Saturday, 31 October 2015

Bloggers Tea Party

We bumped into fellow bloggers Helen and Pete and their lovely boat Moonshine this morning.  It would have been rude not to take up the offer of coffee and the chance to have a look around Moonshine and meet the new recruit Scout.

Hope you have a good trip home tomorrow guys.

Friday, 30 October 2015

In the Planning

As winter draws ever closer and we are forced into wet gloomy days our attentions is turning towards hauling the boat out and planning where we will go next year for our summer holiday.

We have not been to the Norfolk Broads for a few years and Liam is starting to miss it so at this moment in time the Broads is favourite for our two week summer trip, only this time we will probably be on our own.

If this is the case then we will look at filling in some of the gaps we have previously missed out on our Broads adventures due to travelling with bigger boats. Places such as Coltishall, which we always loved when we hired but as yet we have not visited with Naughty-Cal. 

Maps at the ready for planning a cruise into the backwaters of the Broads.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Where Has The Water Gone?

As many of you will well know, the passage from the South to the North via the Trent is now closed for six weeks whilst essential works are carried out to Newark Town Lock. 

To facilitate the works CRT have drained down the section from the Newark Flood Gates to Town Lock to carry out inspections and assess the works. It has left a somewhat odd scene in Newark.

The water has gone!

 Why do people feel the need to thrown bikes and trolleys in the river?

What a mess.

Hopefully in the six weeks that the cut is drained down CRT might see fit to remove some of this debris!

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Turn Back Time

This time we managed to remember to turn all of the clocks back on the boat and at home, including the heater controls for both the Webasto blown air heating on the boat and the gas central heating boiler at home. Nothing worse then waking up to a cold boat or home at this time of the year.

Darkness did sneak up on us on Sunday evening though. I still don't enjoy those first few evenings when the dark descends so quickly. But time marches on and before we know it we will be back into the throws of early spring, hopefully anyway.

This is the view from our boat now that the evenings are drawing in, of Harbour City, the chinese restaurant at Burton Waters built out over the water to make the most of the views of the water. A pretty scene in the evening with the downlighters shining down on the lake and the pretty internal lighting reaching down far from the ceiling. 

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Crustless Quiches and Sweet Potato Muffins

I tried out a couple of new recipes last night. 

First up was crustless quiches. These are simple enough to make. Add two eggs, a tub of lightest soft cheese, chopped spring onions and smoked salmon trimmings to a large bowl and mix well. Season with mixed herbs and cracked black pepper and portion into a muffin tin. Bake at 200 degrees for 30 minutes.

You can put all sorts in these little quiches. Another alternative is to have a smoked bacon and spring onion quiche with baked hash browns and grilled tomatoes for breakfast. Many more fillings to try with these and something we will certainly have again.

The next recipe was sweet potato and chilli muffins. 

Again a very simple recipe. Simply add grated sweet potato, chopped spring onion and chilli, two eggs, a few spoonfuls of reduced fat cottage cheese, self raising flour and some grated reduced fat cheddar into a large bowl. Mix well and then portion into a muffin tin. Bake for 40 minutes at 180 degrees. About 10 minutes before they are finished add a piece of chilli to the top of each muffin.

These made a lovely snack and were very nice eaten warm from the oven. I have brought a couple to work today as a bit of a healthier mid morning snack when the 11am munchies beckon.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Autumnal Mornings

After our day of entertaining on Saturday we dawdled back to the Pyewipe to meet up with some friends for a nice evening meal and some cheese and crackers whilst mulling over a few pints. A lovely end to a lovely day.

As you know the clocks went back an hour on Sunday morning so we made the most of the extra hour in bed but one of the group was up and awake at the crack of dawn and the picture below shows the sunrise over the Fossdyke taken by Steve Harris from the back of Purple Haze. A wonderful start to the day.

(Photograph by Steve Harris)

Sunday, 25 October 2015

A Days Entertaining

We had guests onboard Naughty-Cal yesterday.  One of Liam's old workmates and his family came for a visit.

We had a lovely day in and around Lincoln before heading to Woodcocks for some lunch.

A very pleasant day indeed,  just a shame the weather wasn't a bit better.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Counting Down

We are now on the final countdown to lifting Naughty-Cal out of the water for her annual period ashore. This year as we did last year we plan to have her out for three months or perhaps a little longer to allow us to get jobs done both on the boat and at home.

It is always a sad time as we approach the final few weeks, we have had yet another great year with Cal and visited places old and new. So soon it will be time to repay her for another, almost, trouble free year with a few months of sprucing up and TLC.

We have started gathering bits together for the first of the list of jobs to be done. We know that we will be fitting new oil seals to the drive and replacing the oil. The bellows and anodes were changed last year so will be fine for an other season. The drive was freshly painted last year but might need a touch up so we will get some more paint. And finally for the drive will be a new set of J4 propellors, the new Volvo Penta design prop for the duo prop drive.

The engine bay is due a bit of a tidy up. We are going to get a full rebuild kit for the raw water pump, we fitted new seals but know that the shaft is worn so we will do this before the seals fail again. We also have a new alternator to install, again we plan to do this with the boat out of the water. And finally the turbo is coming off to be refurbished. This is likely to be the most difficult job as it is in a very hard to access location. With a few bits off the engine we are hoping that it will be easier to gain access and clean the bay a bit better.

For the exterior there will be the usual polishing and waxing to the hull and topsides and a fresh coat of antifoul paint to have her looking fresh and clean for the 2016 season ahead. We have many great trips in the pipeline so enjoy your break whilst you can Cal.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Guiding You Home

Here is a picture taken at the weekend by our new friend Jan Warsop of the Chesterfield Canal Trust. It shows Naughty-Cal guiding their historic working boat Python along the Trent towards her home on the Chesterfield Canal.

I think this is a lovely example of the old and the new, well relatively new, sharing the river together. A lovely shot and one which we shall cherish.

(Photograph by Jan Warsop)

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Pictures of Joy

Just a few pictures from the weekend for you today. Not up to the usual standards I do have to say!

 DJ Leelar in the house.

The girls enjoying a brief glimpse of sunshine.

Torksey Harbour Sole?

Jiggin Jonny has lift off.

Airborne again!

 Settled in the basin.

We always enjoy our little jaunts to West Stockwith. This will be the last blast for 2015 for many of us. In just a few short weeks our seasons cruising will be over and Naughty-Cal can enjoy a well earned three month break ashore. 

Tuesday, 20 October 2015


After years of having a slow cooker on the boat and saying we really must get one for at home, yesterday I finally got around to picking one up and buying it.

I had intended to just get the Tesco own brand slow cooker, which is the same as the ever trusty one we have had on the boat for five years now, but at the last minute changed my mind and got the Original Crock-Pot version which was on special offer so was only a £1 more at £14.50.

Keen to put it to good use, and if I'm honest keen to save time when I get home after work, it is now slowing cooking a pair of lamb shanks with some root vegetables in a garlic and mint gravy. I'm looking forward to getting home tonight and walking into a kitchen  full of the smell of cooking lamb and mint. Well hopefully anyway!

I don't know why it has taken us quite so long to get a slow cooker for at home, we love using the one on the boat. I'm sure it is however going to get put to work when we are at home.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Another Great Weekend

We had yet another great weekend this weekend with friends old and new at West Stockwith. 

We had a great run down river until of course we arrived at the lock to the ringing of our alternator alarm yet again. Up until that point all of the boats had been on their best behaviour for a change.

We enjoyed a lovely meal in the White Hart before heading back to the basin and having a few drinks in the yacht club. A little worse for wear we did all eventually stumble back to the boats.

Sunday morning was a slow and steady start we didn't have to be in the lock until about 10am so I could have a badly needed lie in. Following which we had another nice sprint to Gainsborough before ambling back to Torksey at a little more sedate pace. 

The Fossdyke is still a little weedy in places as you can see in the picture above but it is now starting to die off and it won't be long before it is all gone for the year. We are also on the countdown now as it is only a few short weeks until Naughty-Cal comes out of the water for the winter.

Sunday, 18 October 2015


The alternator has oddly started working again this morning!

We are now back on the Fossdyke heading for home after another great run up the Trent.

Saturday, 17 October 2015


After a lovely run down the Trent to West Stockwith the alternator has once again packed up.

We should be able to limp home and we are in company should we not but annoyed is not the word.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Healthy Eating Returns

As our regular readers will know, following Liam's health scare earlier this year and his continuing visits to the doctors we have been making efforts to eat a little more healthily. 

And as I'm sure some of you will appreciate with the best will in the world sometimes when you are on holiday it is harder to stick to healthier choices.

During our week away last week we tried our best to make the healthiest choices we could but inevitably at times we didn't, but we were on holiday. You have to let your hair down at some point, an towards the end of the week we did. 

This week however it has been back to business as usual and we both feel a bit better for it again. The next big hurdle in the way will be the festive period with parties galore!

Thursday, 15 October 2015

You Live and Learn

Well I suppose all through life you live and learn and last week certainly taught us one or two lessons in life.

Number one, fix a problem as soon as you spot it. We had noticed the raw water pump had a slight weep a while ago. In hindsight we should have fixed it sooner and it would have been cheaper than fixing the pump and getting the alternator refurbished.

And number two, always go with your gut reaction. We always said that if we ever had a problem with any alternators or starter motors then we would take them to Chapman's in Sheffield. In an effort to save time and save driving back to Sheffield we found a place in Lincoln that, well, you know the rest. 

Let's just put this one down to experience shall we?

Never again.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

The Holiday That Wasn't - Part 5

Part 5
Heading for home

 Another early morning start from West Stockwith.

 Out onto the Trent in thick fog.

 The sun starting to make a appearance through the fog.

 More daylight as we head through Gainsborough.

 There is a pontoon there somewhere!

 Now where is that bridge?

 Gainsborough bridge appearing out of the gloom.

 The higher the sun rises the more mist it burns away.

 Arriving in Torksey to glorious sunshine.

 And onto Saxilby where we have a lovely curry.

 Sunday and time to head for home.

 But not before a pit stop in Lincoln to do a spot of shopping.

 Brayford Pool in the sunshine.

 Passing the CRT long term moorings on our way back to Burton Waters.

Back on her home berth washed, scrubbed and ready for her next adventure.

Total Miles = 56 Miles
Total Locks = 4 Locks

Not the mileage we are used to covering in a weeks break but on the plus side we used very little fuel. The fuel gauge has hardly moved, I think the diesel heating used more than the engine!

The Holiday That Wasn't - Part 4

Part 4
In and around West Stockwith

 A bright but chilly start to the day.

 West Stockwith Lock.

 Looking across the basin.

 The view across the basin from the road bridge.

 Looking down the canal.

 A walk along the River Idle to Haxy.

 Through the woods.

 The Haxy Gate on the banks of the Idle.

 Walking back along the canal.

 Very pretty scenes.

 Nice houses by the canal.

 One of the pair of locks at Misterton.

Finally settling in for the evening at The White Hart.