Thursday, 31 March 2016

Some Success

More news on the marina front. We have had some success with the fees side of the deal. 

It will mean a change in the way we pay for our moorings. Previously we have paid monthly, but, to now take advantage of the cheaper mooring fees, I say cheaper lightly as it will still be an increase on what we have previously and currently paid, we will now be paying six monthly or annually instead. We have yet to decide which but there isn't much difference in the two anyway. Paying monthly has always been a choice of convenience but it seems no more.

Now we are just left with discussions about the new rules and terms and conditions, not least working on ones own boat which under the new rules is now not allowed. We have already stated that if we take on a new mooring we will continue to work on our own boat so we will have to see how that goes down once our current mooring agreement runs out at the end of May.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Back to the Grindstone

We really enjoyed our time in Scotland but all too soon it is back to the daily grindstone and back to work.

We had the day off yesterday to give ourselves time to get over the long drive back down and home which gave us time to visit the butcher and stock up the freezer for the next month or so and to just generally kick back and relax after what has been a hectic few days.

But at 6.30am this morning the alarm duly woke us up and we settle back into the same old routine once more.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Lovely Largs

Our last morning in bonny Scotland was spent in the lovely seaside town of Largs. The sun even came out for us, eventually.

Monday, 28 March 2016

The Science Museum

As the weather was being typically Scottish yesterday we paid a visit to the Glasgow science museum.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

The Kelpies

We paid a visit to the wonderful Kelpies yesterday.  They are simply amazing.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Friday, 25 March 2016

Breakfast Bites

Grate a potato and squeeze out the excess water.  Mold into a muffin tray and bake for 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and add grated cheese and a cracked egg into the hollow of each portion.  Bake for a further 10 minutes.


Thursday, 24 March 2016

A Bit of a Quandary

We have found ourselves unexpectedly in a bit of a quandary. Our marina has changed hands and yesterday we received a copy of the new rules and mooring terms and conditions. A number of which have given cause for concern. Not least a change in how the moorings are charged.

Up until now the moorings have been charged per length of boat, however from now the moorings will be charged per length of pontoon. Now there are only two sizes of pontoon in the marina, berths for up to 30ft and berths for up to 45ft. The result for those of us who have chosen smaller boats is a significant increase in annual mooring fees.So significant in fact that it has left us wondering if it is worth the additional cost.

So rather unexpectedly we are now actively looking for a new berth. But where to go?

We have up until now found Lincoln to be an ideal base for us with easy access to both inland waterways and the coast. We want to keep that ease of access to both types of cruising, remaining about a days cruise from the coast and with choice of inland routes, which is causing a bit of a headache and narrowing down our choices.

Any ideas guys? Do we stay local to Lincoln? Do we move further afield? Do we head to completely new pastures? Who knows?

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Bathroom Blues

It has been a case of the bathroom blues at home of late. Last week it was the toilet playing up and repairing this was a task in itself when the tank lid is only a few inches from the ceiling with very little work room to be had

Then with the toilet fixed and working again, I managed to somehow snap the  clip holding the shower head in place so we had to get another one. Turns out it is just as cheap to replace the whole rail, clip, shower head and hose. But just before I ordered a new one from trusty Ebay a friend came up trumps and produced a brand new unopened one from the bowels of their boat.

As is usual fixing these things never runs smoothly. The length of the tube was longer on the new one and not wanting to drill more holes in the tiles Liam thought cutting down the tube would be the easiest fix. Wrong. I don't know what it is made from but it didn't want to cut down easily.

We now have a fully functioning bathroom again. For how long this time?

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Pie Face

Our very civilized pheasant casserole evening on board Ruby Too on Saturday evening took a bit of a turn towards the down right silly after a sloe gin and mystery drink tasting session. Out came Pie Face.

There is a certain inevitability about this game!

Monday, 21 March 2016

Bailed Out

It was strange this weekend watching people getting their boats ready for the upcoming Easter break knowing that we won't actually be on board next weekend, but will instead be travelling up North across the border to see Liam's mum instead.

We couldn't just sit back and watch everyone else at work as much as we would have liked too, so we decided it was time to bail out the dinghy and coax it back into life after a winter of being laid dormant. Whilst Liam was busy bailing out and cleaning, I went to fetch some fresh fuel. It really doesn't use much fuel, last year it used less then £10 worth! Then the engine was turned over a couple of times without the fuel connected to get the oil circulating and then with the fuel connected, like a swiss watch, at the first pull of the cord it sprang into life, ticking away like it was only yesterday it was put to rest.

And off Liam went on the first dinghy ride of the year, but the happiness was to be short lived as just ten minutes later he was towed back in. Something would appear to be amiss with the carb, it was leaking fuel. So it will be brought back home in a few weeks to have the carb stripped down, cleaned and rebuilt and whilst it is at home it may as well be treated to a full service with fresh engine oil, leg oil, spark plug, anode and impellor. 

It shouldn't be a big job and will then mean that the dinghy is ready for the coming year of cruising.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Spring is Here

It is officially the first day of Spring and it certainly feels like it. The Sun is shining and the pontoon is a hive of activity with people readying their boats for the Easter break.

What a lovely day.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Say Cheese

We had a great evening out in Lincoln last night and now it is time to grab some breakfast and do a spot of shopping.

We are having a pheasant casserole evening tonight onboard a friends boat with everyone chipping in and fetching something to add to the meal.

Our offering is to be some pork pie and cheese.  So a trip to the butcher in the market and the Cheese Society shop is in order after breakfast.

Friday, 18 March 2016


We pressed on a little further with the painting in the hallway last night. The majority of the lower wall cladding is now in it's first coat of white paint, a primer coat if you like. There are just a couple of very small areas in the lower hallway area that need the first coat applying.

Here are a few shots to give you an idea of just how much cladding there has been to cut, fix and paint.

 From the top of the stairs looking down. There is also a small section of wall to the left at the side of where I am stood.

 From the top of the stairs looking down.

From the bottom looking up.

The bottom landing.

And this is not all of it. The three walls you can't see on the bottom landing are also clad. This has turned into a much bigger project then we expected but at long last we can start to see some real progress.

Next week we aim to get some gloss on the picture rail and on the door frames and it will then be time to think about sanding back the inside of the front door and applying some white paint to this also. Hopefully that will lighten up the hallway no end.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Not to be Defeated

Doesn't look much does it? That one little section of ceiling, less than 1m square. How hard can it be to apply a few coats of paint?

Well it turns out it can be really very difficult. For a start what you can't appreciate from the photo is that this little section of ceiling is over the stairs at a point where they turn a corner, so no matter how hard you try the ladders are never really very stable. And on the note of ladders when you have finally contorted yourself into a position to paint the ceiling, perched on a ladder brush in one hand and paint pot in the other, stepped back to admire your handy work, and then decided to move the ladders. Well that is a faff in itself trying to move the ladders out of the way without clouting the freshly painted ceiling.

Needless to say it has been a tiresome task. But finally, last night I got the last coat on it. Never again!

This small section of paintwork has very nearly defeated me. However spurred on by Liam's high wire act, high up above the stairs, again with paint tray in one hand and roller in the other, we have somehow managed to get through the tricky parts. It's all downhill from here, hopefully not literally.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

A Thoughtful and Useful Gift

We arrived home last night to find a lovely and useful gift awaiting us on the door mat. A pair of tide tables from Lumley Marine Surveyors. Many thanks to Ian and Jackie for these lovely gifts. They will certainly get some use this year, the plan being to leave one at home for the dining table cruise planning sessions and one on the boat for last minute changes of plan.

We, like I'm sure may others have, have had a tendency to rely more on apps on our smart phones for tide planning but nothing beats having a proper paper copy to hand.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Pressing Ahead

Now that we have Naughty-Cal back in the water where she belongs and we have had a couple of little shake down cruises which have gone well, we can start to look ahead to getting ready for our first proper cruises of the year.

We have longer than usual to get ready for the first cruise this year as we won't be on board for Easter, we will be visiting family in Scotland instead so we can spread out the last of the little fettling jobs across the coming weekends. We have gathered together all of the parts to complete these jobs but what is the rush?

This coming weekend we have a few small odd jobs to sort out. A bulb has gone in one of the dashboard instruments which needs changing, one of the navigation light bulbs has also blown and needs replacing. We also have a new remote control to fit to the blue LED cockpit lighting.

As well as this little lot we also have all of the remaining parts to finish the full engine service but we may well leave this until after Easter now. We also need to give the canopies a really good scrub and a coat of Fabsil, but again this may well wait.

And finally the job we hate doing, the dinghy needs hauling out and giving a really good clean and the outboard is ready for a service ready to go to Wells next the Sea in May. 

Who said that boating was relaxing?

Monday, 14 March 2016

In and Around Lincoln

We had a glorious day in and around Lincoln yesterday with the spring sunshine really showing the city off at it's best.

 An early morning chug from Saturday evenings mooring in Saxilby.

 Starting the long walk up Steep Hill.

 And it keeps on getting steeper.

 I'm not sure if it is because we have been ill but we had to make use of the benches half way up the hill! Gave us this lovely view though from our seat.

 The cathedral in all of it's glory. One day we will get a picture with no scaffold.

 Walking around the grounds of the cathedral.

 Lovely wonky house. The pictures really don't do the wonkiness justice!

 Looking back at Steep Hill.

 Looking out across the city and we stumbled upon this very new build complete with water garden over looking the city.

 The house was very Grand Design's.

 The old and the new sitting side by side. It will be interesting to go back and view the finished article.

And finally back down the hill to Brayford Pool.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Spring Sunshine

It's a lovely spring morning on the Fossdyke.  A misty start but the sun is now burning through to reveal blue sky.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

A Happy Medium

We set out with all intentions of spending the whole weekend at home decorating.  Well we have got some done, but looking out of the window at the spring sunshine had us pining for the water.

We are now on our way to Lincoln!

The section of wall between the ceiling and picture rail did get two coats of colour before we caved in.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?

Should I stay or should I go now was the burning question this morning.

As much as we really want to spend as much time as possible on Cal having just launched her for the year. Is it really worth heading across to Lincoln to spend the weekend trapped in the marina by the flood gates?

We have a handful of small tidying up jobs we can do on Naughty-Cal and we now have the remainder of the parts to finish off the full engine service, but that won't keep us busy all weekend.

So we have unhappily taken the decision that our time would be better spent at home decorating this weekend. The sooner we get it finished the better I suppose. Cal will still be there next weekend.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Tides In

It would seem that the tide is in at Burton Waters this morning! 

Yesterday's rain has set the water levels rising and they have allowed as much of the excess water into the lakes as possible before shutting the flood gates to protect the properties on the marina.

The forecast is for dry weather for the next couple of days so hopefully they can sluice the water away and have the levels back to normal in their usual quick time.

On a brighter note, both Liam and I have felt well enough to venture to work today. We are still suffering slight effects from whatever illness struck us down but are now well enough or brave and foolish enough to venture more than a few metres from the loo!

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Day Two

It is day Two of being cooped up at home.  What ever we have come down with is now showing some signs of going away. We both feel livelier and are both considering trying to eat something.

It would be nice to know what we have as we certainly don't want it again.  It has been very nasty.