Friday, 30 June 2017

Another Busy Weekend

It was this time last year that our friends got married at the pretty little chapel at Southrey and to celebrate we have a bunch of boaters heading back down to Southrey this weekend as a celebration of the year just past.

This evening we will make it part way down but we have no rush to get all the way. Tomorrow we have a day of celebrations planned which will see us in the Riverside Inn for a hearty meal later in the evening. And then on Sunday morning we will all head to the service in the chapel.

This is where we will have to leave everyone as we have to get back to the marina and get the boat ready to go away next Thursday morning. It shouldn't take us too long but we also have to nip into Lincoln on the way back through to pick up a few last bits and pieces as well. 

We also have a couple of hours free on Wednesday evening if we need to do any very last minute jobs, although we are hoping that these few hours won't be needed as we are rather hoping that we will get chance to have a bite to eat in Harbour Lights before hitting the sack early.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

This Time Next Week

This time next week we should be just about crossing over the border into Scotland.

We spoke to the chap who is taking us up last night to decide how we are going to tackle the massive drive up there.

We eventually all decided that the best option is to have an early start.

So come 3am next Thursday morning our alarm will be chiming away to wake us up and signal the start of a long day. We hope that by 4am the boat will be strapped down on the trailer and we will be hitting the road.

With a bit of luck, some light traffic and couple of pit stops we are hoping that we will be in Inverness Marina by about 2pm, which will give us plenty of time to get the boat off loaded and back into the water where she belongs, get things sorted out again inside and give her a good scrub before we hit the town later on in the evening for a curry and a few beers.

Exciting times ahead.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Tying Up Loose Ends

With this weekend being our last on the boat before we head off to Scotland we will be tying up a few loose ends before the off. 

Most of the little bits and bobs of jobs have now been completed. We just have the shower room tap heads to replace but we are leaving these until the very last minute. The originals are horrible little plastic jobbies that are really not up to the job. They wear away far too easily which means they never work properly for long. So sensibly we have bought a new pair but will wait until Sunday evening to fit them. They will definitely work all through the holiday then!

Our very last job on Sunday evening will be fitting the tonneau cover ready for road transport on Thursday morning. This will make sleeping on the boat a bit awkward on Sunday evening and Wednesday evening but it will save us a job for the early hours of Thursday morning, which lets be honest we wouldn't be in the mood to do at that point. 

Other than these few loose ends I believe we are there.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

All The Essentials

After the other weekends break down and our quick and inexpensive fix for it, it was essential that we had a decent run out at the weekend just gone to check that the fault has now gone away.

The half hour run into Lincoln on Friday night wasn't really a thorough test but the over two hour run to Torksey on Saturday was better. Everything worked as it should and the leg behaved itself. We have another run out planned for this coming weekend so fingers crossed it will behave itself again.

Tonight we are off to Liam's sisters to pick up more essentials for the trip. This time it is a couple of bottles of Avon's Skin So Soft to hopefully keep the midges and bitey insects at bay whilst we are in Scotland!

Monday, 26 June 2017

Almost Ready

After a lovely evening in Torksey lock cut on Saturday we had a busy day yesterday. We were back through the lock by 9.15am and on our way back to the marina. We had a late breakfast/brunch of gammon and mushroom omelette at 11.30am when we arrived back before setting about our jobs for the day.

Liam's task was scrubbing the dinghy from top to bottom which was no mean feat. The bottom was filthy but with the aid of some magic sponge and some Boat Bottom Cleaner it was after a couple of hours looking as good as new again.

My job whilst Liam was busy scrubbing was to empty out all of the cupboards and remove anything that we didn't need to take to Scotland with us. It is amazing what clutter we manage to collect in such a short space of time. With the cupboards stripped back and three black bags of rubbish and two bags to take home the boat is now much lighter.

After the cupboards were sorted I turned my attention to the anchor locker. The spare fenders were treated to some new fender ropes and fender clips. A now redundant set of spare ropes was removed and everything was generally tidied up a little.

We are to all intents and purposes pretty much ready to go now.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

In The Cut

We had a nice day in the Torksey Lock cut moorings yesterday with drinks on the pontoon followed by drinks in the pub and then back to the pontoon for a BBQ.

This morning we will lock back through onto the Fossdyke and then head back to the marina to clean the dinghy and sort out some of the cupboards on the boat.

Saturday, 24 June 2017


What was supposed to be a quiet few drinks turned into a bit of a session last night when we met up with some old friends.

Needless to say we are both feeling the effects this morning but we will survive.

Time for breakfast now followed by a spit of shopping then the trip to Torksey for a BBQ later on.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Work and Pleasure

This weekend will be a mixture of work and pleasure. Starting with the pleasure of course.

Tonight we plan to head into Lincoln for a night out on the town with a few beers and a bite to eat later on. This means that we will be in town in the morning to pick up some shopping from the markets for tomorrow evenings planned BBQ at Torksey. We have friends coming up from West Stockwith to see us so Torksey is the ideal meeting place.

It will be on Sunday that the work takes place. Liam is going to set about scrubbing the dinghy and whilst he is busy with this dirty task I am going to delve into Naughty-Cal's cupboards and clear out anything that we do not need to take to Scotland with us. This in itself is going to be a big job but one which needs doing as we need to shed any extra ounce of weight that we can to make towing just that bit easier.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Scare Over, For Now

Now what with last weekends little scare hopefully over and done with we can continue with the onward planning of our trip to Scotland in a couple of weeks.

This time in a couple of weeks we should be cruising up the motorway towards Inverness Marina with the aim of getting there before the last lift in at about 4pm. It will make for a long and labourious drive in one day but the sooner it is over and the boat is back where she belongs in the water, the better.

Plans are coming along nicely. We will have a couple of nights in Inverness Marina to give us time to explore the city and also to relax a little before we hit the canal and enter hire boat territory once more. It seems most of our summer holidays entail hire boats in one way, shape or form. This year is will be large cruisers and yachts as well as a good mixture of commercial vessels thrown in for good measure. This year as an added bonus we will also have locks to contend with, with the hire boats. It should all make for an interesting mix!

Our plans for our seven days on the Caledonian are also taking shape. Our first day will be the short hop from Inverness Marina up the Moray Firth to Clachnaharry Sea Lock. Once through the lock we will purchase our very expensive visitors licence, £140 for seven days, more if your are a larger boat! Relieved of some cash we will head the short distance to Seaport Marina where we will spend our first evening ready to hit our first flight of locks the next day.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

A Costly Repair

Last night we headed down to the marina to try and figure out and fix the source of Naughty-Cal's leg issues. We had a vague idea what the problem might be but didn't expect the fix to be quite so quick and simple.

Behind the dashboard there are two relays which form part of the sterndrive trim system, there are a further two relays located by the pump in the engine bay. We had already suspected one of these to be at fault so we swapped them over and hey presto the leg no goes down on it's own but won't come back up again.

So we have replaced the faulty relay for a cost of £2.60. Yes that's right £2.60, there are not that many fixes on a boat that are so cheap!

For good measure we have changed the other relay as well just to be on the safe side. At and extra £2.60 it was worth the peace of mind. So now we are back on track for our trip to Scotland.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Newark Festival - Part 2

Another scorching hot day in Newark.

Busy parkside moorings.

A quick dip to cool down.

A bit hot in the cabin.

Castle moorings from in the castle.

The castle looking lovely in the sunshine.

Heading for home.

Double penning in Cromwell for the deeper drafted boats as there was only 4ft over the middle cill and they needed 4ft to get out!

Out onto the river.

Not a lot of water.

The cows taking a dip.

The first time in nine years that Naughty-Cal has not gotten us home under her own power.

Back on the Fossdyke for the remainder of the tow home.

We are back at the boat this evening to hopefully fix the problem with the stern drive. We believe it is an electrical relay that has overheated and popped which resulted in the leg lifting right to the surface rendering the boat immobile.

Fingers crossed we are right!

Monday, 19 June 2017

Newark Festival - Part 1

On the way to Torksey

Drinsey Nook in the late evening sunshine

Ready to go

On our way

Under Dunham Bridge

Cromwell Lock

Not sure what was going on here

The after party

The morning after the night before.

Essential supplies

Sunday, 18 June 2017

All Too Soon

All too soon after a fab weekend at the Newark Festival it is time to head back downstream to Torksey and then onto Burton Waters.

It has been a great weekend helped no end by the weather. Another scorching day is forecast and we have no rush as high water at Torksey isn't while 4pm. So we can enjoy a lazy morning in Newark in the sunshine.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Hot Hot Hot

It looks set to be a bit and sunny day in Newark. Last night's tribute bands were brilliant. Tonight it is the real deal.

Friday, 16 June 2017

On our Way

We are at last underway on for once a busy river Trent.


It looks set to be a lovely day on the river. We are currently sat at Torksey waiting for the tide and the lock keeper to come on duty.

We have a nice breakfast of a double turkey muffin to look forward too shortly and we need to take the canopies off and top up the water tank before we go. But there is no rush. It is a fairly late tide unless lockie can get us over the cill early.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Going Scotch

Now I am a bugger for anything savory, in particular a nice scotch egg. But it has never occured to me that they might actually be quite simple to make a healthier version at home.

Last night I set too and made what has to be one of the best scotch eggs I have ever eaten. Well I wouldn't say it was rubbish would I? But trust me these were beautiful.

The hardest part was very soft boiling the eggs to the point where I could just handle them and peel them. Then I gently wrapped them with a mixture of turkey breast mince and reggae reggae sauce. This was also a bit fiddly but by the time they were wrapped they were easier to handle and then they were rolled in some lemon and herb breadcrumbs. The crumbs stuck easily to the turkey mince so no need for an egg wash or flour. Finally they were air fried for 20 minutes.

The result was golden bread crumbs, a moist turkey surround and a runny yolk in the middle, delicious. I served these up with some loaded sweet potato skins and veg but you can serve them with anything you like or just have them as a snack.

I will certainly be making these again very soon.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Forward Thinking

With just three weeks to go before we head north of the border it is time to start some forward thinking and planning for the first few days of the trip.

We know that our first days holiday is going to be a long day of travelling. We are being picked up in the early hours of Thursday morning to start the long drive north before the morning rush hour starts in earnest. 

It will be a good 11 hour slog so at the end of the day we will all be tired. I don't want to be cooking after that so we have decided that our first night will be a night in Inverness and we will find a curry house to welcome us across the border.

We have also decided that after a long day on Thursday we will give ourselves a day shore break to explore Inverness further but also to give us a chance to give Naughty-Cal a good scrub and get her ready for the holiday ahead. It will also give us a chance to get a home shopping delivery sorted out as we will be travelling up light to keep under the 3.5 tonne weight limit.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

A Good Night Out

When you wake up to this on the back of the boat after a night out it is probably a sign it was a good night out and there were a few follow on drinks afterwards!

Luckily there were no spillages so it was easy enough to clean up and in ten minutes it was looking good as new again.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Ready to Go

After a final flurry of activity early yesterday morning we have finally got Naughty-Cal ready for this upcoming weekends trip to The Newark Festival.

The most important job for the weekends break was rewiring the VHF aerial. On our last trip up the Trent in April it had become apparent that we were struggling with reception. We also needed to change our VHF aerial for a shorter one for transport next month so there was no time like the present to rewire the whole system. The cause of the loss of signal became pretty apparent with the state of the cable that we removed. As the quick release connection had been external to the canopies and subject to the inclement weather it had rusted the cable core for the first 1m or so. With the new cable in place and the new quick release connection now internal and away from the worst of the weather we have much better signal and much clearer reception.

We also managed to have a trial fit of the tonneau cover which fits very well considering it wasn't made for our boat, certainly good enough for the road trip. The dinghy patch is back in place ready to sit the dinghy on the davits and we fitted some new fender flutes to the fenders as the existing ones were starting to become a little worn and were starting to slip too easily.

With all of this done we are now ready for the off on Thursday evening.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Wrapped Up

After a great day in Lincoln yesterday we have headed back to the marina to finish off a few odd jobs.

We have fitted the tonneau cover which fits very well considering it wasn't made for our boat.

And Liam is gluing the snap David patch back to the dinghy.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Loud And Clear

As the weather has been a bit soggy this morning we have set about rewiring the new shorter VHF aerial and rewiring all the way from the radio set to the aerial. A job overdue doing but proving to be a bit tricky!

Friday, 9 June 2017

Working Weekend

We have decided to have a quiet night in tonight with a film, a few drinks and a nice turkey jalfrezi that I rustled up in the week accompanied by some spicy rice and a vegetable bahji. Just the ticket after a long week at work.

This weekend we have a few odd jobs to do. The weather doesn't look great for doing them tomorrow so they may have to wait until Sunday. We have to try on the tonneau cover which still needs a wash, wire in the new VHF aerial and glue one of the snap davit patches back onto the dinghy. A nice little list of jobs for a Sunday morning. We should have them rattled off in an hour or so. But they need doing this weekend as we have plans for the next few weekends.

It won't be all work and no pleasure though. We plan to have a little jaunt into Lincoln tomorrow evening for a few beers and on Sunday it is Liam's birthday so we are heading to Harbour Lights for a birthday dinner.

Thursday, 8 June 2017


The trimmer sent us a couple of pictures yesterday of the finished cockpit upholstery on Naughty-Cal. We had been waiting on the embroidery coming back to finish the job. We are very pleased with the finished article and can't wait to see it in the flesh tomorrow evening.

We can't thank Marine and Industrial Covers enough. They have done a great job. Thanks guys.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Too Wet or Too Windy

The wet and windy weather so far this week has foiled our plans to scrub our new, to us, tonneau cover and get it dried. It is quite a large item so we really need to do the job outside on the driveway. The weather has had other ideas of course.

Even today which is supposed to be dry for the duration will be too windy to do the job in hand.

So we have resigned ourselves to taking the tonneau cover as it is, trying it on this weekend and then bringing it back home again to hopefully get some decent weather in the next few weeks to get it scrubbed, washed and reproofed ready for the long road trip to Inverness.

Hopefully when we try it on this weekend it will actually fit the boat. We are running out of time to get it modified if not!

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

30 Days

It is only 30 days until our big trip to the Caledonian Canal and West coast of Scotland.

This time in 30 days we will be on the road on our way to Inverness.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Odd Jobs

We got a few more little odd jobs crossed off the list yesterday. Nothing major but little odds and sods of jobs that needed sorting out before we head away next month.

The most important job was replacing the anchor deck switches. Both of these had suffered from being out in the elements and neither was working properly, so both have been replaced. They are only cheap switches but they do need replacing on a regular basis. Usually at least one a year!

We still have a little list of jobs to do next weekend. We need to check that the tonneau cover fits after we have washed it one evening this week and we also need to wire in the new shorter VHF aerial. Again not major jobs but they do need doing before we run out of time.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Sunny Saturdays

We had a lovely sunny Saturday afternoon in Saxilby with great friends and great food. What more could we ask for?

Today will be a steady day. We have to pop back into Lincoln to do a few errands then back to the marina to finish off a few odd jobs.