Wednesday 31 August 2016

Not to Plan

So our long weekend may not have gone exactly to plan but we did have a very enjoyable and relaxing time none the less. 

Here are a few pictures from the first evening of the cruise from Burton Waters to Bardney.

Monday 29 August 2016

A Favourite Spot

We have moved on to what has to be one if not our favourite mooring spots on the Witham, Fiskerton Fen.

Sunday 28 August 2016

The Bridge

We have had a nice relaxing day on the river. We broke up the journey with a stop at Tattersall Bridge for a pint and have since carried on to Kirkstead Bridge where we have taken the last spare space.

Unfortunately this is right next to a boat with a noisy generator buzzing away. Still it won't be for long. The same boat was moored here when we came past on Friday evening so their 48 hours are nearly up!

The Green River

After a great night out in The Little Peacock in Boston it is time to head back up river.

The Witham is a bit weedy this year and we seem to be spending a lot of time in reverse clearing the props.

Saturday 27 August 2016

Settled In

So that's Naughty-Cal settled in on the Boston visitor moorings for the evening.  With the wind from the East it is just too unpleasant to head across to Kings Lynn.

Foiled Again

It looks like we have been foiled by the weather again.  The forecast for this afternoon has worsened and with it the sea conditions.

We have decided that Naughty-Cal has had enough of a beating already this year and we will call it a day in Boston.

Early Start

An early morning start to ensure we are in plenty of time for the tide .

Friday 26 August 2016

Here We Go Again

So here we go again on another Naughty-Cal adventure.

Counting Down

It is the last day of work before our four day break to Kings Lynn, just seven and a half hours of graft to go. My car is loaded up with all of the requisite gear and the Sierra should hopefully be back from the garage this afternoon from having the exhaust tweaked to stop it rattling on the under body. Unfortunately this means that we are taking two cars to the marina, far from ideal but no great problem.

Anyway with us both suitably installed on the boat and the gear put away it will be a cruise into the sunset as we head down river this evening in search of a mooring for the evening. We will get the two locks out of the way and then cruise into the evening until we get bored.

All being well by 3pm tomorrow we should be tucked up safely on the moorings here on the Kings Lynn webcam.

Thursday 25 August 2016

The HensTeeth Arrive

Yesterday the first of two parcels of hens Teeth arrived at work and are now awaiting fitting this evening.

Wednesday 24 August 2016

More Weekend Plans

It was time for yet more planning for the weekend yesterday. First up was ringing the booking office in Kings Lynn to get the security gate code and to check which berth we had been allocated. A stroke of luck on our behalf that this time we have been allocated a riverside berth. Now there is nothing inherently wrong with the quayside pontoon berths, they offer the same facilities, are far enough from the quayside that you are not bothered by people passing or cars in the car park, but at the state of tide that we leave they are difficult to get away from. As we leave to head home on an incoming tide, the tide tries to take the bow around but there is only just enough room to turn the boat between the pontoon and the quayside wall. On the riverside this won't be a problem.

The other thing I needed to check yesterday was the up to date locations of the channel marker buoys heading from the Wash and into the river. Lucky I did check as they have significantly changed position from when we last visited, in fact the latest up dates were made to the channel just last Friday. I will double check that they have not moved again before we leave Boston!

Tuesday 23 August 2016

Weekend Plans

We are now busy making preparations for this coming bank holiday weekends trip to Kings Lynn. 

Naughty-Cal is as ready as she can be so it is now a case of making sure everything else is in place. The mooring has been booked and paid for since April so no worries there.

This morning I have booked us in with the lock keeper at Boston for both our locking out on Saturday afternoon and our locking back in again on Monday evening. Both are nice times for us for a change, it is a 12.15pm locking out so we will have plenty of time to amble down river but also plenty of time to explore Kings Lynn and get settled in for the evening. On Monday we won't be leaving Kings Lynn until 4.15pm with our locking in due at around 7pm, so we will again have pretty much a full day in Kings Lynn but still time to head up river once we have locked back in at Boston to shorten the trip on Tuesday back to the marina.

Monday 22 August 2016


To get us out of the house yesterday and stop us going stir crazy we went for a walk around Ladybower Dam on the outskirts of Sheffield. Whilst it was a very pleasant walk we would have both much preferred to have been on the boat and out on the water.

Saturday 20 August 2016

Very Strange

Well that was very strange waking up at home on a summer Saturday morning!

Did mean we had eggs Benedict for breakfast though.

Friday 19 August 2016

Hens Teeth

Ever since owning the Sierra there has been one thing niggling away at us but one that was proving to be difficult to remedy. One of the interior trims was badly burned and damaged. Speaking to the previous owner this turned out to be from a less then sympathetic welding repair by a Ford main dealers in the late 1980's!

Now little did we know it when we bought the car back in 2001, but B300 XVH is a late spec car, one of the very last they made, and as such they updated the trim and a few other bits around the car. This was our down fall. They made very few cars with this trim so tracking down the right part has proved to be exceptionally difficult. We could have changed the interior to the earlier spec trim ten times over, but we really didn't want to do this, it didn't seem right.

Last night however we were pointed in the direction of a chap selling a full late spec interior trim on Ebay. So quick as a flash we snapped it up and hopefully bu early next week we should have an undamaged panel to replace the burnt one. 

We really seem to have made good progress with the car this year and have got lots of little jobs out of the way which are all adding up to making the car feel a more finished project.

Thursday 18 August 2016

Dry Delight

Us boaters can be a funny old lot, the simplest of things can make us the happiest of beings.

Take for example dry bilges. Doesn't sound a lot does it? But the water should be on the outside of the boat, not on the inside, right?

Over the last few years we have been plagued with a series of water leaks from the raw water system, the domestic clean water system and the grey water, or shower/sink water system. All of which have conspired against us and led to some degree of water needing removing from the bilges on a fairly regular basis. I hate wet bilges!

So far this year, (and I should say that I am crossing my fingers here), our bilges have remained bone dry. We fixed a series of leaks and refurbished the raw water pump over the winter months and thus far the bilges have stayed dry. A result to say the least.

With not a whole lot longer left of the 2016 cruising season we are starting to look ahead to the jobs that need doing during this winters period ashore. Hopefully fixing plumbing leaks won't be on that list for this year and hopefully nor will removing bilge water!

Wednesday 17 August 2016

A Ropey Business

Finding decent mooring ropes can be a bit of a hit and miss business, more expensive doesn't necessarily end up being better.

In previous years we have had many sets of ropes but the ones we got on best with were Marlow braid on braid ropes. At the beginning of this year we ordered some more as the old set were getting pretty worn . The new set were rubbish. Very tangley and refused to hold knots.

So reluctantly I ordered a new pair from a different supplier . I ordered 10mm instead of 12mm by mistake but have found these work better for us and sit better on the cleats. The new ropes are much better quality, so on the back of that I have ordered two more longer 10mm ropes for our trip to Scotland.

Our usual day to day ropes are 10m in length but these would be too short for the Caledonian Canal so two 15m ropes are now stowed away on board as well.

Tuesday 16 August 2016

Early Planning

With this year's summer holiday over and done with and becoming a dim and distant memory it is now time to start looking ahead to our big trip for 2017 and start to gather together the relevant bits of information.

Next years big trip is to be  first for us, we will be trailing Naughty-Cal for the first time so we have a lot more extra planning and forward thinking to do then usual. We will be heading to Inverness where Naughty-Cal will be dropped into the water before we head onto the Caledonian Canal for seven days and then have another seven days on the West Coast of Scotland, before finally being pulled back out of the water and brought back to Lincoln.

The area will be completely new cruising grounds for us so we have to make sure that we do our homework, as the navigation looks less then straight forward.

To aid our navigation and more importantly our passage planning we have purchased the relevant Admiralty Leisure Folio and the highly informative Clyde Cruising Club guide book which is packed full of the local knowledge which is so important when venturing into new waters.

Admiralty Leisure Folio SC5611.

Clyde Cruising Club Guide Book

We have a lot of planning to carry our over the next ten months or so but we are now stocked up with plenty of winter reading material.

Monday 15 August 2016

A Weekend in Washingborough

It is sometimes all too easy to overlook local moorings and just what they have to offer. Washingborough is just one example of this, a pleasant quiet mooring just five miles from our base at Burton Waters. So close to home that we rarely bother to stop. 

Now that we have discovered The Ferry Boat however I'm sure that this will all change and we will visit on a more regular basis, perhaps more so in the winter when we don't want to travel so far.

Here are just a small selection of the pictures I took in and around Washingborough at the weekend.

Sunday 14 August 2016

Old Friends and New

We had a great day in Washingborough yesterday meeting up with old friends for a meal in the Ferry Boat and also making many new friends in The Hunters Leap.

The food was excellent in The Ferry Boat. Both Liam and I had a really nice chicken and chorizo pie.

Back to Lincoln today to catch up with more friends.

Saturday 13 August 2016

The Rogue Saint

We had a great night last night in Lincoln in a pub we recently discovered, The Rogue Saint. A rock pub playing live music on Fridays and Saturdays. A good find.

Friday 12 August 2016

Down the Aisle

Up until this morning we had no idea what we were planning to do this weekend. In fact up until we were in the aisles of Tesco stocking up on beer this morning we still didn't know where we were heading. However a quick heads together and we have rustled up a tentative plan. 

Fist of all tonight we have to make a slight detour on our way to the marina as we have to make a fleeting visit to drop off my recently retired phone to a friend. I have just upgraded mine so it made sense to give it away rather then leave it festering in a cupboard like my previous one to that one still is!

With the phone delivered we will then head to the marina have a quick freshen up and then head into Lincoln for a few beers and a bite to eat. This will give us the chance to do a spot of shopping in town tomorrow morning before heading off to Washingborough where we intend to have a meal in the Ferry Boat on Saturday evening. We were very impressed with the last meal we had in there so are keen to give it another go.

Sounds like a nice plan. But will it work out?

Thursday 11 August 2016

A Kings Ransom

With work on the Sierra electrics now completed and Liam having almost got all of the interior back in, he just needs to finish off a few bits tonight. We can start to look ahead to getting Naughty-Cal ready for her up coming bank holiday weekend trip to Kings Lynn.

Due to family commitments next weekend this will be our last weekend to make sure that everything is in order and that she is ready to leave as soon as we get there on the Friday of the bank holiday weekend. 

So we need to make sure that the water tank is left filled, the diesel tank is brimmed, although this will only take 20 litres or so to refill it is best to leave with a full tank, and generally make sure that the boat is left in a clean and tidy manner. 

Of course we will still have time to enjoy a nice and relaxing weekend afloat. We have yet to decide what exactly we will be doing this coming weekend.

Wednesday 10 August 2016

A Safety Reminder

Yesterday the MAIB (Marine Accidents Investigation Board) issued a safety notice to all boat owners following the tragic deaths of two boat owners and their dog on the Norfolk Broads in June.

Full details here:

The safety notice shows just how quickly levels of carbon monoxide can build up in the unventilated cabin of a boat. A timely reminder to us all to be careful on board. The following extract is taken from the report.

"The motor cruiser’s 5.7 litre petrol-driven inboard engine had been left running at 3000rpm while it was moored alongside, probably to charge the batteries. A slight wind blowing from the stern caused exhaust gas emitting from below the aft transom to enter the canopy covering the aft deck (Figure 1) from where it spread down into the accommodation area forward. During in-situ tests with the engine running the concentration of carbon monoxide from the wet exhaust (Figure 2), reached high levels in the accommodation in less than 3 minutes. The accommodation area was not ventilated and the couple and their dog were overcome. No carbon monoxide alarms were fitted."

The cost of carbon monoxide alarms has come down considerably in recent years, quite why they are not mandatory for the Boat Safety Scheme is questionable given that they could quite easily save many lives.

Hopefully this safety advice will reach a few more boaters and encourage them to fit alarms to their vessels.

Tuesday 9 August 2016

An Extended Date

What with being away for a couple of weeks and being busy getting the boat ready the Sierra has been somewhat ignored for a month or so. So it was time to start getting her ready for her holiday to Cornwall in a couple of months.

Since buying the car nearly 15 years ago there have been a few little niggly electrical items that have never worked. On top of that earlier this year the central locking decided to give up the ghost which has meant no access to the boot. Clearly this needed sorting before we go to Cornwall, so yesterday she had her first date with the auto electrician. 

He had a good long hunt for problems yesterday and in the two and a half hours he was there managed to fix the rear wiper and rear screen wash which we have never had working. He is now on with fixing what he believes to be the problem with the central locking and electric wing mirrors. So hopefully her extended date with the auto electrician should be nearly over and we should have a few more items working again.

Monday 8 August 2016

Productive Days

It has been a very productive weekend onboard Naughty-Cal. We had a little list of jobs to do whilst the weather was fine and for once managed to get them all done.

The most important job of the weekend was scrubbing the canopies inside and out and then reproofing them with a good coat of Fabsil. This not only helps to keep them looking good but it also protects them from the worst of the weather that the British climate can throw at them. Keeping them waterproof means that the water beads and runs off rather them soaking into the fabric and then causing unsightly green mould growth.

We scrubbed the hoods on Saturday morning before the weather got too hot and then in the time we had been to the deli on the marina and had a panini breakfast they were bone dry. So we rolled up the relevant sections and headed to Torksey where we bought the Fabsil from Torksey Caravans and set too applying it on the visitors moorings. If anything the weather was a bit hot for applying the Fabsil as it was drying so fast it made it difficult to see where we had applied it and where we hadn't. In the end some sections ended up being done twice, but it doesn't hurt.

We had decided to bring Henry hoover to the boat this weekend, mainly so that Liam could vacuum the inside of the canopies before scrubbing them. But this also gave me the chance to give the cabin interior a good going over. The little handheld Hoover that we have onboard is great for a quick fettle but it can't do the same job as the much more powerful Henry.

With these few little bits done and dusted Naughty-Cal is starting to get ready for her next holiday at the end of the month when we will once again be visiting Kings Lynn for a few days.

Sunday 7 August 2016

Sealed The Deal

Yesterday afternoon we managed to get the canopies reproofed with a good coat of Fabsil before retiring to the pub whilst the fumes abated.

After a few pints we returned to the boat and had a bbq tea a few more beers before hitting the sack.

This morning we were up bright and early and are now on our way to Lincoln for breakfast.