Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Holidays at Last

After what seems like an absolute age our attentions are now turning towards our first proper holiday onboard Naughty-Cal at the end of May. As usual for this holiday a group of us are heading off down the Norfolk coast to Wells next the Sea.

We have a mixed group this year with the usual suspects Naughty-Cal, Devocean and Nitty Gritty but also some fresh faces for whom it will be their first excursion onto the salty stuff.
With a flurry of activity over the next few weeks we will have all of the boats ship shape and ready for the coastal cruise. This year we are taking the dinghy ASBO again as we have great plans, weather dependant of course, for beach parties in Wells and a day spent at anchor in the Wash on the way home. We will need the dinghy to explore the channel between the sand banks and get closer to the wildlife.

Hopefully the weather will have picked up by then but for now we have a long weekend to keep us occupied.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Productive Weekend

Well what a productive weekend that turned out to be. We got everything we wanted and needed to do finished with plenty of time to spare for enjoying ourselves as well.

On Saturday after a mornings shopping in Lincoln we headed back and set about the hard work. First up we jet washed the canopies and whilst Liam was doing this I set about cleaning the cockpit upholstery which has come up a treat. It looks a different colour. With that done we headed back to Lincoln on a friends boat for drinks by the Brayford Pool, followed by a great curry before heading back to the marina for last orders in Yots Bar.

Sunday was greated with hangovers all around but we soon put them behind us as we started to Fabsil the canopy. We managed to apply the Fabsil to the large top section of the canopy in situ but it was realistically too windy to take the side sections off and apply it to them so hopefully between now and the end of May we will get a calm day to finish off the job. With the canopy done we set about cleaning the dinghy. The growth on the bottom was unbelievable for just a few months growth. With  mixture of cleaning products some magic sponge and a lot of elbow grease we did manage to get the vast majority off. Again between now and our holiday in Wells next the Sea we will pull it out again and attack it once more and it should be like a new dinghy again. The difference is already vast. With a quick pump up it looks like a new dinghy again.

With the work finished it was time to settle back with a beer, listening to some music and waiting for the Cajun chicken to cook in the slow cooker. A great end to a great weekend. Now we have just five days at work before we head out with Lincoln Boat Club on their bank holiday BBQ cruise.

Friday, 26 April 2013

More Spring Cleaning

It’s the weekend again and we have a weekend of hard graft ahead of us. First things first mind. Tonight we are heading to Lincoln Boat Club for a few beers to toast in the weekend but more importantly to discuss the ins and outs of the bank holiday weekend BBQ at Bardney village.

On Saturday it is time to start the hard work. First up is jet washing the boat and the canopies. Construction of the next phase of development at the marina has resulted in a film of dust coating every external surface of the boat so it has to be washed off. A gentle jet wash will remove the filth from the new hoods.

Whilst Liam is busy on the external cleaning I have the unenviable job of cleaning the cockpit vinyl. Last weekend we discovered that magic sponge is excellent at cleaning the white upholstery but we now have one gleaming white clean patch, so I now have to finish off the job. Fortunately the magic sponge makes light work of cutting through the grime so it isn’t a difficult job.

The last of Saturdays jobs is cleaning the dinghy ready for her first outing of the year.  Again this should be a relatively easy job thanks to the magic sponge and the jet washer.  We cleaned the hull at the back end of last year so it shouldn’t be too dirty.

Sundays job is applying a coat or two of Fabsil to the canopies. The Fabsil reproofs the hoods and helps them to repel water and also dirt and grime. It also helps them keep their colour and as they repel the water they don’t tend to be so prone to mould and mildew growth. With a little bit of TLC we hope to keep the new hoods in excellent condition which should help to ensure that they last as long, if not longer than the original hoods which we inherited.

So it looks like we have a marina weekend on the cards. We have not had one for a while so it will make a change for us. We have to make sure that Naughty-Cal is looking at her very best for her cruise in the company of Lincoln Boat Club.  

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Spring Cleaning

As spring has finally arrived we have been having a bit of a spring clean at home, starting with the kitchen. We have lived in our current home since January 2006 and have somehow managed to hoard a load of stuff we don’t actually use or need.

We were starting to run out of useful cupboard space so we have started thinning it out, drastically. Most of the cupboards are done now. Just the mug and glass cupboard to go. Once it is all cleared we can then set about with the decorating of this room.

The kitchen will be fairly easy to decorate, needing just a lick of paint and some new flooring. We plan to use a pale coffee colour on the walls, complimented by white ceilings and matt white woodwork which should tie in with the white kitchen cupboard doors and the cherry work surface. We also plan to fit some black and white chequered vinyl flooring as we really don’t like the cheap and nasty laminate currently down. The plan being to eventually carry the vinyl flooring through into the entrance hallway as it will be easier to keep clean than the current cream carpet.

It has taken us some time to get into gear with decorating the house but now that we have started tidying it up we can see the final goal heading ever closer, which in turn has given us a kick to get some progress made.

After the kitchen we will tackle the living room, another easy room to conquer. 

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Further Exploration

Ever the optimists some friends and ourselves have decided we are going to take our boats up the course of the Old River Witham to the pub at Short Ferry. We did this last summer in the dinghies and we have tried it before in Naughty-Cal but chickened out most of the way there because the depth of water was rapidly decreasing. We have since however found that although shallow in places we should in theory with the drives raised be able to reach the pub and nose into the bank side for ease of getting on and off the boats. This year we are determined that we are going to get the boats moored up outside the pub so that we can spend the evening there, as it is a very friendly pub with a great atmosphere.

The perfect opportunity to try this out will be the Sunday after the Lincoln Boat Club BBQ at Bardney Village moorings as it is only a short hop up river from there. So fingers crossed we make it without too much damage to the boats. We wont be changing the props before this trip!

Monday, 22 April 2013

BBQ Weekend Agaim

 Sunset over Burton Waters signifies the start of our evening cruise to Lincoln Boat Club

 The boys taking Olivia shopping on Saturday morning.

Early afternoon cruise on the Fossdyke
 Managed to grab our BBQ spot again.

 All tucked up safely on the moorings.

A gentle Sunday afternoon cruise back home. We just managed to catch the end of the Lincoln Triatholon. Looked far too energetic for a Sunday.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Beautiful morning

Well its a beautiful morning here in Lincoln. Here is the view from the window this morning.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Local Waterways Part 6 - The SSYN

The Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigations. Despite our best efforts we have still not cruised the whole of this network of waterways. We have cruised the section from Keadby to Bramwith and also the straight New Junction Canal but the section from Bramwith to Sheffield still eludes us.

 Keady Lock. Below the lock the tidal waters of the River Trent.

The Vazon Swing Bridge taking the railline across the canal.

Here the navigation winds between wooded sections.

And out again into windswept countryside.

Thorne is the first town of note on the navigation with all of the facilities one would expect.

Closely followed by Stainforth.

And then Bramwith.

A right turn at Bramwith takes you onto the New Junction canal. The first structure you face the Don  Aqueduct.

Followed by a series of lift bridges and the one lock.

 And finally the Went Aqueduct. Shortly after this structure you will be faced with the Aire and Calder dead ahead with a right turn to Goole and left to Leeds and the inland canal system beyond.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Funny Old World

We have owned Naughty-Cal for heading towards five years now and in that five years we have met some fantastic life long friends. 

Some of them moor at our marina and others moor many miles away with just the odd trip where our paths may cross. But always they will stay friends. 

Whilst out and about on our travels we bump into the same boats and crews time and time again and always have a warm welcome and heart felt greeting. Boating is a funny old world but we whole heartedly love the scene and can not now imagine not having a boat of some description. Luckily for us Naughty-Cal fits the bill and we cant see us changing her any time soon. She is now known far and wide and is becoming more of a celebrity than her crew.

Is this a good or a bad thing though?

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Inconsiderate Mooring

We have seen some inconsiderate mooring in the last five years but this guy really took the biscuit at the weekend. He moored on the fuel berth with his bow blocking the entrance to the marina on a warm sunny day knowing full well that bigger boats could not get out. Just out of shot there is actually loads of room for him to move back and not be blocking the entrance at all.

Fed up of waiting for him to move we squeezed out but boats any bigger than us could not physically get out. He sat there for well over an hour. What a tosser.

Monday, 15 April 2013

BBQ Weekend

Friday evening cruise into Lincoln.

 Spring is finally here.

 Lovely cruise on the Fossdyke

 BBQ spot chosen at Saxilby.

 The morning after, before the wind gets up!

Heading home in a howling gale. Great fun!

Friday, 12 April 2013

True Bravery

A selection of pictures for you today from a rescue by the RNLI on tuesday night off the coast of Bridlington. These guys risked their own lives in rough seas to rescue tihe crew of a distressed fishing vessel. Not only did they save the lifes of all of those onboard but they also towed the stricken vessel back to safety.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Local Waterways Part 5 - The Aire and Calder

So for the next part of this little series of posts we turn our attentions to the Aire and Calder from the city of Leeds to the docks at Goole. This is still very much a commercial waterway shifting huge amounts of cargo around. You are guaranteed to come across a fully laden commercial vessel on this trip.

 Clarence Dock. Great moorings but somewhat isolated from the city centre. A fair old walk into the city centre but good moorings all the same and a stones throw from the Royal Armouries.

Just a short hop downstream sees you at Woodlesford. A great village with a wide variety of shops and lovely visitor moorings.

Further downstream still you reach Lemonroyd Lock. The deepest on the navigation.

Then onwards to Castleford with the famous boat on the weir. Great shops within walking distance but the town has obviously seen better days. Still a warm welcome to be had mind.

The navigation here switches from canal cut to river and back again. The reaches of the River Aire are pretty even in the early spring sunshine.

A scene that needs no introduction. Ferrybridge and the old A1 road bridge.

Here is the navigation through Knottingley. A pleasant tree lined cutting.

Through Knottingley and the navigation takes on a different feel. No in man made channel, deep, wide and very much the motorway of the inland waterways. Here at Whitely Lock the commericals have priority.

Pollington Lock another huge commerical lock. From the visitor mooring above the lock it is a short walk to the local pub.

 And finally Goole Docks and the huge Ocean Lock which takes boats big and small onto the tidal waters of the River Ouse some 7 miles upstream of Trent End. This lock is free to pleasure craft from 1.5 hours before to 2.5 hours after high water Goole. There is no need to tie up in here. You just ride the flow and hover in the middle of the massive lock chamber.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Local Waterways Part 4 - The River Ouse

So for the next part in this series we look at the River Ouse from the head of the navigable section at Ripon right to the start of the River Humber.

 Ripon Canal Basin. A fitting head to the navigation in a fine city.

 Heading downstream on the River Ure.

 Linton Lock the first on the Ouse proper.

 Kings Staithe, York. Right in the heart of the city.

 Naburn Lock at the start of the tidal river.

 The tidal Ouse. Pretty on a sunny day but often dull dismal and uninviting.

 Selby Lock at the entry to the Selby Canal.

 Goole Docks. Here the river is wide, sweeping and powerful.

Blacktoft Jetty. From here it is just a short hop to Trent End and the start of the River Humber.