Wednesday 25 August 2010

Will We or Wont We?

With the bank holiday weekend drawing ever closer the question on our lips is will we or wont we?

The intention for the weekend had been to head off on friday evening after work with the intention of making it to Bardney Village moorings where our trusty friends would be waiting for us after having reset the locks in our favour. The plan was then to reach Boston on saturday afternoon after a steady jaunt down the Witham and a stop off at the Packet Inn en route. The intention for Sunday had been to head off across the Wash and into Wells next the Sea for the evening before heading back on Monday and reaching our home mooring on Tuesday.

Well the weather isnt playing into our hands at all. The current forecast is for sunshine and showers which on its own wouldnt be too bad. However the wave forecasts are for 1.5m waves at 5 second intervals on Sunday and 3.5-4.0m waves at 5 second intervals on Monday, with the forecasts worsening by the hour. This has put a bit of a dampener on our plans as with the best will in the world none of the boats or crews can cope with the conditions expected on Monday.

We still have a few options avaliable though. We can head out on Sunday and play around in the Wash then head back into Boston on either a 4 hour or 8 hour tide.

We shall see. So will we or wont we?

Tuesday 24 August 2010

Another interesting Service

Whilst away in York, the engine hours turned 500, signifying time for a major service.

Now the OH has done the rest of the service parts but had never tackled the belts. Four of them intertwined for added difficulty in changing. As it happens the service went smoothly and was completed in 3 hours. Not too bad.

Now we turned our attention to the props. These had been on since we relaunched the boat in February, so for us having completed 200 hours they were doing well. They were not however perfect so with next weekends jaunt to Wells on the cards we decided to change them for our spare refurbed set. This we can normally do from our home berth whilst the boat is afloat but this time we ran into a spot of bother. The prop nut in the rear cone had tightened up to silly proportions. No amount of tugging onit would make the bugger come free.

So we took the desicion to beach her in the slipway. We moored her on the slipway mooring then lifted the drive and firmy dragged her back as far as we could.The OH then took a quick paddle and with some more force on the nut managed to free the props. The ducks were a great help as were the fish that kept coming to take a look at what we were doing. Beaching her gave us a good oppurtunity to scrub the outdrive and trim tabs and rams though. The props once removed were not as bad as expected. The 4 blade prop being nigh on perfect and the 3 bladed prop having the ends bent over in a similar fashion on all 3 blades hence the lack of vibrations.

Once sorted out the only thing left to do was take her for a test run. In the end we only made it to Saxilby for lunch before turning around and meeting Steve and Chris in the Pyewipe Inn for teh second time in two days!!

Thursday 19 August 2010

That Time Again

Well it happened.

Whilst we were away in York last week the engine hour counter reached 500 hours, time for another service. The oil and filter change interval on Naughty-Cal is every 100 hours which we aim to achieve where ever possible. This time however is a major service with all four belts to be changed (yes that is four, there is the alternator, power steering, water pump and supercharger belts),both fuel filters, air filter, crank case filter, supercharger oil as well as checking the tappet clearances.

So guess what we will be doing this weekend. Still it needs doing and if we don’t do it this weekend it will not get done for a while. We are away next weekend (bank holiday weekend) for a play out in the Wash. Can’t wait to get on the salty stuff again.

Monday 16 August 2010

To York and Back

The holiday officially started at 5.00pm on Friday evening when the OH finished work, however an hour and a half worth if traffic jams meant we didn’t get to the boat until 6.30pm. Not the best start. Anyway we only had to get aboard turn the key and go. A couple of hours saw us make our destination of Torksey and the White Swan for dinner and a couple of pints before heading back to bed in readiness for the next days early start.

Saturday dawned with a beating on the side of the boat. Bleary eyed we open the door to find lockie and the news that he needs us ready earlier than planned. So a quick wash and change, hoods off engines fired up we all head sleepily into Torksey lock ready for our trip down the Trent to Keadby. We would have to have a stop in Gainsbrough though to await the last of the tide. Down we go in the lock gates are opened the Trent in sight. The first of the boats heads out and then crunch, we have landed on the middle cill of the lock. Lockie quickly ties up the boats behind us before opening the top paddles and flushing us off the cill. The rest of the day goes smoothly with a shopping trip in Gainsbrough before heading off for the final leg of the journey to Keadby where we have a welcoming party to watch me nearly fall in the lock messing about with the ropes!!

Following on from a lively night in The Old South Yorkshire, we have a steady start to Sunday with no rush to get anywhere. Destination unknown we head off until we get bored. The weather is again beautiful so the hoods are off. We soon settle into a routine of swing bridge after swing bridge with the occasional lock to break up the monotony along the way. Soon however things descend into silliness. One of the previous days purchases had been 360 water balloons. Needless to say the majority of these where used to get from Keadby to Pollington Lock where we decided to call it a day, finding a nice area of grass to play cricket, badly.

Monday was a grey and windy day, but never the less we pushed on through the Yorkshire countryside heading for Selby due to an early tide on Tuesday morning. We had a quick stop at Pollington Lock to fill up with water only to find the canal beside the water point is very shallow we found the bottom pretty quickly. We were all genuinely surprised by some of the scenery on offer on the Selby canal. It really is a very pretty canal if not a little shallow in places. We dredged the bottom pretty much all the way and came across a chap who had just picked up a hire narrowboat and had not been told which side to drive on!!!

Tuesday morning looked a little more promising. The weather was calmer and at 7am we headed out onto the tidal Ouse to start the slalom course of dodging debris. This section of river really is very dirty and you need to keep a sharp eye out for obstructions ahead. Two hours saw us approaching Naburn Lock and the limit of the tidal river. Safely through we moor up to have breakfast and to freshen up before heading into York. We eventually moor on Kings Staithe for the evening before heading off in search of entertainment in York. We finally settle on the York Castle Museum and an evening ghost walk in between pub stops.

Wednesday and another day of visiting York. First stop the National Railway Museum and a few hours of train spotting followed by a pub stop and shopping before heading back to Naburn Lock where we find most of the moorings taken, so a well placed BW work boat becomes an excellent landing platform for the evenings stay. We all eat dinner before enjoying another game of cricket on the lock island.

Thursday sees us heading back the Naburn Marina to refuel. The total for the trip to York was 86 litres of diesel for us (but we hadn’t set off with a full tank and could probably have put 25 to 30 litres in before we set off) and 176 litres of petrol for the other boat!!!!! Ouch. We set off back to the lock and reach just in time for our locking out. We have to beware of our air draft on this trip and have the bridge at Cawood swung for us but just manage to get under the Selby Bridges with inches to spare. The debris on this stretch of river again proved hard going when coupled with a spring tide. Eventually Selby appears and we lock up onto the safety of the Selby canal, however we press on and eventually reach Pollington for another game of cricket, again played badly.

Friday dawns and oh dear, it is chucking it down and windy with no sign of any imminent improvement. We head off with the intention of reaching Keadby and the weather plays a blinder. Every time someone gets off to work a bridge or lock the heavens open. It makes for hard going and by the time we reach Keadby we have all had enough. Hot showers and hot meals all around soon liven up spirits though before we all retire to watch films due to the again worsening weather. At some point during our film a narrowboat appeared and pulled off an amazing fete of mooring which we would fully appreciate until morning.

Saturday and another early morning to catch the tide. We awake to find a narrowboat less than an inch from our stern. When we get out for a closer look we discover he is also only an inch from our friends boat ahead. He never touched either boat. Never have we seen mooring so precise. Anyway we set off onto the Trent helped along by a big tide we are making headway of 11mph in tickover. Before too long we are in sight of Torksey lock and the Fossdyke. By early afternoon we have made it back to Burton Waters and home.

Sunday was a day for cleaning and surveying the damage done. Suprisingly we only find one minor scuff hidden amongst the grime and dirt. So another successful trip completed now we can look forward to our play on the Wash over bank holiday weekend.

Thursday 5 August 2010

Holiday Time

Well guys you can expect a quiet week next week. We are ready and raring to go. The boat is full of fuel, water, and beer. Just a few fresh food items to buy tomorrow, then figure out where to stash it all and then we are ready for the off.

Friday evening can’t come quick enough. The OH has to work tomorrow which gives me a day of leisure, or so I think. Chances are I will be going to the boat to refit the bedding, stash all of the food away, do all of the final checks and ensure Cal is ready to go as soon as we arrive at Burton Waters on Friday evening. First stop Torksey Lock and the Black Swan no doubt.

If I get the chance over the coming week and a bit I will pop in and give a progress report, but I wouldn’t hold my breath if I was you.

Wednesday 4 August 2010

The Trouble With Making Plans

A very good friend of ours has the saying “never make a plan because some fucker always comes and spoils it”. Well for many weeks now we have had a plan and guess what. It’s been spoiled.

There are two different ways of approaching York from our moorings in Lincoln. The easiest route is to go all the way along the Trent to where it joins the Ouse and becomes the Humber and then to continue up the Ouse to York. Now this route is by far the quickest but is not for the faint of heart.

The alternative route is to go down the Trent as far as Keadby and to then continue along the SSYN, go along the New Cut, onto the Aire & Calder and finally onto the Selby canal where the canal once again meets the river Ouse. It is then a quick 2 hour jaunt up river to Naburn lock and then on into York. Now this route adds a good 2 days onto the time taken to complete the journey.

The plan for many months had been to go via Trent Falls and come back through the canal system, however our friends boat has been playing up and now one engine is dead. This may sound bad but each engine is over 200hp each so she will still be able to power around the Falls, but her owners want to go the canal route. This will only give us a day in York before we have to head back for Selby. We need to work on them and get them to go around Trent Falls, otherwise the journey will be a waste of time.

Monday 2 August 2010

Ready and Raring to go

Well the boat is as ready as she will ever be for her next big adventure. She is fully prepped and cleaned, full of diesel, full of water and mainly stocked with food stuffs. Just a few fresh items to buy on Friday before the off.

The plan, has yet again changed. We are now travelling in convoy with our friends who had originally planned the outing. Their boat is playing up and only has one engine running but they are still game for the trip. This does however mean we will be going the long way to York, through the canal system. Never mind though it will be fun, we have no doubt about that.

So be warned as of next week we will be on the loose!!