Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Bacon and Egg Fried Rice

Another really simple dish for you today. This one is something a bit different for breakfast. 

Fry a couple of eggs in a wok mixing them well. When cooked set aside.

Next fry chopped bacon in the wok until crispy. Add some frozen peas. Add a packet of precooked rice and your egg to the wok and mix well ensuring the rice is cooked through. Season to taste with soy sauce. 

Serve and enjoy. 

Monday, 30 December 2013

A Late Gift

Time for just one last Christmas present for 2013. This time it's a gift for Naughty-Cal. 

In timely fashion her original stereo blew up on Christmas Day so we have bought her a shiny new Bluetooth stereo to replace it. 

Friday, 27 December 2013

Boxing Day

Yesterday we made the journey back from Lincoln to Sheffield for a family party. As we had a few hours to spare we took the chance to take a walk through Western Park and Crookes Valley Park. Both situated less than a mile from the city centre they really are green oasis in the city. Western Park houses a fantastic free museum but sadly it was shut yesterday. 

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas one and all and here's hoping you all have a good one. 

Monday, 23 December 2013

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Booked In

Well that's it. Naughty-Cal is booked in for a lift out, pressure wash and chock ashore on the week commencing 13 January 2014, weather dependent of course.

She was due to come out in February anyway but what with picking up a load of debris on the props last weekend and knowing we have damaged the oil seals it didnt seem worth the risk of waiting a bit longer knowing we were getting water in the drive oil.

We have waited whilst after Christmas as we know the yard has a two week shut down during the Christmas period and however much you plan these things there is always something you manage to forget which one of the lads will have in the workshops.

So it looks like we wont be having the usual rush around to get Naughty-Cal ready for the Easter break what with us lifting out early and Easter being later next year we will be able to hopefully get the full list of jobs finished this time instead of a half a list at best. 

It does also mean that Naughty-Cal will be out of the water for longer than usual as the weekend after she is lifted it is my birthday Go Karting Grand Prix day on the Saturday. An extra week or two ashore wont do her any harm mind and will give her an extra chance to dry out a little.

Hopefully with a bit of luck and a following wind the limit of the damage it a set of oil seals and some damaged props. But we wont find that out until she is lifted!!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

River Traffic

The rivers of the UK can provide a route for cargos too large to carry by conventional rail or road transport. Here is an example of some large sugar silos being transported along the river Yare yesterday to Cantley Sugar Factory. Far too large to travel by road. Im glad we didnt come across these whilst we were on the Broads!!

Threading the cargo through Reedham Swing Bridge.

Pictures from the BBC.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Special Delivery

So we draw ever closer to the big day. I'm still not really feeling in the mood this year, it doesn't yet seem to have hit home that another year is almost over.

We wrapped the last of our present s last night. A problem with a delivery meant they did not arrive last week which put our plans out a little. But the bulk of the presents will be delivered to their various homes tonight with just one last one left for us to deliver tomorrow evening after work and then that's it. We are free to enjoy the season of goodwill as we see fit to do so. 

I think we are becoming more scrooge like as we get older. I used to love Christmas but now am starting to hate it. The only good thing to look forward too at Christmas is a quiet river if the weather allows us to escape the marina.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Plastic bloody bags

Naughty-Cal found yet another plastic bag in the Fossdyke this afternoon much to Liam's delight. 

This one managed to stall the engine and find its way through the shaft seals so its a lift out after Christmas for some more work doing. Deep joy! 

Friday, 13 December 2013

2013 - Part 4

November 2013 - November arrives and heralds the start of our slowing down into a more gentle cruising pace. Its ditch crawling season for Naughty-Cal with locals cruises on the Fossdyke amongst the first of the winter storms.

December 2013 - The start of December 2013 has been a time for stunning sunsets with the skies ablaze during early evening. So far December has been a mild month if not a little wild with the worst coastal storm surge for some 60 years. 

2013 - The Stats

Ok so there is still a little over a couple of weeks of this year left but we don’t expect to be going too far in the remaining time so the stats for 2013 (so far) are:

  • ·         1575 miles travelled
  • ·         45 locks traversed
  • ·         1364 litres (303 gallons) of fuel purchased
  • ·         £1305.74 fuel costs (£0.96 average fuel cost per litre)
  • ·         5.2mpg (discounting fuel used by the diesel heating at 0.25 litres per hour)

2013 has certainly been a good year for us and Naughty-Cal. We have travelled far and wide enjoying a good mixture of coastal, estuary and inland river cruising. We have spent far more time on the coast this year than in previous years but have still managed to enjoy cruising the rivers and estuaries during weekends and bank holidays.

The weather has played its part this year with scorching summer temperatures and thus far a mild winter. If this weather continues then we may well manage to squeeze in our Christmas day cruise to the pub, something we enjoyed a few years back but have not managed to replicate since due to adverse weather.

We have big plans for the coming year with even bigger adventures in the planning. It would be nice to think we could enjoy weather and sea conditions similar to those which we have enjoyed this year but we don’t hold out a deal of hope for that. So long as it is reasonable we will be happy.

So there you have it. A round up of what has been a memorable year for all the right reasons. Hopefully there will be many more years like 2013 to come.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

2013 - Part 3

 July 2013 - This was the month of scorching hot weather with not a cloud in the sky and luckily for us was also the month of our two week summer trip to Norfolk and Suffolk. We had a glorious five days on the Norfolk Broads, followed by a fantastic two nights in Southwold and then to finish off had a further five nights in Wells next the Sea. A fantastic holiday blessed with blue skies and flat calm seas.

 August 2013 - After the glory of July, August was a more relaxed affair with plenty of local cruising but also a foray up the Trent for the bank holiday in the company of good friends. 

September 2013 - September saw us undertake our first proper solo coastal cruise. We had come back from Wells to Boston on our own in July but this was the first cruise we had fully undertaken with the sole intention of being solo. As it happened it was a good confidence builder as the fresh Easterly breeze ensure there was a decent swell in the Wash.

 October 2013 - The weather is starting to become more drab and the nights are drawing in but that doesnt stop us getting out and about. A trip to West Stockwith always brightens a dull weekend as it gives us the chance to stretch Naughty-Cal's legs once more.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

2013 - Part 2

 April 2013 - The weather has really started to pick up by now and many a lazy sunday was spent at anchor in Brayford Pool.

May 2013 - May brought with it glorious weather. May bank holiday was spent in the company of Lincoln Boat Club on their cruise to the White Horse at Dusten Fen, followed by a BBQ at Bardney Village moorings.

May 2013 - The end of May saw us undertake our usual first proper holiday of the year at Wells next the Sea.It is always nice to pull into Wells to friendly and now familiar faces.

 June 2013 - June saw us head to Newark for the annual Newark Festival. We were moored right in the thick of the action with our boats being right behind the main stage. We could have almost reached out and touched the bands, including the headliners Madness!!.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

2013 - Part 1

It has certainly been one hell of a year this year. Probably the best we have had in the five years we have owned Naughty-Cal. Helped in no small way by the fantastic weather we were treated too during the summer. 

So this next few posts will be a look back over the year of 2013. I know it isn't quite over yet but it's not that far off to the new year either.

January 2013 - The year started off on a relatively mild note and we managed to fit in many local cruises to start off the year. We dont tend to venture far at the beginning of the year as the weather can be unpredictable, preferring to stay in the shelter of the Fossdyke and Witham.

February 2013 - February brings with it the time to lift Naughty-Cal out of the water for her annual sterndrive service, polish and antifoul. Hard work it may be in the cold weather but the reward for a few days hard graft is to see Naughty-Cal looking like a shiny new pin again once she is relaunched. With the engine serviced shortly after relaunch she is ready to face another long summer of cruising.

March 2013 - This year March brought with it some cold snowy weather. Nothing too serious just enough to remind us that winter was not yet ready to give up here grasp on the country.

 Easter 2013 - Easter was early this year and as such the weather was bitterly cold. This didn't stop us enjoying a lovely couple of days in company in West Stockwith basin though. We awoke most mornings to find a skim of ice on the waters surface but we were all toasty warm on the boats.

Monday, 9 December 2013


We have been treated to some cracking sunsets of late. Here's the last one over Burton Waters. 

Sunday, 8 December 2013

The calm

This was very much the calm before the storm. A peaceful sunset as we enjoy a few beers onboard before getting ready for our E Pontoon Christmas bash. 

The Pyewipe Inn made us a fantastic three course dinner once again followed by a disco afterwards. Excellent service once again from all the staff. 

No doubt there will be pictures of the event once they are sifted through! 

Saturday, 7 December 2013

It's Arrived !

We have finally given in and accepted that Christmas has arrived. 

Naughty - Cal has her Christmas tree up. We have decided to give the lights a miss this year but a miniature real tree should suffice! 

Friday, 6 December 2013

Surge Ahead

This photograph came to our attention yesterday taken from one of the boats we met up with whilst on our way out of the Norfolk Broads on our way to Southwold.

This photograph is taken as the boats waited in Great Yarmouth Harbour for the lifting of Haven Bridge so that all seven boats could proceed to sea.

During last nights huge storm surge this whole area was underwater. The tide breached the flood walls and entered the town. We could have gone over haven bridge rather than under it.

This just goes to prove the power of  mother nature.

Thursday, 5 December 2013


We must be all out of kilter this year. Its only the 5th December but we already have the Christmas presents bought and sorted. 

Tonight we are wrapping the bulk of the presents which I picked up yesterday, thank the lord for online reservations and ordering, they make this time of year so much more palatable. All I had to do was walk into the store, type in an order number and within minutes I was walking back out of the store and loading the car up with goodies. Easy peasy.

The rest of the presents, only four of them, are ordered and are due to be delivered to our house on Monday evening after work so we will wrap them on Monday and start the task of delivering them during the evenings next week. 

By the end of next week we should have everything delivered and we can sit back and relax for the rest of December. 

This is very much out of the ordinary for us. We are usually very much last minute christmas shoppers but for some reason this year it has just felt right to get it all done and dusted early in the month, and I have to say it has been a much more relaxing way to go about the task in hand.

We have been so organised we have even got the numerous birthday presents for this month as well. Its all very odd!!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Seafood Lasagne

Just a little something I rustled up last night from a few bits and bobs in the fridge and freezer. We have so much lovely meat in the house at the moment but we fancied something a little bit different last night.

So this is super simple.

Make a simple white sauce with melted butter, flour and milk, then add grated cheese and stir until thickened and the cheese is melted.

In a seperate pan fry an onion, mushrooms, bell pepper and mixed seafood, we used king prawns, mussel meat and squid. When cooked through add some of your cheese sauce. Mix well then layer in a dish with lasagne sheets. Top with more of your cheese sauce and grated cheese. For this we used a reduced fat mature cheddar. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

Here's ours served with rocket salad and garlic bread.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Good Food

As I am sure you have figured out by now we are advocaters of buying good food. But buying good food doesnt need to be expensive, not if you shop smart.

As i had the day off work on Friday I had the chance to visit our local butcher, a family business who slaughter, butcher and sell local meat. Sounds expensive you might say, but it is anything but.

As an example two big rib eye steaks, one of which is pictured opposite, were just £6.30 and they were matured to perfection and melt in the mouth. The meat was like butter and melted away at the touch of the knife.

Whenever I get the chance to visit the butchers at Grenoside I take the chance to stock up the freezer with top quality products. The produce I bought last week will see us through until the next visit just before christmas, not bad for a spend of a shade under £40, especially as this included steak, lamb leg joint, four duck breasts, chicken breasts and duck eggs amongst other more basic provisioning such as steak mince, sausage and diced pork.

I know it may seem to some like more hassle to shop around at different establishments for different produce but it can pay off if you spend a little time out a couple of times a week to stock up. Green grocers next to stock up the fridge with fresh fruit and vegetables.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Decent Day

After the icy start yesterday actually turned out to be a decent day. We spent the afternoon anchored in Brayford Pool before heading back for home as the sun started to set. 

Sunday, 1 December 2013

And Icy!

We really didn't expect this either. Ice breaking already! 


We got a bit of a shock when we got up this morning. The weather forecasters got it a bit wrong here in the Lincoln area. There has been a very harsh frost here in Saxilby with a fine skin of ice on the ditch. 

It's mostly melted now mind and Naughty-Cal is slowly thawing out as the heating releases her from her icy cage, the canopy windows are clearing and the hatches and port lights are now frost free. 

Looks set to be a glorious run back to the marina this afternoon after a lazy morning drinking coffee and listening to the radio whilst enjoying a big full English! 

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Busy Month

December is always a busy month whoever you are but ours seems to get busier as the years progress.

It all starts next Saturday evening with our E Pontoon christmas dinner at the Pyewipe Inn. This is a black tie three course dinner arranged by the moorers for the moorers.

The weekend after we have another saturday evening even at the Marine Lounge in the marina this time organised by the marina.

Of course there is new years eve where we will be at Woodcocks on the marina and of course there is christmas day where we will be chilling on the boat. Boxing day this year will see us back in Sheffield so plenty of travel time as well thrown in. Oh and I forgot both my works christmas party and Liams christmas party. 

I will be glad when January comes around.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Big Trip 2014

We decided to plot all of our planned stops on a map as a bit of a visual aid to ourselves whilst planning this big trip for next summer. In doing so we have realised just how far we plan to take or little boat, on our own!

It looks much further plotted on a map like this than it feels totting up the miles between each harbour or port. 

With winter finally snapping at our heels and cruising time becoming less and less we can start to settle in and plan this trip in earnest. We can also start to plan just what work we will be doing to Naughty-Cal in the next few months as we work up towards preparing her for this epic voyage. Her usual couple of weeks on the hardstanding may be extended next spring as we have many more jobs than usual to squeeze into the avaliable time. We have to have her in tip top condition if we are to attempt this trip. There is no room for error or malfunction.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Garlic and Herb Turkey

Another recipe for you today.  quick and easy bite to eat that takes just ten minutes or so to rustle up. Ideal for a weekday after a long day at work.

So add a chopped onion, a chopped chilli , a handful of chopped mushrooms, a diced bell pepper and some sliced courgette to a large pan and fry until just starting to brown and soften.

Next add some diced turkey thigh and cook until browned. Then add a tub of light soft cheese with garlic and herbs and stir until well mixed through. Leave to simmer for a few minutes

Finally serve with rice and garlic bread. Here we have used wholegrain basmati.

Turkey thigh is a more economical cut of meat than turkey breast. It is cheaper much cheaper to buy yet is better suited to dishes such as this as it doesn't dry out, the extra fat content helps to keep the meat moist.

Its that time of year again when turkey is on a lot of menus but we tend to eat it year round rather than veiwing it as a Christmas meat only. Perhaps that is in part due to us not tending to have turkey for Christmas dinner.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Sunday Lunch

We are loving our new oven. Finally a proper Sunday lunch onboard. Last night it was roast beef, roast potatoes, stuffing and cabbage. Not a scrap was left! 

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Nice Evening

It was a lovely evening for a cruise on the ditch last night. Not another boat on the move. 

Friday, 22 November 2013


So back to next summers big trip and if all goes well and the weather is fair we may head further North yet to Dunbar. It isnt such a long way further north than Eyemouth but we can well and truly say we have been to Scotland if we make it here. Making it to Dunbar however as with the rest of this trip very much depends on weather and sea conditions. If it isn't right we wont be going. We may be brave but we are certainly not fool hardy.

 The entrance to the harbour doesn't look to be for the faint of heart.

 The harbour sheltered by the sea wall is still very much revolving around fishing. Visitor mooring here is against the quay wall so lines must be set to allow for the rise and fall of the tide.

 Stunning scenery along this stretch of coast with hidden coves and small bays.

 This one just beside the harbour wall.

A multitude of architectural styles in the village.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

The Oven

So here is our new boaty oven, well not our exact one as I forgot to get a picture of it in situ, but one that’s the same.

It’s a Morphy Richards KWS1525X-F2UB rotisserie mini oven. I doubt we will ever use the rotisserie function, that isn’t really what we bought it for but if it ever tickles our fancy we shall let you know how we get on with it.

The oven has quite a large capacity at 25 litres yet manages to be a compact unit at about the same size as a microwave unit. It has a clever bulge in the back which allows the oven to take a 12 inch pizza. Unfortunately this clever bulge means that the oven doesn’t fit where we wanted it too so at the moment we are thinking of a new more convenient place to house it. At the moment it sits on top of the saloon table which isn’t really ideal but it is out of the way as we tend to sit in the cockpit. We can shift it about if we decide to sit in the saloon for a change.

Despite its compact size (H28.4, W43.5, D46.4cm) the oven has some handy features including a 60 minute timer, grill, rotisserie and temperature range from 90-230 degrees. We found it to heat up really very quickly, probably helped by the small dimensions and also found that it kept the heat in very well.

The extra added bonus was that it was on offer when we got to the shop to buy it, reduced to £46.99 from almost £100. Not a bad deal at all. It really won’t take long to pay for itself even if we only use it for pizzas on a Friday night!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013


Well a couple of this summers photos are going to be published in the 2014 East Coast calender. Two out of the twelve required isnt all that bad i suppose from almost 3500 entries. So here they are the chosen two which oddly are not my favourites from the bunch which we submitted. Both pictures we taken during July's trip to the Norfolk and Suffolk coast.

 Gulls at Southwold Harbour.

Cruising past Scroby Sands Windfarm off Great Yarmouth