Tuesday, 30 June 2015
Last night we were busy in the front garden, cutting hedges and cutting the grass. Tonight we will be doing the same again in the back garden.
Yesterday Liam took delivery of our new battery charger. It isn't the Sterling that we had set out to buy, instead the chap at our suppliers recommended the Waeco Perfect Charge MCA1225, 25 amp charger as better suited to what we need. So we took him on his word and now have a new charger awaiting installation. We think we will probably head up to the boat on Thursday evening after work and see if we can get the charger installed and working. That was we will set off on Friday evening with full batteries.
Monday, 29 June 2015
She is pretty much ready to go. I just need to pop up on Friday morning and put on the fresh bedding, refill the water tank and take of the canopies and then come back and pick Liam up from work before heading back to the marina and setting off down river towards Boston.
Unfortunately the battery charger is still not working properly so despite refitting it, it will have to come off again and be replaced with a new one. Liam is sourcing a new one today so we should have it in time but it depends if we can install it on the boat in time to go. It isn't the end of the world if not, we will manage without it.
Sunday, 28 June 2015
Saturday, 27 June 2015
Well the Sierra got us here and it looks set to be a glorious sunny day.
Job one for the weekend has been ticked off, the new channel waypoints for the King's Lynn channel are in the plotter.
We are now in Lincoln to do a spot of shopping before heading somewhere for a bbq later.
Friday, 26 June 2015
So last night we took it for a quick blast out in Derbyshire to check that all was functioning as it should be. We had a run out to the Strines Inn on Strines Moor and I'm pleased to say that tit behaved itself this time.
To be fair we had expected one or two teething problems as she has been sat in the garage for three years unloved and neglected, which is our own fault but we were just struggling to find the time to sort her out.
Now this may be a slightly foolish decision but we have decided to take the Sierra to Lincoln tonight, the theory being a good run will do it some good. Breakdown cover at the ready!
Thursday, 25 June 2015
Ok, I admit it. It has broken down already!
We had a quick run out last night to take the battery charger for repair, which has been fixed free of charge by the way which is a bit of a bonus. Anyway the car behaved impeccably for the few mile drive out of town and back, before springing a coolant leak on the way back.
This morning we have driven it back to the garage where Liam works with a bit of a coolant leak so that he can hopefully fix it again at lunchtime.
Of course the trouble with older cars is that locating spares can be a bit of a nightmare, as we found with the radiator hose earlier in the year. Of course you can't easily buy this hose either so it's time to get our thinking caps on!
Wednesday, 24 June 2015
Liam has been busy during his evenings after work doing some welding to the floor and jacking points, which to be fair we knew needed doing some years ago, but knowing it would be a difficult job we put off. Well it could't be put off any longer if the car was to hit the road. So for three weeks now Liam has been busy after work welding and fabricating the floor, replacing bushes which were perished and sorting out a multitude of issues with the coolant system. But all of his work has paid dividends, as yesterday he borrowed the trade plates to take the car for some fresh fuel and he says it drove and ran like a dream, better then any time since we have owned it. Perhaps we have finally cracked it?
So watch this space later today to see if she finally hits the road.
Tuesday, 23 June 2015
We are now booked into the lock at Boston and booked onto the moorings at Kings Lynn for a few days, so next on the list is confirming with the lock keeper at Denver Sluice that I have my timings right for our trip up the 100ft drain and onto the Fens. We won't be using the sluice on our inbound leg of the trip but I want the reassurance from local knowledge that I have calculated my tide timings right on these unfamiliar waters.
This coming weekend we have a small list of jobs to do on the boat but nothing that should take too long. The battery charger is off for repair tonight, we may have that back to fit at the weekend if all goes to plan. Other then this we need to fit a new gas pipe for the Boat Safety Test which we will be having done on our way down the Witham and cleaning the dinghy and outboard and giving the boat a good scrub. We will fill up with diesel at Geordies as we are having the safety test carried and once Naughty-Cal has a clean bill of health again we can set off on our next big adventure.
Monday, 22 June 2015
Sunday, 21 June 2015
Saturday, 20 June 2015
Friday, 19 June 2015
We have provisionally booked in for one night on Sunday 5th July where we will stop off on our way up the river and then again for a couple of nights on the 13th and 14th July on our way back out of the river and heading towards home.
The berthing rates at Kings Lynn are very competitive and the rate for our boat works out at a very reasonable £10.50 per night with electric and water on the pontoons, electric via a prepaid smart card and meter and water to each service bollard. Security is good with a locked gate to the berths and the berths being a good distance from the quayside. The pontoon is close to the excellent Marriotts Warehouse restaurant on the quayside and a short walk into the town centre to the pubs and shops.
We are hoping we will be allocated a berth on the outside of the pontoon this time around. For our visit at Easter, the pontoon was pretty busy and we were allocated an inside berth, now whilst there is nothing wrong with these berths, and they are easy enough to get into, they are quite tricky to get back out of. There is not a lot if room between the pontoon and the quayside, we could just turn around in the gap, but with the tide flowing it wasn't an easy trick to pull off.
It's all starting to come together at last. Not long to go now.
Thursday, 18 June 2015
I booked us into Boston's Grand Sluice Lock for passage through on Sunday 5th July.
As is pretty usual for us it involves an early morning start. We need to be at the lock for 6.30am ready to leave as soon as there is enough water in the pool to let us out. We are getting used to these early morning starts now after many years of struggling to get up and go.
On the plus side it does mean that we will be on the visitors pontoon at Kings Lynn in plenty of time for breakfast. It usually takes us about 2 hours to complete the crossing, an hour to reach Tabs Head along the tidal River Witham and then about 40 minutes across the Wash and 20 minutes up the Great Ouse cut to the visitors moorings beside the quay. So assuming we get out of Boston in good time we will be in Kings Lynn for between 8.30 and 9.00am giving us a full day to enjoy the towm, stock up on provisions and get ready for the next day's journey into the unknown.
That's step one of the bookings completed. Now for stage two.
Wednesday, 17 June 2015
Of course the battery charger is now on the list of thing to sort out prior to setting off.
In the next couple of weeks we have plenty of things to be sorting out and planning. Along with getting the boat ready we also have to book in the Boat Safety Test which we will have done at Geordies on our way to Boston, book in the lock at Boston for our trip across to Kings Lynn, book the moorings in Lynn, confirm the date of our cruise up the Ouse and the 100ft Drain with the lock keeper at Denver and confirm when we will arrive at Earith to pick up our EA visitors licence.
It's going to be a busy couple of weeks coming up. As well as getting the boat sorted, Liam is also busy working on his car to get it road worthy once more and we still have house work and gardening to contend with!
Tuesday, 16 June 2015
Well this weekend was one of those moments.
When we left our moorings on Friday evening the battery charger was working fine, after a weekend away from shore power, when we plug it back in again on Sunday evening, well it refuses to work!
We checked all of the obvious modes of failure, have we got shore power?, yes we have. Is the power lead plugged in properly?, yes it is. Is the cable in the charger properly?, yes it was. Have the fuses blown in the plug?, no they had not. Had the external charger fuses blown?, no they were fine. Is the electrical socket working?, yes it ran the kettle fine.
So a bit late in the day on Sunday we resigned ourselves to the fact it wouldn't be a quick fix and we would have to remove it next weekend to dismantle it and take a look inside, unfortunately Liam didn't have the right tools he needed to remove it on Sunday. So for the first time since we have owned Naughty-Cal, when we left on Monday morning, we turned off the fridge, (actually I did this on Sunday evening so as not to waste battery power), turned off the isolator switches and unplugged the shore power cable. Naughty-Cal is fully switched off!
Thankfully the batteries were showing a healthy voltage when we left at 12.7v, so they should in theory be fine this week. We will take the boat for a good run this weekend to make sure we leave them well topped up as they will be left for another week with no charger whilst Liam takes a look at what is wrong with the Newmar. If he can't find any obvious fault we will simply buy a replacement Sterling charger and install that.
All of this comes of course just a few weeks before our next big adventure on board, we have just two weekends to fix it or we will be heading out with no working battery charger, which in itself shouldn't really cause us much of a problem. We can easily manage without, but it is nice to have the option of fully recharging the batteries should shore power become available.
Monday, 15 June 2015
Sunday, 14 June 2015
Saturday, 13 June 2015
What a grey and miserable start to the weekend.
The rain lashed down last night as we hunkered down on Naughty-Cal on the Saxilby village moorings, our location for the duration of this weekend.
We now have a morning to kill before the fun begins later this afternoon.
It could get messy!
Friday, 12 June 2015
To celebrate, well as much as you can when your birthday is midweek and you have to go to work, we organised a family evening meal at The Yorkshire Bridge in Bamford.
It was a chance to meet up with family including our nieces and nephews in the picture opposite and enjoy a nice family meal together, something we really don't do as often as we probably should.
The real party is planned to take place tomorrow. We had organised a BBQ party at Saxilby, however the weather looks set to ruin that idea so it does seem to be migrating towards a day in the pub followed by a curry at the Dehli Diner. We shall see!
Wednesday, 10 June 2015
Tuesday, 9 June 2015
Monday, 8 June 2015
It was a busy day in Lincoln yesterday as the sun brought out the boat owners in their droves. Not a spare mooring was to be found in Brayford Pool!
We managed to squeeze Naughty-Cal onto the university moorings and raft a larger boat alongside. The owners of the Bavaria alongside were the previous owners of Naughty-Cal!
Sunday, 7 June 2015
Saturday, 6 June 2015
Friday, 5 June 2015
The photograph opposite was kindly taken by the crew of narrowboat Scholar Gypsy as we left Boston, passing the Boston Stump and heading out into the Wash on our way to Wells. Thank you.
So this week has been a bit of a getting back to normality week, whatever that may be. Catching up with a seemingly endless stream of washing and cleaning whilst Liam has been busy working on the Sierra during the evenings getting it ready to hit the road again later this month, but more on that next week.
As for Naughty-Cal, well she has taken a well earned break this week after an absolutely faultless performance the week previous. She never put a foot wrong during the whole week. It seems that our winter of hard work is now really starting to pay off.
This coming weekend we hope to have a quiet one, cruising locally and giving Cal a well earned scrub up and clean. We don't have much to fettle this weekend as we made sure she was left reasonably clean and tidy last weekend, but we do need to put on the fresh bedding and clean the fenders and cockpit upholstery. Other then that we can sit back and relax.
Thursday, 4 June 2015
Antons Gowt to Langrick Bridge