Thursday 31 May 2012

Whitby Here We Come

It is the final day of work, for me anyway. Liam has to work tomorrow unfortunately but it will give me time to make sure that Naughty-Cal is as ready for the off as she can be.

Tonight we are heading to the boat to fill her with diesel and load the majority of our gear, food and drink onboard. Then I have the day off tomorrow to finish off inputting the waypoints into the chart plotter, refill the water tank, wash her off and generally make sure everything is neat and tidy and ready for the adventure ahead. Once Liam is back from work we will then just turn the key and go. Heading for Torksey Lock, where the lock keepers will be waiting to let us through onto the moorings on the tidal side of the lock for the evening.

Saturday should be an interesting day with a good mix of cruising. We will have an early start to ensure that we get the boats to Trent End as close as is practically possible to high water. This will mean that once we clear Gainsborough road bridge we will be planning all the way to Trent End to then make the most of the tide to Grimsby.  Once under the Humber Bridge we can slow down and enjoy the trip down to Spurn Point where we will have to anchor or pick up a mooring buoy to wait for the free flow into Grimsby Marina. Once in Grimsby we will refuel and then settle in for the afternoon, preparing for the big sea leg of the trip the following day.

Sunday will be another early start to make the most of the tide to Whitby. Weather dependant we should be in the harbour in plenty of time for fish and chips for lunch. The trip up the Yorkshire Coast should be a stark contrast to the flat Norfolk coastline that we have previously traversed and if the weather is fine we should be treated to fine views of the rugged rocky shoreline.

The rest of the week will be mainly dictated by the weather. If it is fine and dry with light winds we will plan to spend a few days in Whitby and a couple in Scarborough. If it is forecast to rough up a little we will pick a suitable window and head back for the relative shelter of the Humber and spend a couple of days in Hull Marina before heading back onto the tranquil Trent for the last leg of the journey home.

All being well this should be a great start to our coastal cruising for 2012. It will be yet another cruise this year into the unknown for both us and Naughty-Cal.

Wednesday 30 May 2012

Just another Burton Waters Weekend - Part 3

 Time to check that Asbo is still in fine fettle after her service and new prop.

 And it would seem that she is

 Still got it

 Bottom needs a scrub by the look of things

 Behind you

 One last run

Then back home in the sun

Tuesday 29 May 2012

Just another Burton Waters Weekend - Part 2

 Anchored on the Brayford Pool, Lincoln

 Drinks anyone?

 The Happy Sailors.

 Need more alcohol...

 And as the sun starts to set.

We head back for home with the women driving

Monday 28 May 2012

Just another Burton Waters Weekend - Part 1

 Early morning on the ditch

 Early morning cruising

 A busy Lincoln shopping centre 

 Still quiet on the ditch

 Jack enjoying the sunshine on Naughty-Cal

 Party on the Brayford

 Dancing till the sun goes down

Drinks anyone?

Friday 25 May 2012

The Sun Is Shining

The sun promises to shine for the weekend for the first time this year. So for this Fridays snippet I have decided to have a look back at some of last years sunny boating moments.

 Naughty-Cal at anchor in Brayford Pool

 Friends together rafted up in Brayford Pool.

 Naughty-Cal makes it to RNSYC, Lowestoft. Our biggest cruise to date and one we shall remember for all the right reasons.

 Naughty-Cal at anchor in Blakeney Bay on the way home from the Borfolk Broads. A serene day.

Naughty-Cal moored at Washingborough.

Thursday 24 May 2012

More Gardening Weather

With the weather still blooming marvellous we took the opportunity to finish tidying up the front gardens and driveways. With more weeding, grass cutting, hedge clipping and pruning the front gardens are looking the best that they have done for a long while. The recent rains making the grass, plants and trees, lush, green and colourful.

It doesn’t take long to make a big impact on our gardens. They have been stocked with the intention of making them low maintenance, the vast majority of the plants looking after themselves. The wildflower patch is displaying its colours and the bees and butterflies seem to be enjoying the late spring blooms.

With the front garden finished, for now, we had the chance to sit back and enjoy our hard work. Normally we would sit in the back garden to relax but as this has yet to be attacked we took the rare chance to relax in the front garden in the early evening sunshine with a couple of cold beers and a scrummy homemade shepherd’s pie with roast potatoes, carrots and savoy cabbage.

Next week the back garden will be started upon. In all fairness the back garden is if anything easier to work on than the front. The hedges are not so extensive, the lawn is easier to cut and the decking takes just a quick sweep and hose down to be ready to used again this summer. Happy days.

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Gardening Weather

With the sun finally showing its hand for the first time in a long time we set about attacking the garden last night. With the wet and dismal weather we have had of late we have not even touched the garden yet this year so it was starting to look a little bit messy.

With Liam busying himself trimming the hedges adjacent the garage and driveway, I set about cutting the lawn in the front garden. With the relatively drier weather we have been experiencing in the last couple of years we have decided to keep our lawns a little longer than we normally would in a bid to keep the grass looking greener for longer throughout the year. Even so the front lawn will require a few more trims to get it looking neat and tidy again.

With the lawn trimmed and Liam still battling with the hedges I set about on a mission to deal with the weed growth in the driveway and footpaths. They seem to grow in nothing these weeds and spring up in unexpected places. A half hour of tugging and pulling at them soon had them in check again though and the approach to the house looks much tidier for it.

After just an hour’s hard graft the front of the property is looking much more acceptable and much less like a jungle. Tonight we will finish of the hedges in the front garden leaving just the rear garden to attack next week. Hopefully this should mean that the gardens are going to be neat and tidy just in time for us to go away on holiday.

The bees have been busy in the front garden with all of the fruit trees showing early signs of setting good quantities of fruit. Hopefully a little later in the year this should mean we have a decent crop of cherries, apples and plums. Unfortunately we have lost some of the more tender plants due to the frosts but the spaces these have left will be filled in with more dwarf fruit trees to provide us with even more of our own home grown fruit and vegetables.

With the garden looking a little better we sat down to a well earned and rather tasty homemade Lasagne that I thankfully prepared yesterday, served with a peppery wild rocket salad. Just the ticket.

Tuesday 22 May 2012

One Weekend to Go

We now have just one weekend to get Naughty-Cal ready to head for Whitby. Cutting it fine or what? The list of jobs is growing instead of shrinking and we will have a busy weekend ahead of us to ensure everything is finished off. The major jobs include:

  • ·         Changing the engine belts
  • ·         Changing the sterndrive anodes
  • ·         Changing the propellers
  • ·         Repairing a set of propellers
  • ·         Changing the supercharger oil
  • ·         Changing the crankcase filter
  • ·         Checking the fuel filters
  • ·         General engine checks
  • ·         Filling the diesel tank
  • ·         Filling the water tank
  • ·         Cleaning the bottom of the dinghy
  • ·         Hanging the dinghy on the davits
  • ·         Cleaning the outboard
  • ·         Cleaning the boat, inside and out.
  • ·         Inputting the waypoints into the chart plotter
  • ·         Stocking the food cupboard
  • ·         Stocking the beer cupboard

As you can probably see it is going to be all systems go. We probably won’t have time to go out and enjoy cruising but on the plus side we should have a clean and well maintained boat that will hopefully look after us on our first coastal cruise of this year.

Monday 21 May 2012

A Good Night had by All

It would appear that a good time was had by all on Saturday night, these two clowns especially enjoying themselves!!

Far too cold for proper streaking so they bailed out and opted for dressing gowns instead.

Thursday 17 May 2012

Baked Sardines

We are having a right old struggle getting hold of fresh mackerel from our fish supplier at the moment. So as an alternative we have been buying fresh sardines. The sardines have actually been working out far more cost effective but they are a little on the fiddly side. This recipe makes a great evening meal that is not only healthy but is also very tasty.

For this simple dish you will need:

  • ·         Fresh sardines (About 3 or 4 per person depending on size)
  • ·         Garlic
  • ·          Red onion
  • ·         Lemon
  • ·         Rosemary
  • ·         Thyme

Preparation is simple. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees. Depending on where you get your fish from they may need gutting, once gutted, season well with sea salt and cracked black pepper.

Place the sardines in an oven proof dish along with the crushed garlic and finely chopped red onion. Squeeze over the juice of the lemon then leave the lemon flesh in the oven proof dish with the fish. Finally add the chopped herbs. Stick it in the oven and leave for 20-25 minutes depending on the size of your fish. The skin should be lovely and crispy and the flesh falling from the bone.

We serve this dish simply with rice and rocket salad or in smaller portions as part of a mixed fish platter.

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Getting Prepared

We are now certainly on the countdown to our major holiday of 2012. With just a couple of weekends of preparation time left we are once again on the back foot and will be rushing around at the last minute to get ready for the off.

The first job on the list is changing the engine belts. During our bank holiday curry cruise the raw water pump developed a leak which sprayed water all over the belts and alternator as well as all over the engine bay. Luckily the water pump was a cheap fix with just a couple of seals to change but now the alternator belt is slipping under load so as a precaution we will change them all. Better to do it on our home berth than half way to Whitby.

As we will be taking the dinghy on this trip we will need to install the bow bag and the oars and also glue on the stand-off arm pads so that we can hang it more securely on the transom of Naughty-Cal. The outboard bracket has still not turned up so it is looking increasingly likely that the outboard engine will yet again be on the cockpit floor in a far from ideal location.

We also need to change the anodes on Naughty-Cal’s stern drive and trim tabs and also buy a new flag staff and ensign as our old ones have long since gone in the bin.

On top of this we need to refill the diesel tank so that we set off with a brimmed tank and plenty of fuel to get us to Grimsby, our first port of call along the way where we will again refuel for the 75 mile journey to Whitby.
As if that little lot isn’t enough we have to change the props for a refurbished set and send away a set of damaged props for refurbishing so that we have a spare set onboard should they get damaged during the holiday.

Naughty-Cal is also in need of a good scrub, both inside and out. Not easy when we have a hosepipe ban in place but it has to be done.

Busy times ahead for the next couple of weekends.

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Dunsten Fen

 Lincoln Waterside
 Lincoln Bridges
River Witham beyond Lincoln
 Chrisnico on the River Witham

 Devocean on the River Witham

 Naughty-Cal on an egg pit stop at Fiskerton Fen.

 Fiskerton Fen.

River Witham swans

Friday 11 May 2012

Internet Stalkers

Dear Captain Williams

Grow up. Nobody cares. You are only making yourself look foolish.

Thursday 10 May 2012

Bank Holiday Curry Cruise - Part 4

 At anchor at Trent Falls waiting for the tide.

 Gemini at anchor.

 Naughty-Cal at anchor.

 Daz enjoying a brief sunny interlude.

 Where has all the water gone?

 Heading back to Torksey on the incoming tide.

 A gentle cruise in the fading daylight.

 Almost back and fenders at the ready.

Monday morning back on the ditch and the last push for home.