so we cracked open a few beers and watched the world go by. We had a fleeting visit from a pair of flamenco dancers keen to advertise their business with some photographs taken on the boat before late in the afternoon heading back to the marina for the evening, enjoying a fine dinner of mackerel, homemade mustard potato salad and rocket salad.

After a quick breakfast on Sunday morning and a brief run out in the dinghy we set off again in the direction of Lincoln. This time deciding to anchor in Brayford Pool as the sun was yet again shining down on us. We enjoyed a fine afternoon of sun bathing on the bow before bidding our retreat into the cockpit as the storm clouds gathered overhead. Under stormy skies we eventually set off for home where we enjoyed another fine dinner of homemade Chicken Kiev’s, sautéed new potatoes, baby corn, purple sprouting broccoli and sugar snap peas.  A great end to another great weekend.

Here is just a small selection of photographs from this lazy weekend for your viewing pleasure.

 On the way to Lincoln Boat Club

 The bar has opened early

 Flamenco dancers in Lincoln

 Ted on his RIB

 The ever present Lincoln swans

Sunny sundays draw big crowds at the waterside pubs

Friday, 3 August 2012

Another Weekend Afloat

So another weekend is upon us and this year really does seem to be flying by. Already we are at the beginning of August and it won’t be long before we are heading out on our final weeks holiday for 2012 at the end of this month.

This weekend promises to be another good one, with Friday evening spent in Lincoln Boat Club having a few beers and a few games of pool. Later we will either moor on the Lincoln visitor moorings or anchor in Brayford Pool overnight depending on how our mood takes us and what the weather is deciding to do. If it is blowing a little we will moor up as the anchor can and often does drag in the deep layer of rotting vegetation on the bed of the pool which provides little in the way of holding for a Delta anchor.

On Saturday we plan to do a spot of food shopping in Lincoln markets before chilling out on the Waterside Centre moorings and watching the city go about its daily grind. We may have friends from Goole coming up to join us for the weekend depending what the weather has in store. If the weather holds we will have a BBQ but if not we will have plenty of good food to choose from to rustle up a fine meal on board. 

Depending on how our mood takes us we may stay in Lincoln for the evening or head back to the marina. We won’t be venturing too far this weekend as my ankle is still very sore from last week’s incident but we may spend the evening away from our mooring for a change. Who knows?

With the boat serviced last weekend we can have a relaxing Sunday this weekend. With not a lot to do other than have a final check that everything is running ok with the big green lump, we can just chill out and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere before heading back to the marina late afternoon and enjoying yet more fine food onboard before finally getting ready for the week of work ahead.

Only two and a half more weeks of work before we have another weeks break onboard Naughty-Cal. I can’t wait now but we still need to decide where we are heading and then plan out the route to ensure that we make the absolute most of our holiday. We may have to pin down our destination this weekend.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Another Sunny Weekend

Just a few pictures from last weekend for you today. A great sunny weekend held in fanastic surroundings.

 Naughty-Cal moored in Lincoln city centre

 Busy moorings on a sunny day

 A punch and judy convention was being held in Lincoln. This was the Portuguese offering.

 Lincoln in full bloom

And the ever present Lincoln swans

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Holiday Planning

Our last holiday of this year was always going to be a more sedate affair than the two summer coastal cruises. Our original plan for this break had been a weeklong trip to York with a short stop at Goole along the way. However the tide timings for the beginning of the week simply won’t leave us enough time to round Trent Falls and enter Goole at a sociable and sensible hour. We don’t like the idea of going the long way around (Keadby to Selby and vice versa) both ways as this simply doesn’t leave enough time to enjoy York, by the time you have got there it is time to come back again. So we are looking for a suitable Plan B.

We currently have a few ideas which we are toying with but have as yet to decide which we will opt for. Current thoughts and ideas for our August cruise are:
  • Black Sluice – A visit to the recently opened Black Sluice which branches off the tidal River Witham near Boston Docks. This option would give us a relaxed week of cruising on the non tidal Witham, coming and going as we please with no tides to worry about bar the tidal window heading out to explore the Black Sluice. This is a navigation we have yet to visit despite it being on our doorstep and currently the EA has a special offer for visitors of two nights for £11.
  • Sprotborough – A cruise along the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation to the village of Sprotborough with possibly a further extension to Swinton to visit Liam’s mum’s cafe should time permit. We have to date cruised the SSYN as far as Bramwith and the junction with the New Junction Canal, so the section from Bramwith to Sprotborough and Swinton is as yet new to us and would give us the chance to explore new waterways and find new places to visit. The return leg of the journey would be via the Aire and Calder Navigation and Goole, giving us the chance to visit Pollington for a curry and also the opportunity to give Cal the chance to stretch her legs rounding Trent Falls with a session spent anchored at Trent End to wait for the tide back to Torksey.
  • River Trent – The final option is a week relaxing on the non tidal Trent. This is a route we have travelled many times before but still provides plenty of varied places to moor and visit. We always enjoy visiting the non tidal Trent and always have a great time wherever we end up. If time allows there is still the short section of river from Trent Lock to Sawley that we have yet to navigate so there may still be some exploration of new waters in this cruise as well.

As you can see we are leaving our options open for this cruise. We are intending to cruise alone so we have no concrete plans other than we will leave the marina on Friday evening and get the holiday off to a cracking start, wherever the destination may be.