Sunday, 30 April 2017

Dinghy Day

Today we are exploring the Chesterfield Canal by dinghy. No idea where we will end up but we are four locks down already!

It is very pretty.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Under the Bridge

Told you it would be no speed contest today. We have only just passed under Gainsborough bridge!

Very pedestrian by our standards!

On Our Way

We are finally out onto the river. The tide was a little late, but better late than never I suppose.

We are now pushing a big tide downstream and making steady progress.  We won't be breaking any speed records today!

Friday, 28 April 2017

All Set

After a quick sprint around the supermarket this morning to pick up a few last minute bits and bobs, we are now ready for the bank holiday weekend. Only the working day to get out of the way first.

Naughty-Cal is ready and waiting. We topped up the diesel tank last weekend and refilled the water tank on Monday morning, so all we have to do is load our gear onboard and we are ready to set sail this evening. The destination for this evening is Torksey Lock ready for our descent onto the tidal Trent in the morning.

We are heading to West Stockwith tomorrow, where we plan to spend a couple of days chilling out and unwinding in the pleasant surroundings of the basin. We are taking the dinghy with us, as on Sunday we plan to spend the day exploring the canal. We have previously made it through the first two locks but not much further, so this time we plan to spend the whole day exploring this very pretty stretch of water.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Another New Purchase

On Saturday we made another new purchase for the boat. Now we don't normally fall for all of the marketing ads and videos. But in this case this Copper Stone pan by JML seemed to tick all of the boxes. We needed a new multipurpose pan for the boat anyway and for what seems to be a quality item it was only £20. What was there to lose?

The marketing video makes some very bold claims about nothing sticking, they melt plastic in it, let it cool down and then it just slides straight out, same with caramel and eggs. Impressive we thought but not really what we need from a pan, although any good non stick is always a bonus. 

So we parted with our purple note and decided we would give it a try, if nothing else it looks the part!

Actually we were really quite impressed with it. At first glance while making omelettes I thought everything had stuck to the pan but actually after I had left it alone a few minutes the whole omelette slid away from the pan leaving no trace in the pan. Not bad for something cooked with no oil. 

So far so good. We were so impressed in face that we may well buy the bigger version to keep at home as we are getting ready for a new pan at home as well.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017


The lock gates at Hull Marina are currently inoperative due to a fault with the gates.

From their Facebook page:

"It is with sincere regret that due to severe mechanical lock failure on the eastern inner gate, that for reasons of safety we shall not be operating the lock gates until further notice.

We have been working with the council who plan on sending divers down ASAP to inspect the extent of the damage and then formulate a plan to repair."

The last time the lock was shut for this type of repair it was shut for around 12 weeks. If that is the case this time it could be a long and frustrating season for some people locked up in the marina. No doubt this will be scuppering plenty of bank holiday plans!

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Smokey Joe

Since launching Naughty-Cal in March we have noticed that she had become ever so smokey from the exhaust and there was an acrid smell to the smoke. Mind you nothing quite so smokey as the Freeman we encountered on the Trent over Easter!

We had become slightly concerned that there may be something amiss with the big green lump. With the full service completed and no obvious signs of anything to worry about we were a little dismayed when she was still smoking away.

Until that is we put in 100 litres of fresh diesel from Burton Waters on Sunday. Almost instantly, well as soon as the fresh fuel was pulled through the lines, then the smell pretty much went and the smoke was much improved. We are now pretty certain that is was a suspect batch of fuel that we have been supplied and once the stuff left in the tank is diluted down further that the smoking and smell will stop completely. 

Problem solved!

Monday, 24 April 2017

Getting Quicker

Despite us seeming to have spent a lot of time out and about enjoying ourselves this weekend it has also been a very productive weekend as well.

The main job was always going to be the engine service on Saturday and despite our initial concerns about how long this would take, and not starting the task in hand until midday, we rattled through it and by 3pm we were both changed and showered and with a beer in hand enjoying the sunshine. We must be getting quicker at this servicing lark!

Yesterday we had an altogether more relaxing day, calling into the marina on the way from Saxilby to Lincoln to fill up with 100 litres of diesel in readiness for next weekends bank holiday weekend. Then it was on into Lincoln to meet up with some friends and enjoy a few afternoon beers in the sunshine on Brayford Pool.

With dinner cooking away in the slow cooker we couldn't stay with our friends as long as we had hoped. Our current slow cooker draws quite a few more amps then our previous one so leaving it for too long without the engine running or being plugged in just isn't sensible. So at 4pm we headed back to the marina to plug in, listen to some music and have a few more drinks before we then tucked into a delicious slow cooked chicken with stir fried vegetables.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Curry Night

We rattled off the engine service in under three hours yesterday which included everything that could be changed and all of the fluids, as well as cleaning out the engine bay.

After that we had a run into Saxilby where we had a few beers onboard before heading to Spice Mystery where we picked up a take away curry to eat onboard.

A nice way to end a productive day.

Saturday, 22 April 2017


We had a great night in Lincoln last night kicking off with cocktails in The Electric Bar followed by a few beers in The Mailbox.

This morning we have a few errands to run in town before heading back to the marina and starting the mega service.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Delving In

It is time this weekend to delve into Naughty-Cal's engine bay and give the big green lump a full service. This year it is the mega service with everything that can be changed, needing changing.

The list of things to do seems pretty long but actually we should be able to rattle it off fairly quickly if all goes to plan. We need to change:

  • The engine oil and filter
  • Both fuel filters
  • Crankcase breather
  • The supercharger oil
  • All four belts (water pump, alternator, power steering and supercharger)
  • The power steering fluid
  • The sterndrive trim ram fluid
  • The coolant and antifreeze.
  • Clean the air filter (K&N cleanable filter)
On top of this little lot we also want to have a clean up of the engine bay once the service is complete and Liam has to glue one of the snap davit patches back onto the dinghy as this started parting company over the bank holiday weekend.

This little list of jobs will take us most of Saturday morning and afternoon but we should also have time to have a couple of little runs out. We plan to head to Lincoln this evening for a few beers. The run back to the marina in the morning will be enough to heat the oil and make it easier to extract from the engine. Then on Saturday after we have finished we plan to have a little jaunt into Saxilby and perhaps have a curry.

So a busy weekend ahead but there should still be time for some pleasure as well.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

River Trent April 2017 - Part 3

Dunham Bridge to Torksey to Burton Waters
13 Miles 1 Lock

Dinghy Ride from Dunham Bridge to High Marnham

Naughty-Cal all by herself on the pontoon at Dunham Bridge.

Heading upstream on the dinghy. The little Honda pushed the tide impressively making between 3.5 and 4.5mph on the handheld GPS against the flow.

Fledborough viaduct looming large.

Time for a walk around the village of Low Marnham.

Looping back around via the Sutton on Trent Road.

Defunct road sign. The power station is long gone!

Back to High Marnham for a quick pint in the Brownlow Arms.

Liam reliving his youth in the sunshine.

The dinghy waiting to take us back to Naughty-Cal.

Back down river and we were travelling quicker this way on the last of the ebb. Progress was between 5 and 6.5mph. Arriving back at Naughty-Cal about half an hour before the tide turned.

Back on the Fossdyke and heading for home after a lovely few days away.

Total Miles 71 Miles
Total Locks 8 Locks

This was a great little mini break to start the year and proved that we have Naughty-Cal pretty much ready for the holiday season to begin. The new batteries proved to be starting to perform more as we had expected, much as the supplier said that they would. We were sceptical to begin with but actually he has been proven right. Just how much further they will improve we will have to see, but they are now doing what we need them to do and more.

We can now start to look forward to the next mini break in a weeks time. This time we are heading the other way on the Tidal Trent with a trip planned to West Stockwith for a couple of days.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

River Trent April 2017 - Part 2

Newark to Farndon to Fiskerton
8 Miles 1 Lock

We awoke to a lovely sunny day in Newark.

Excellent weather for a little walk around town.

Blue skies over the church.

Very quiet moorings for Easter weekend. We were spoilt for choice!

In the Arcade.

A quick pit stop at Farndon Marina to buy a shorter VHF aerial and call in at Knots Bar for a quick pint. Of course the rain has started by now.

Our overnight stop at Fiskerton where we enjoyed a lovely meal in The Bromley. Highly recommended by us.

Fiskerton to Cromwell Lock to Dunham Bridge
22 Miles 3 Locks

Ready to leave the pontoon at Fiskerton

We had the pontoon all to ourselves. We were amazed especially for a Sunday!

Back through Newark.

We stopped on the pontoon at the Kiln Moorings in Newark to have a spot of breakfast and refill the water tank. Thought this boat opposite was on fire but he had just started his engines up!

Liam mucking about in the dinghy on the way to Cromwell.

After a long delay at Cromwell we eventually hit the tidal river an hour behind schedule.

Threatening skies at times but it stayed dry.

Another pontoon to ourselves this time at Dunham Bridge. We had a nice evening in The White Swan in the village and the food was really very good. 

River Trent April 2017 - Part 1

Burton Waters to Torksey
8 Miles 0 Locks

Not many photos from this stretch as we do it so often. But we did enjoy a nice dinner of loch trout and stir fried vegetables when we got there.

Torksey to Muskham Ferry to Newark
20 Miles 3 Locks

Out of the lock and onto the lock cut.

Heading up river.

Fellow blogger Moonshine heading back down river.

Cromwell Lock and another fellow blogger in front on NB Oleanna.

Moored at Muskham Ferry for a couple of beers.

Muskham Ferry

And our view for the evening after the short cruise into Newark.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Down River

Yesterday was a bit of a broken up day. The first leg was from Fiskerton to Newark where we stopped for a bite to eat, to fill the water tank and do a spot of shopping.

Let two was from Newark to Cromwell to meet our tide. We were unexpectedly held up here by over an hour as a lock full of boats from Farndon were coming through.

Eventually we were lowered onto the tidal river and on our way to Dunham Bridge where we had a nice evening in The White Swan.

No rush today as high water at Torksey isn't while 3pm so we can potter around here until then.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Up River

We had a lovely morning in Newark yesterday in the sunshine before heading off up river in the rain. We called in at Farndon Marina for a VHF aerial as ours is a bit long for transporting by road . Then had a pint in Knots Bar before heading upstream to Fiskerton and The Bromley where we had a nice evening meal.

The river seems unusually quiet. We were amazed that the pontoon at Fiskerton was empty on a Sunday afternoon!

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Changing Plans

We made it to Muskham Ferry yesterday but then had a change of plan so only stayed for a couple of pints before heading into Newark for a curry with friends.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

And We Are Off

We have just locked through Torksey after a pleasant morning in Torksey with a leisurely breakfast and a walk around the village and golf course.

Next stop Cromwell.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Patiently Waiting

Naughty-Cal, Asbo and I are patiently waiting for Liam to return from work before we can head out onto the river.

Whilst waiting I will have a little scrub up and fettle of both boats to make sure that they are ready for the off.