Monday, 30 June 2014

Getting There

So we are now a few steps closer to getting Naughty-Cal ready to go on holiday. 

The fuel tank is refilled, the courses plotted, waypoints and routes in the chart   plotter and we had a mini tidy up. 

So next weekend we just need to change the engine oil and filter, change the supercharger oil and trim ram fluid and giver her one last clean up and declutter and we will then be ready to go. 

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Had Always Wondered

Since buying our dinghy we had always wondered what would happen if we put a bigger engine on the back. So yesterday we did a little test and removed the 6hp 4 stroke Mariner and put a friends 15hp 2 stroke on the back. 

The results were not exactly what we had expected. It was really fast onto the plane but the top end speed was pretty much the same as before. 

Still at least we know now! 

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Topped Up

Well that's one job done. Fuel topped up ready for the off. She didn't needs much as we thought and only took 86 litres. Always good! 

Friday, 27 June 2014

Creeping Up

Its happening again. Our big holiday for this year is creeping up on us before we know it. It only seems like two minutes ago we were coming back from Wells next the Sea but here we are with just two weekends to go before the off!

Luckily we dont have too much to do to get Naughty-Cal ready for her big adventure. Last weekend we got the spare gas bottle refilled so we now have almost two full bottles which should be plenty. This weekend we will refuel, she needs about 100 litres or so to fill her up which isn't bad considering we have not put any in since we filled up at Geordies on the way back from Wells.

Unfortunately on the way back along the Fossdyke last weekend on the way back to the marina we managed to ding the props on some hidden debris. So one of the spare sets is now on its way to be refurbished. We should hopefully have this back in time to fit next weekend, but if not we can pop down one night in the week, the week after to fit them.

Other than that it is just a simple case of checking we are stocked up on the essentials and giving Naughty-Cal a good scrub and clean. Next weekend Liam will change the engine oil and filter to ensure she is running on fresh oil. She isnt due a change just yet but it will do no harm to give her some fresh new oil as she will be working hard for the two weeks we are away. He will also change the supercharger oil and hydraulic oil in the trim rams. Since we installed new seals in the rams earlier this year we have no fluid leaks but there is still some water contamination left over in the systems. By changing the fluid two or three times this year we hope to flush it through and leave a water free hydraulic system.

With not too much to do before the off we can have a relaxed weekend this weekend. The weather doesnt look too great but we can still enjoy some relaxing time onboard.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

West Stockwith June 2014 - Part 3

 Moored in the basin.

 Tucked up on the pontoons.

 Nelson having fun in the slipway.

 Walking along the River Idle.

 To the pub.

 Walking back along the canal.

 Goodbye Nitty Gritty.

 East Stockwith.

 Sole Mate leaving West Stockwith.

 Nauti Girl leaving the lock.

 The two stooges.

 Sole Mate at speed.

 Total Angel at speed.

 Back on the Fossdyke.

Fuel boat at Saxilby.

West Stockwith June 2014 - Part 2

 Flying through Gainsborough

 Skimming the wall

 Formation flying

 Nauti Girl turning Marton corner.


 In the lock.

 Neil the new lockie at Stockwith.

Waiting for the lock

West Stockwith June 2014 - Part 1

 Waiting for the lock.

Waiting for the others on the river.

 And its go go go.

 Wish You Were Here at speed.

 Three together.

 Under the bridge.

Nauti Girl under Gainsborough Bridge

Monday, 23 June 2014

New Bits

Naughty-Cal was treated to some new wiper arms and blades . They look much better than the old ones which were suffering a little after 11 years of salt spray!

Sunday, 22 June 2014

And he's in!

On purpose this time though. He dropped in the shark bottle opener so he had to go and retrieve it!

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Nice Evening

We had a great run along the Fossdyke last night. Glorious, quiet and care free cruising. Not another boat on the move. A great start to what promises to be a busy weekend. 

Friday, 20 June 2014

Cruise in Company

Its another busy weekend for Naughty-Cal. No rest for the wicked they say. This weekend she is leading a group of seven boats down the Trent to West Stockwith for a weekend in the basin at the end of the Chesterfield Canal. 

The group includes seasoned and novice boaters alike so should make for an interesting weekend and an interesting cruise. For a couple of boat crews it will be their first trip on the Trent so their first introduction to the infamous West Stockwith lock entry.

We have traversed this lock many times now so hope we have the measure of it but it can be a tricky old lock to get right. The video below shows Naughty-Cal entering the lock with a fair amount of fresh water flowing downstream. It shouldnt be this bad tomorrow as we have had little in the way of rain for the last couple of weeks but it shows how interesting the entry can be.

Once safely tucked up in the basin we have a table booked at the White Hart in the village for some great home cooked food. For once the tide times are during the afternoon so we will have plenty of time to sit back and chill out, lose the hangovers and tinker about with the boats before we head out onto the Trent. We dont leave Torksey until 3pm tomorrow and we wont leave West Stockwith until 4pm on Sunday to head for home.

Watch this space for any developments during the weekend. Although phone reception can be pretty rubbish where we are headed.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Giddy Up

Whilst digging through the videos of our holiday on my phone I found this one which is a good example of why it is best to avoid Wells harbour in north easterly winds. The pontoons are a good couple of miles inland up the estuary but around high tide with the wind howling down the harbour you do get rolled around somewhat!

We were being thrown around like we were riding a bucking bronco, but luckily only for a few hours of each tide for a few tides, two of which we were in bed and one of which we spent in the pub. 

This next video was taken from Devocean on the way down to Wells and shows just what a lovely trip we had across the Wash and down the Norfolk coast. Such a shame the weather didnt hold out for us.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

And Another

More pictures keep cropping up of Naughty-Cal on her recent Wells trip. This one was taken from Devocean the boat we travelled with and shows Cal leaving Wells on the way back to Boston. 

Its nice to see the sea looking so blue along our coastline. Hopefully we will get to see much more of it in just a few short weeks.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

From Up Above

Last week we discovered that whilst we were in Wells next the Sea a few weeks back that we were photographed from above. When we arrived a pair of micro lights were circling ahead and it seems they were busy snapping pictures of the boats.

So here we have Naughty-Cal right on th very end of the pontoon in front of the Albatros bar with Devocean and Challenger rafted up just ahead of is and then the yachts further ahead.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Friday, 13 June 2014

Weekend of Fun

It looks set to be a very busy weekend for us and Naughty-Cal. It is the weekend of the Lincoln Waterside Festival but also we have friends here who we dont see as often as we would like, Martyn and Gill from Nitty Gritty and Liams mum is coming to pay us a visit on Saturday as well.

But first things first tonight after work we have to sprint to Lincoln to get to the boat club in time to open up and work our shift behind the bar. This year we have fallen lucky and dont have as many shifts to do but this weekend is one of our four for the year.

Tomorrow we will be seeking out a suitable mooring in the Brayford Pool where we can spend the weekend enjoying the festivities. Martin and Gill have Nittty Gritty out of the water at Burton Waters so after they have finished they mornings work they will join us and Ronnie will be coming along at some point as well. It was Liams birthday during the week so we all intend to celebrate in style this weekend.

Sunday should see us heading back to the marina as Liam is doing a few minor repairs to the bow of Nitty Gritty, but then we might have time to fit Naughty-Cal's shiny new windscreen wiper arms and blades.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Getting Prepared

As the weeks march on and we get ever closer to our big summer holiday we are starting to get prepared for the off. 

This is a trip into the unknown for us as it will be the first time we have cruised north along the East coast. In previous years we have always headed south.

As part of the preparations, I have been busy with:
  • ·         Plotting waypoints on the paper charts
  • ·         Gathering information about each port we plan to visit
  • ·         Gathering information regarding tidal windows at each port
  • ·         Putting waypoints into the chart plotter
  • ·         Checking tide times
  • ·         Planning legs of the trip around tide times and tidal windows

As you can probably gather by now this is going to be far from an easy trip to get right. The majority of ports we plan to visit have a limited tidal window in which to enter the port with enough water for safe entry. We need to plan each leg thoroughly and carefully to ensure we hit each entry at the right state of tide for our draft requirements. No point getting to port only to find there is not enough water to enter, as the Dutch yachtie found out when he couldnt enter Wells at low tide. He had to take a detour to Grimsby.

Of course the one thing we can’t plan for is the weather and sea conditions and we will have to keep a close eye on this right through the holiday. If the weather is forecast to turn bad we will have to come up with a plan B which could easily be leaving the boat somewhere safe until better weather allows our return. Ideally this wouldn’t be the case but we have to be prepared to do this.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Yorkshire Wraps

We discovered these quite by accident during our bank holiday tourist trail of Lincoln. The Yorkshire Wrap, a new concept to us but one we have really come to accept.

The concept is simple enough. Make a Yorkshire pudding/pancake batter, form into pancakes, top with your favourite topping, roll the pancake and then bake in the oven for thirty minutes.

The first batch of these we made was with sliced chicken breast, stuffing and thick chicken gravy.

The batch in this picture were what I made on Monday evening with BBQ pulled pork, chilli, onion, bell pepper and mushroom served with hot and spicy onion rings and a fresh side salad. 

You can put pretty much whatever you want in these, the formula is the same and they are dead easy and quick to prepare. We are going to try them stuffed with chilli con carne next time and served with garlic bread and salad.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Mixed Bag

Well the weekend was certainly a mixed bag. Saturday really didnt look very promising at all. From the moment we woke up it was raining heavily so we pottered around in town until it stopped enough to encourage us to move on. We eventually settled onto the visitor moorings in Saxilby where we enjoyed a peaceful night onboard with a few drinks and some food rustled up from the kitchen stores.

On sunday we really had to take Naughty-Cal back and give her a good scrub. In a couple of short hours we had her looking spick and span again. Liam set about unjamming the chain from the anchor winch which had very unhelpfully jammed up on the Wash as we were retrieving the chain, he also fitted new deck switches as the old ones were becoming unreliable. Finally we collected our bicycles again and had a short but welcome ride along the towpath which unfortunately ended with Liam picking up a puncture but never mind, its easily fixed.

We did have a stroke of luck though. A friend had ordered some new wiper arms and blades for his boat only to discover they were the wrong ones and non returnable. As luck would have it they are spot on for our boat. So next weekend Naughty-Cal will have some new wiper arms which should tidy her appearance up no end.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Good Morning?

I would say good morning. But looking out of the window this morning, is it really a good morning? 

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Wells next the Sea 2014 - Part 3

Days 8 and 9
Wells next the Sea to Burton Waters

 All too soon its time to head home.

 Devocean heading for home.

 Trip boat enjoying the glassy seas.

 We dont experience seas like this very often.

 Obligatory wake shot.

 With the sea conditions so favourable we opt for heading back in two tides. So we anchor up just off Charlie Buoy.

 Naughty-Cal at anchor in the Wash.

 As Roger Sands appear with the dropping tide, so do the seals.

 The intrepid explorer sets out.

 What you doing on my beach?

 Looking back at the boats from the beach.

 BBQ on Roger Sands.

 Stormy skies over the Wash.

 Waiting for the tide to turn.

 Heading back to Boston.

 Wrecks in the Wash sands.

 Tabs Head high and dry at low tide.

 Waiting pontoons for the Black Sluice well dried out. The sign is a little optimistic it would seem!!

 This yacht has some time to wait before its afloat again.

 Back on the non tidal Witham heading for home in thesunshine.

 Grass snake swimming in the Witham.

Back on the Fossdyke and almost home.

In summary this has been a great trip of some 180 miles. We refuelled at Geordies at Langrick Bridge on the way home with 150 litres of diesel. This has filled the tank and we have used maybe a further 10 litres or so to get back to the marina.

Naughty-Cal has proved herself once again to be in fine form and we can now look forward to our summer trip to the Scottish Borders in just five weeks time.