Saturday, 21 October 2017

Heading Home

We are now heading back to Lincoln to finish off our holiday on Naughty-Cal.

Friday, 20 October 2017

The Final Day

It is our final full day on the Broads and today we will head towards the hire base in Stalham spending our final evening at Sutton Staithe just around the corner from the boat yard.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Pottering About

Today we have a day pottering about on the Northern Broads. We set off fairly early this morning and have had a run into Potter Heigham for breakfast. We are now heading to Horning for lunch and later onto Salhouse Broad.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Steady Day

Today we have a much steadier day. We only have a couple of hours to travel from Great Yarmouth to Acle. So we are having a morning's shore leave in Great Yarmouth.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Down River

We have another long day in store heading back down river from Norwich and across to Great Yarmouth.

We had a nice night out in Norwich and found a brilliant Indian restaurant.

The weather is a bit cooler today so we are trying out cruising with the canopy up.

Monday, 16 October 2017

More Miles

We are set to cover plenty of miles again today with a cruise from our current mooring at St Olaves to Norwich.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Heading South

Today we are heading across Breydon Water and onto the Southern Broads.

We made it to St Bennets Abbey yesterday and were treated to a lovely sunset.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Norfolk We Are Here

We had a great night out with friends last night and a calamitous but funny ride back to the marina ending with a 1.30am backside fuel delivery. A great start to the holiday.

We are now in Stalham waiting for our boat to be ready in an hour or so. We couldn't have picked better weather for the time of year. It's like summer!

Friday, 13 October 2017

A Night Out

Only seven and a half hours of the working week to go before we are both officially on holiday. We have both hopefully lined ourselves up for an easy day at work and as soon as a quarter past five hits tonight we will be off to the marina.

To start the holiday off in style we are having a trip into Lincoln this evening to celebrate one of the groups birthdays. Most of the group are heading down on one boat but we are taking Naughty-cal down as well so that we can come back to the marina after we have had the meal and a couple of drinks. That way we are not reliant on others to get us home and we can be ready for the long drive to Norfolk in the morning.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Stocking Up

It is almost time for our trip to the Norfolk Broads, on Saturday morning we will be heading to Norfolk to pick up the boat. So we are running out of time to start picking up a few essential items.

Now as much as we love the Broads we also know that it is a bit of a tourist trap. Once you are afloat and with no means of transport, the local shops take advantage by bumping up their prices meaning an ill timed running out of supplies can end up costing you a fortune. We have found this out in the past so this time we are going prepared, especially in the drink department.

This morning we picked up the first of the stocks which is now gracing the boot of the car and on Saturday morning we will pick up the next of the stocks. We are picking the boat up from a different yard this time to where we have hired from previously and there is a good butcher in the village so we will stock up from there and we will be visiting a farm shop on the way to Norfolk so we will be stocked up on fruit and vegetables as well, so we certainly won't starve or go without drink.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Broken

The fridge finally gave up it's valliant efforts to stay alive over the weekend, so yesterday evening we decided to unplug it and chuck it outside on the driveway until we get back from holiday. With only a couple of days to go before we go away there isn't even time to order the new one and get it delivered before we go away.

So for the next couple of days we are minus a place to keep anything cold. A real delve back in time and not quite so easy as we thought it was going to be.

It was perhaps a little easier when the milkman delivered you a pint of milk every day. Well now the milk round is all but gone heading to the shop once a day for milk is proving a chore so it is black tea or coffee and instant porridge for breakfast.

It is only for a couple of days though so business as usual before long.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Plans Afoot

It is only Tuesday morning, so it feels a little early to be making plans for the weekend already. In fact these plans for this weekend started out on Sunday before the weekend just gone had even finished!

On Friday evening a group of us will be heading into Lincoln to celebrate a birthday. They were going to celebrate on Saturday but we are away to Norfolk on Saturday morning so the celebratory meal has been brought forward to Friday evening so that we can join in.

Despite the offer of a ride down into Lincoln on one of the other boats we are going to take Naughty-Cal as we really will have to get back to the marina at some point that evening so that we are ready to head to Norfolk first thing on Saturday morning.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Itchy Feet

With neither of us feeling overly enthusiastic about doing much yesterday we had a slow start to the day with lots of fresh coffee, ham and cheese omelettes and then a brisk walk around the village to blow away a few cobwebs.

By lunchtime however we were starting to get itchy feet and wanting to be on the move again. So we slipped the lines and set off back to the marina. We had a couple of drinks on our berth while our neighbours all got their boats back on their berths and then we went across to the pub for a quick beer, but more importantly to book in for our Christmas dinner. We have decided to spend Christmas on the boat this year as she is going to be in the water and as I don't fancy cooking this year we are letting someone else do the hard work for a change.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Further Afield

We managed to stray a bit further afield yesterday then Lincoln. Well I do mean a bit, we made it to Saxilby where we enjoyed a few drinks in The Sun Inn followed by a lovely fish and chips supper.

We have no rush to get anywhere today so it will be a lie in before we have ham and cheese omelette for breakfast.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Can't Go Anywhere

It seems we can't go anywhere these days without bumping into someone we know.

Last night it was the turn of Joe and Nicky who we have not seen for years. We bumped into them in The Electric Bar enjoying a few cocktails and carried on from there.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Another Weekend

Another weekend has rolled on around, it will be Christmas before we know what is happening with the way the weeks are flying by at the moment!

This weekend we have no firm plans. I have an appointment for my hair doing at 9am in the morning in Lincoln, so it makes sense that we head down there this evening and enjoy a few beers in town and a grab a bite to eat in town in the morning.

Other then that we are free to do pretty much as we choose. It might be nice to head a little further afield then Lincoln this weekend as next weekend we won't be with Cal as we will be heading to the Norfolk Broads for a week. So this is our last chance to head somewhere different for a couple of weekends. 

We shall see where we end up.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

All By Ourselves

Pretty much as we predicted, one by one of our fellow travellers to London next year has dropped out. Leaving just us and Naughty-Cal as the only boat heading onto the Thames.

In a way this makes life easier for us. We only have to do our planning now and don't have to find places to lift in and out for the larger boats.

With this in mind we can now spend longer in the centre of London, spending six nights in St Katherines Dock rather then the previous three we had planned. Conversely this won't actually cost us any more money for moorings as the weekly berthing fee is very reasonable when compared to the daily berthing rate.

On our last full day we will then leave St Kats and head further downstream and through the tidal barrier to Gallions Point Marina where they have a nice slipway facility and await picking up on the trailer ready to take back to Lincoln again. Fare easier for us then having to trek right down the estuary and down the Medway to get the larger boats craned out.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

In The Planning

We have several trips in the planning for 2018. Our main summer holiday being a two week saunter down the Thames.

This left us wondering what to do for our usual late season October trip of the year. This year we have hired a boat on the Broads, last year we had a run to Cornwall in the Sierra, but what shall we do next year?

We have done a bit of trawling around on the internet and have we think settled on a weeks boat hire in Brittany, France. The route we have to now narrowed down to is what promises to be a lovely route from Messac to Josselin.  But more on this over the coming months.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

A Quiet Month

September 2017 has been an unusually quiet month for Naughty-Cal, she has covered just 36 miles and travelled through no locks at all!

Ok this was helped by the fact that we had one weekend out of the water but even so that is quiet by our standards.

Previous years have all been around the 100 mile mark for September. 2013 was our record year with 216 miles in September due to a long weekend trip to Kings Lynn.

This year we knew that the boat was coming out of the water so we have made use of the local facilities instead. Lincoln has become a firm favourite weekend destination. We have quite frankly ignored it in the past, passing it off as too close to our home mooring to bother with. But now we have come to realise that actually it has quite a lot to offer us.

Monday, 2 October 2017

What to Do?

What to do on a chilly, damp and blowy Sunday?

Well to start with we had a spot of breakfast followed by a quick walk around town before heading back to the boat for a short rest. Then it was back on our feet to walk around to the pub for a quick drink prior to our cinema booking next door at 12.15pm. 

The film was pretty good, an adaptation of Stephen King's IT, and at 3.00pm we left the cinema to find that the rain had cleared. So after another quick drink it was time to jump back in the boat and head back to the marina. The brief lull in the weather allowed us to get back, but no sooner were we settled on our berth the wind got up and the rain started once more. But with the heating on we were toasty warm inside, in fact a tad too warm and we had to open all of the windows and turn the heating off before I cooked dinner at 8pm.

Dinner was a simple enough dish of salmon, halibut and crevettes served with some home grown carrots and kale.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Chance Encounters

It is always nice to catch up with old friends and yesterday was one of those days.

A chance meeting for coffee allegedly led to a session in Lincoln. A great day.

Today we are nursing hangovers and on a wet day what better to do then head to the cinema to watch a movie

Saturday, 30 September 2017

In

Naughty-Cal is back in the water looking very smart with her new white rubbing strip.

Now we just need to get the first bump out of the way so we can stop worrying about scuffing it!

Friday, 29 September 2017

In or Out?

Will we be in or out of the water? That is the burning question for this weekend.

We know that works were well underway on the boat at the middle of the week but don't know if they have or will be finished in time for her to be launched and taken back around to our mooring this afternoon.

I suppose only time will tell.

We have a couple of plans prepared to cover every eventuality. We have jobs we can finish if the boat is ashore and plans afoot for a weekend afloat if she is in the water. Either way we will still be having a very boaty weekend.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Not Very Helpful

It was a wet horrible evening in Sheffield last night and that coupled with the fact that our fridge freezer has started playing up meant that it was time to start eating up the contents of the freezer. So I rustled up a very filling fish pie with some cod, smoked haddock, salmon and king prawns along with some peas and sweetcorn in a lighter mature cheddar sauce and topped off with a parsnip and sweet potato mash. Served with some carrots and kale it was a perfect dish for a damp autumn evening. Very filling.

This evening it will be yet more delving into the freezer to use up what little is left in there before the freezer decides to give up the ghost completely. 

Why do kitchen appliances always choose the worst possible moments to start playing up or break?

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Drawing In

The nights are certainly drawing in now and they are certainly becoming much longer. It was dark by the time we got home last night and it was dark when we got up this morning.

The collection of murky and cloudy days we have had have not helped matters either, some days it has barely felt as if there has been any light at all.

Time then for the wardrobe to change over to the winter clothing and for some wholesome hearty winter grub in the evenings both on the boat and at home. We have already resorted to having the heating on at home, it is still a bit warm on the boat to be having the heating on full time, but it has been on for the odd hour here and there just to take the chill off. 

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Very Strange

It feels very strange not being able to make any plans for this weekend, by this stage in the week we would normally be concocting a sketchy plan. However this weekend we don't actually know if we will be afloat or ashore.

Very strange.

If we are in the water we will be going out and about somewhere, but where?

If we are still ashore then we have to decide what other little jobs we are going to start and hopefully finish off. So we really need to make two plans for this weekend. Or even three, we must not forget that we still have the dinghy to use if all else fails and the weather is kind we can head off into town on ASBO.


Monday, 25 September 2017

Ready

After a flurry of activity on Saturday Cal is ready to go back in the water, on our part anyway. The yard still have a couple of jobs to finish off but all being well she should be back in the water by next weekend.

If not we have a few other jobs we could be tinkering around with next weekend but we fully expect that she will be back in the water looking fresh after what has to be the quickest spruce up we have ever carried out on her.

Hopefully the new drive rams will have sorted the droopy leg syndrome, but we won't know for sure until she is back in the water, which is always a bit of a worry.

With the work finished we can now look forward to the winter cruising season. We have missed out on the last few with having the boat out over the winter so this year we plan to make full use of the time afloat.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Dinghy Day

We were going to head home today but with the weather so nice we have decided to have a day out in the dinghy instead.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Shine Bright

It has only taken us a few hours to rattle off the jobs we had to do on the boat today.  Cal is now looking ready to go again although looks a little naked without her bump strip at the moment.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Not to be Out Done

Not to be out done by the boat the trusty Datsun decided it wanted some work yesterday when the brakes decided to fail. And by fail I mean literally no brakes left. Not the most ideal by any means.

With Liam in bed ill I had little choice but to send it to a friends garage for him to have a look, diagnose the problem and fix it, hopefully within the day so that I could get home without the need to resort to public transport.

Thankfully the car was finished by 6pm, no thanks to him being sent the wrong parts a couple of times and I was home for 6.30pm just in time for a lovely lasagne that Liam had rustled up.

Now hopefully the car feels a little loved and we can get on with getting the boat finished and ready to relaunch by the end of the weekend. 

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Pump It Up

Another of the little jobs to add to the list of stuff to do at the weekend is replacing the faulty shower sump pump. We have had no end of trouble with these over the none years we have owned Naughty-Cal. This will be the third pump in that time.

We had though that the newer design with the float switch built into the pump might prove to be more reliable but we were wrong. The last one has made it to the grand old age of two. 

Fortunately this time we only need to replace the pump and not the whole sump box assembly so it will be a relatively simple task. It will be nice to shower on the boat again. It has been playing up since mid way through our trip to Scotland so we have been making use of shore side facilities instead, which are not always found in the cleanest of condition, it does have to be said. At least with a shower on Cal we know who was in there last!

On the subject of pumps we do also have a new float switch to fit to the main bilge pump in the engine bay. This met with a sticky end when something was dropped into the engine bay a few months back so it is certainly high time that this was fixed as well.

Considering we didn't think we had much to do this weekend the list does seem to be growing.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

An Early Start

It was an early start this morning as we left Naughty-Cal high and dry on the hardstanding at Burton Waters. Not only was she ashore in double quick time but work had already started on the replacement of the rubber bump strip, the yard lads must be working in double quick time. 

Last night Liam drained the leg oil. As expected it was contaminated with water due to the damage oil seals but not as badly as it has been in previous years. Of course it would only have gotten worse if we had left it longer to replace.

So this morning we set off for work early. Liam taking with him a bucket full of oily parts that need fettling for the drive and the props which need a few minor repairs after a meeting with the slipway at Oban!

By the end of Saturday we should have the drive rebuilt, the rams refitted and new hydraulic fluid in the system, the props back on and a few other odd little bits and bobs of jobs completed. A super quick turn around this year. 

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Ashore

Naughty-Cal is now safely chocked ashore for a couple of weeks. So tonight we will head across to the marina and start a few jobs on the stern drive. The most important job is draining the drive oil and bringing the bottom end home to fit some new oil seals. These were damaged on the first day of the fishing season this year by a careless fisherman on the Trent!

As we potentially only have the one weekend to work on the boat, Cal won;t be getting her usual full fettle this year, more of a quick service then anything else. But we can do a lot of the jobs we have planned for this winter whilst the boat is in the water, which is a good job really as we don't want to be taking her out again if we can help it.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Changeable

Yesterday proved to be a very changeable day, one minute the sun was shining and it was too hot under the canvas, the next it was raining heavily and it was chilly so we would put on the heating only to be turning it off half an hour later when the sun came out again.

With this in mind we decided to head back to the marina during one of the sunny spells, but not before we had been for a circuit walk of Lincoln just to stretch the legs and to walk off the eggs benedict we had for breakfast. Fortunately the weather stayed dry for this little wander and was still sunny and warm when we arrived back at the boat. So we rolled up some canvas to let some air through the boat and pootled back to the marina.

No sooner had we got the ropes on with the engine still running the heavens opened, so we hurriedly got the covers back down and the orange mooring rope plugged back in before settling down to watch the last of the F1 with the brisket bubbling away in the slow cooker with some Adnams Ghost Ship, onions and mushrooms and the thunder rumbling away over head.

We foolishly decided against leaving the heating on the timer, deciding it would be warm enough when we got up this morning to head to work. How wrong were we? It was a decidedly chilly ten degrees in the cabin this morning at 5.45am!

Sunday, 17 September 2017

No Gincidents

The gin tasting was a very civilised affair. I did manage to find a couple that I really enjoyed.  My favourite being a ginger gin from Spain.

After the gin festival we had a few beers in town followed by a curry before retiring back to the boat to listen to some music with a few beers and the heating on.

A very nice way to round off a very nice day.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

A Hearty Start

A hearty breakfast to start the weekend with turkey sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes, scrambled eggs and hash browns. We have a busy day today so a nice breakfast should see us through.

We will shortly be heading to Lincoln to the gin festival.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Staying In

We are planning another lazy night in tonight. We have a busy day planned for tomorrow so time to just chill out and unwind this evening with a few beers and a nice meal later of loch trout and stir fried vegetables. With a distinct chill in the air this morning I also get the feeling that it might be time to get the heating put on the timer as well. I don't like being cold!

Tomorrow we have a gin tasting event to attend at the Lincoln Gin Festival in the Drill Hall. Now gin isn't my favourite tipple I will admit but Liam loves it and I am determined to find one that I like. So an event with over 50 gins to sample should make the perfect chance to find that special one for me. 

Thursday, 14 September 2017

A Late Night

We had a late night last night as we had to go and collect a purchase we had made on Ebay earlier in the week. I'm not sure when they said local collection they assumed we would travel from Sheffield to Kettering one evening during the week, a journey that should take a couple of hours each way but in the end took us nearer to three on the way back due to roadworks on the M1.

So tonight Liam has the job of wiring this little lot together and dismantling the existing set up. I suspect much swearing coming from the living room this evening!


Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Sealed with a Kiss

The last of the parts arrived for Naughty-Cal's mid season spruce up yesterday. The stern drive shaft oil seals arrived just a day after ordering so we were well pleased with the service we have received from Key Part as usual. A very pleasant company to deal with.

So this time next week Cal will be chocked ashore and we will be heading down one evening in the week to remove the props and drain the leg oil before removing the bottom end for Liam to take to work and refit the new seals.

By doing it this way and having one evening working on the boat it means that we can have everything built back up over the weekend so that we won't be holding up the relaunch should they finish early the following week.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Picture Perfect

Today I have a selection of pictures for you taken on our walk in and around Lincoln on Sunday morning.






Monday, 11 September 2017

A Short Walk?

We were expecting to have a quiet day yesterday after a lazy breakfast and few cups of coffee in The Square Sail, we set out on what was going to be a short walk up Steep Hill and around the top end of Lincoln. Well a little over two hours later we eventually made it back to Naughty-Cal. We had walked a bit further then expected, a good 7.5 miles in fact as we walk at a very brisk pace.

A little weary we untied and set off back for our home berth. We knew that the wind was due to pick up later in the afternoon and it is no fun being blown around when trying to moor up a light boat so we made a break for it while the wind was not too bad.

Settled onto our mooring I fired up the slow cooker and set the steak and ale casserole off cooking, filling the boat with a lovely smell all afternoon and into the early evening. With the boat being blown around, the rain pattering on the canopies and the heating ticking away we settled in with a few beers and a few tunes until the casserole and dumplings were ready to eat.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

A Little Soggy

It was a little bit soggy yesterday in Lincoln but we didn't let that put us off as we dodged the showers between pubs and the curry house.

Today we will spend a few hours in town before heading back to the marina to watch the end if the Scampton air show.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Here For The Weekend

We have Naughty-Cal installed in her usual spot in Lincoln . So now we can have a day of chilling out and relaxing in the many pubs and bars.

Next choice is where to have lunch.

Friday, 8 September 2017

A Spare Weekend

In the run up to our busy period we have rather unusually this weekend got a spare weekend with nothing planned and nothing to do. So we fully plan to make the most of the time relaxing and chilling out aboard.

Tonight we are having a night in with a few beers, a film and later on a nice home cooked turkey madras which I rustled up in the week so just needs warming through and serving with some wholegrain basmati rice and a vegetable bahji.

As the weather looks set to be quite hit and miss with sunshine and heavy showers in the forecast we are not heading far tomorrow and will just head into Lincoln and have a mooch around, have a few drinks on board, have a few drinks in town and at some point decide on what we want to eat. We still don't know if we will eat on board or eat out tomorrow. We will see where our fancy takes us.

And as Sunday looks set to be another day of sunshine and showers we will have a steady morning in town before heading back to the marina and our berth. We have got all of the ingredients together to make a slow cooked steak and ale casserole with dumplings for Sunday evening which seemed quite apt with the downturn in the weather and the drawing in of the evenings. And with the forecast temperatures for the weekend we may even be turning the heating on properly for the first time this autumn.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Spring Into Action

We are now deciding which jobs we are going to do whilst Naughty-Cal is out of the water in a couple of weeks. We will only have time to do a few bits and bobs as all being well she will only be out of the water for a couple of weeks and just one weekend.

The obvious jobs to do are on the sterndrive. We already know that the oil seals have been damaged due to fishing line, this happened on the first day of the fishing season on the Trent, so a seal change and oil change are in order. We also know that we have a leaky drive ram and this is causing the leg to droop at slow speeds which isn't ideal. So we have ordered a pair of new ram inserts and seals. Our current shafts are a bit worn and we believe this is why the seals are becoming prone to failing. Hopefully the new inserts should solve this problem and we won't have to touch them again for a while.

If the weather is fair we may as well give the hull another coat or two of wax to keep it shiny next year. We hopefully won't be coming out of the water again until we are pulled out onto the trailer next summer for our trip to the Thames, so we need to keep her looking good for that trip.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Busy Times Ahead

We have a run of busy weeks ahead with Naughty-Cal what with one thing and another planned for the up coming weekends and an unplanned short period ashore for some minor repairs to some damage we picked up while we were away on holiday in Scotland.

Whilst unplanned, the period ashore will give us the chance to service the drive again and do a few other odd jobs which will then save us having to pull the boat out of the water again over the winter months. So we can have our first winter in a while afloat on our berth. We have not done any winter cruising in a fair few years now so we are both looking forward to the chance to cruise at this time of year again.

And then with the boat back in the water, hopefully by the end of the month, we can then look forward to our weeks holiday on the Norfolk Broads on hire boat Viscount next month. Busy times ahead this month but it will save us much time over the winter months so will be well worth the extra effort now.