Monday, 30 April 2018

Making Friends

Sydney found a friend in Trio yesterday, our friends beautiful boxer dog. Her owners have just moved to Burton Waters having spent a period of time on the CRT long term moorings at Torksey. Very shortly they will become our next door neighbours on the pontoon so it is nice that the two got on so well.

In fact they got on so well that they managed to take Sydney for a walk while Liam and I grabbed some dinner in the Pyewipe, something we didn't expect to be happening anytime soon!

With full bellies the walk back to the marina seemed longer then the walk to the pub but we had no rush and the dogs loved it charging around on the tow path before we all got back and settled in for an early evening before an early start this morning to head back to Sheffield for work. 

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Take Away

We had a lovely evening out in Saxilby yesterday with a few drinks in The Sun Inn followed by a Chinese takeaway. Not had a Chinese for ages so it made a nice change.

We are now back in the marina as the wind is forecast to get up later. So we will have a walk to the Pyewipe later for dinner.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

We Needn't Have Worried

Turns out we needn't have worried about Sydney on the boat. He loves it.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Today is the Day

So today is the day that we find out if Sydney is going to make a boating dog. This evening after work we will travel the 45 miles to the marina, something which we are confident he will now be fine with as he now doesn't kind being in the car. Which is a big improvement on when we first picked him up!

Then we will load up the boat , fill up the water tank and head off to Torksey where we hope to meet up with some friends from West Stockwith. If of course they can get out of the basin as one of the hydraulic lock paddles broke yesterday. CRT are hoping to fix it ASAP so we wait with bated breathe. If they can't make it we think that Torksey will be a nice first run anyway for him. A steady one to break him in gently.

As for the rest of the weekend we are still not sure where we will end up. A lot will depend on the weather.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

All Change

It is going to be all change this year on E Pontoon. Old members are leaving, new members are arriving, some boats are being sold on, others are changing owners and we will soon have some new boats thrown into the mix for good measure.

E Pontoon is and always has been an ever changing and progressing entity but one thing has always stayed the same. A collective love of boats and being on the water and having a good time in good company.

This year promises to be yet another year where we all enjoy some good times together on the river.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Making New Plans

With our holiday to the Thames this summer put on hold until next summer, we are starting to look at where we can go instead in our more local cruising area.

Favourite so far is to spend a couple of weeks pottering about on the Rivers Trent and Soar with perhaps a few days on the Witham as well to finish off with.

We know of a few dog friendly moorings and are starting to gather together a list of pubs where we will be able to have Sydney join us for a drink and a bite to eat. 

Hazelford Lock island is one mooring which sticks out as somewhere that we shall visit. The island is perfect for the dog to run around and enjoy himself and the pub is only a mile and a half walk away for when we fancy an afternoon drink.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

What to Do

Now we have to decide what is going to be the best course of action to introduce Sydney to Naughty-Cal and vice versa. He has been on a boat before but on a different sort of boat completely and it wasn't the best experience for him to say the least.

So I think the gently gently approach will have to be put in place.

We were supposed to be going out on Saturday evening to celebrate a friends birthday but we have had to turn down this meal as it just wouldn't be fair to Sydney. So instead we think we will have a quiet cruise to Torksey so that the dog can get used to the boat.

We can walk him for miles from there in the fields and the pub is super dog friendly so he will be made very welcome, if he is a good boy of course!

Monday, 23 April 2018

Another Change of Plans

We were supposed to be having visitors to the boat this coming Sunday but we have decided to postpone their visit as it will be Sydney's first weekend on the boat and we want to make sure that he settles in before we start having people to visit.

Whilst he is brilliant at home and when we go out anywhere he is still being troublesome at home and we just don't know how he will react to being on the boat for any length of time. Better to let him settle in first we think. There will be plenty of time for visitors later in the year.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Another Busy Day

It has been another busy day for a little dog.

The good news is that he is slotting in just right in such a short time. We are confident he will make a very good addition to the family.

Now to introduce him to Naughty-Cal properly next weekend.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Family Day

We have had a lovely family day in Derbyshire and I think Sydney enjoyed himself. He has been a star today and proved to be brilliant with the kids.

Friday, 20 April 2018

A Sunny Weekend

Well it's sods law isn't it?

The first sunny and hot weekend of the year and we won't be going to the boat. Instead we will be spending time in Sheffield with family and new recruit Sydney.

Sydney was a star at the vets yesterday evening. He was very well behaved and didn't complain when he was prodded and poked and given a none too flattering shave to a section of his bum!

He was found to be in relatively good order considering what he has been through. He needs to put on about 1.2kg which is about 25% of his current weight! 

He has a cat bite to his bum which is sore and itchy so he has some antibiotics to take for the next week to help clear up any lurking infection. Other then being smelly, which the vet assured us was cat smell not dog which will just take some washing off but should eventually fade away, he was not in too bad shape and will be a different dog with some love, attention, a few baths and some proper meals.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

A Change of Plan

We have had a change of plan for our summer cruise brought about by the unexpected addition of Sydney to the family. We didn't think it would be fair to take him on a long and hectic couple of weeks cruise on the Thames on a boat that he won't be all that familiar with just yet.

So we have decided to postpone the trip until next summer and this year instead we will have the two weeks pottering around on our local rivers instead. Something we have not done for a long while so it will be a nice change for us as well as breaking Sydney in gently to our holiday routines.

Sydney is settling in well at home. He finally used his new bed last night instead of sleeping next too it on the floor and he is quickly learning where is out of bounds in the house. He now knows he can't go in the bedrooms and only in the living room if we are in there. He is much more settled in the car and just lays in the passenger footwell and this morning was actually happy to jump into the car which was a first.

He has a little way to go at work with Liam though. He is getting better each day and now realises that he isn't being left for a long time when people leave the room. His crying has reduced but now he has turned into a ninja dog and can jump onto the counter to greet people.

It remains to be seen what he makes of going to the vets this evening!

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

No Boat

We have a non boaty weekend in store this weekend. Some of Liam's family are travelling from all corners of the UK to meet up in Sheffield for the weekend and have a good catch up.

So Saturday will see us all descending on the Yorkshire Bridge Inn for a dinnertime meal and a couple of drinks prior to setting off for a walk around the reservoirs.

It seems a shame not to be going to the boat on what is forecast to be a sunny weekend but I am sure we will have a great weekend at home instead and we will be kept busy so we won't have time to miss being on the water!

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

New Crew

Naughty-Cal has a new crew member. Meet Sydney.

He is in need of some TLC but will look a different dog in time and he is very sweet natured. He already seems to be settling in at home. What he makes of going to work with Liam today we shall see later.

Monday, 16 April 2018

Ready to Go

Naughty-Cal is now ready for the years cruising ahead. Liam finished off the engine service yesterday with the fresh fuel filters. This time the engine bled through with very little trouble which it has not done the previous few times we have changed the filters.

With the filters changed it was time to head back out onto the river to check that all was running as it should and we are pleased to report that yes it was all good and ready and raring to go for the spring and summer season.

Naughty-Cal will now be having a rest for a couple of weeks as we won't be down there next weekend due to family commitments. If the weather is as nice as forecast though we may head down one evening in the week to make the most of the sunshine.

Sunday, 15 April 2018


We had a fab night and day out n Lincoln yesterday to celebrate one of the crowds birthday.

Time today to head back to the marina and change the fuel filters and take the heater from the engine bay. This will leave the boat fully serviced and dewinterised in one go.

Time for the summer season to start in earnest now.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

The Sun Will Come Out

Well the song says the Sun will come out tomorrow, but it's wrong. The Sun has come out today.

It is a glorious sunny day in Lincoln.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Stock Taking

It is Friday which means that we have spent the first part of this morning in the supermarket stocking up on essential items for a weekend on board. Bottled water, beer and spirits in the main.

We have also decided that it is time we started taking stock of what we are going to need to take with us on our summer trip to the Thames. It can get expensive picking up bottles of spirits ad hoc in local shops so we are planning to take some with us. A couple of bottles of Jack Daniels for me and a couple of bottles of gin for the both of us. 

Better to take too much then not enough of course. We have been stung before when I ran out of Jack Daniels and a bottle which this morning cost me £16 cost £26 for exactly the same bottle. Ouch. 

Once bitten twice shy they say and we won't make that mistake again. We have a cupboard tucked away under the bow which is a pain to get into but is ideal for storing spare bottles of spirits and crates of beer.

I think this boat might be on the heavy side for towing again!

Thursday, 12 April 2018

In a Safe Place

The new fuel filters are due to be delivered today in time for the weekend. I have ordered two pairs of filters, two primary filters for the tank and two fines filters for the engine. This will mean that as well as changing the set currently in use we will have a spare set should the need arise to change them mid season. It never has done yet, but you never know when fuel problems may arise.

This time we will make sure that we put the spare set in a safe place and remember where that safe place is!

We don't need to be in the marina to change the fuel filters, which is a good job as we were planning on heading into Lincoln tomorrow evening and didn't really fancy having to head back to the marina to change the filters. So long as we can get moored close to a bin to dispose of the dirty filters straight away we will be fine changing them where ever we end up.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

On the Up Again

What with all of yesterdays rain the rivers have unsurprisingly responded very quickly and are on the rise again, very quickly on the rise this time.

With the ground so sodden the water has nowhere to go and is just running off straight into the watercourses and rivers with the resulting fast increases in water levels and flows.

The level of the Fossdyke according to the EA river levels website rose very quickly yesterday but looks to have peaked and is some way short of the levels achieved this time last week. With only occasional light rain in the forecast between now and the weekend they should have the levels back down to normal again by the weekend on the Fossdyke. 

The rivers will be another story altogether and the water will just have to work it's way downstream in it's own time.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

A Bit of Debris

The recent heavy rainfall and increased river flows created quite a large raft of debris in front of Stamp End Lock by the weekend. The rubbish that missed the weir gathering in front of the lock gate instead.

No amount of prodding and poking with the boat hook could convince it to move on down the weir so we have to carefully negotiate it instead and try to keep it out of the lock. Easier said then done.

Only the very end of the lock pontoon left to use.

A fair old mix of debris. Someone had already removed some larger bits to the pontoon.

Naughty-Cal edging her way around the raft. Luckily she is small enough and agile enough to do this.

Lined up got the lock entrance again.

Only one sluice in operation on Saturday but still a lot of water being moved through. Mooring on the downstream lock landing would have been difficult with the flow of water pushing beneath it.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Where Did They Go?

We awoke this morning to a rather gloomy morning and the drive back from Lincoln to Sheffield was for the most part through dense fog, which lifted just as we entered Sheffield to reveal what promises to be a bright and sunny day. A shame the same couldn't have been said for yesterday.

This morning I have ordered two pairs of new fuel filters for the boat. We could have sworn that we had a set in the spares box, but alas they could not be found anywhere on Saturday when we needed them. This is the only item left to change and then the engine will have had a full service. We will change the filters next Saturday when we next get the chance. It isn't a big job so won't take us that long and we don't need to be in the marina to do it.

Aside from the AWOL filters the rest of the engine service went really well and we enjoyed a thoroughly relaxing cruise on the Witham. So much so that we might head back down there again next weekend.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

On Borrowed Time

After a lovely evening at Fiskerton Fen we have had a steady run back up river stopping at Washingborough for breakfast before continuing up through Stamp End Lock.

We are now moored in Lincoln for a few hours before heading back to the marina later.

The lack of visitors moorings is problematic of late in Brayford Pool. We have had to borrow a mooring for a few hours.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Full Service

With the big green lump serviced this morning, this afternoon it was time to check that all was working as it should. So we unhooked the shore power cable, let go the lines and set sail through Lincoln and onto Fiskerton Fen, perhaps our favourite mooring on the Witham.

There is plenty of water on the river, they are still drawing a lot off the Fossdyke. Safely moored up we have had the 20 minute walk to the Tyrwhitt Arms at Short Ferry where we are currently enjoying a few drinks.

We will head back to the boat shortly where later we have Jerk chicken breast with rice and vegetables for dinner.

Friday, 6 April 2018

Hopefully a Quiet One

After the excesses of last weekend we are hoping and planning that this weekend will be a much quieter affair and also a much cheaper one. We still can't fathom out hows we managed to spend quite so much money in four days last week!

Tonight we are planning a much needed quiet night in with a film, a few G&T's onboard and a nice chilli which I rustled up in the week which will be served with some homemade garlic bread.

Tomorrow it is time, and a little over due in fact, for Naughty-Cal's annual major engine service. The car is loaded up with all of the relevant oils and fluids and extraction methods for both. Liam has had plenty of practice by now at servicing the green lump so it shouldn't take him more then a couple of hours to change the oil and filter, two fuel filters, supercharger oil, impellor and belts. While he is busy in the engine bay I will busy myself in the cabin sorting out all of the cupboards and giving everything a good spring clean. It is that time of year again.

With the boat sorted and the river levels now on the decline we will head out find ourselves a quiet spot for the weekend. We both quite fancy heading down onto the Witham, maybe to Fiskerton Fen or to Bardney Lock. We have not been down to either for a while for either will make a nice change of scenery.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Hoping for a Break

It is fingers crossed for a break in the weather for the rest of this week. We are rather hoping that we might be able to make a break for it from the marina this weekend.

Anywhere will do just so long as it isn't on our berth.

A quick look at the current water levels on the Fossdyke on the EA website suggests that they are now dropping nicely and the flood gates on the marina should by now be open again. But a lot will depend on the weekend's weather. With the ground so sodden it really won't take much rain for the river levels to be up again and the flood gates back on.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Water Water Everywhere

It has come as no great surprise that the river levels have risen during the recent wet weather, of course they will react. But what has come as a surprise is just how quickly they have risen, in particular the Fossdyke and Witham which are usually very benign even during the wetter winter months.

On Sunday the Fossdyke rose some 6 inches in a matter of hours, we can't think of a time we have seen it rise quite so quickly. 

This time it won't be quite so quick to fall however as there is nowhere to push the water out. The Witham, as you will see from the next set of pictures is almost level with the Fossdyke from Stamp End to Bardney and the flood gates are on at Torksey so nothing will be going out that end either.

Better pray for some drier weather. Although looking out of the window here in Sheffield it doesn't look like that will be today!

Brayford Pool and the Lincoln Marina Visitor Moorings

The River Witham almost level with the Fossdyke. There is usually between and 8 and 9ft drop at the lock!

The mooring on the left of the picture here on the wall is where we usually moor to wait for the lock. The top of the wall should be about level with the top of our hoods. Not yesterday!

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Amsterdam 2018

So we survived our first trip of mainland UK together and had a lovely time in sunny Amsterdam. Here are a few pictures of the trip.

Sunny Hull

The view from our cabin high up on Deck 10

The weather turned a bit chilly for sitting out on deck.

Our first view of Amsterdam.

The sunshine comes out as we wait for the trip boat.

Gliding through the canals

Amsterdams smallest house behind the lamp post!

9 Euro a pint and I wasn't even keen on it. We only had the one in this bar!

Typical canal scene

Liam guiding the ship home as we make out final approach at Hull.

Back to a flooded Fossdyke. No chance of a cruise on Naughty-Cal this time.

A wet and miserable bank holiday Monday.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Wet and Grey

Well what a rubbish end to the holiday it has been with rain all day so far. The water level is steadily rising and no doubt the flood gates will be shut shortly.

But we are tucked up dry and warm and as a special treat for later we have bought some nice rib eye steaks and some wild mushrooms for dinner later.