Monday 31 October 2016

Lincoln by Night

A few pictures from our Saturday night out in Lincoln.

On the way into town.

By the cathedral.

Walking down Steep Hill.

The fleet await.

Cruising back to the Pyewipe for a quiet nights sleep.

Sunday 30 October 2016

A Very Short Hop

Our plans changed again yesterday as we ended up staying in Lincoln for a curry. We all walked up the hill to have a few beers at the top of town before heading to The Saffron for our evening meal.

Town was a tad busy so when we had finished we upped sticks and headed to the Pyewipe to find a quiet mooring for the night.

Saturday 29 October 2016

A Short Hop

We decided to head into Lincoln last night for a few beers around town.  The students were out in force!

Today we plan to just chill out in Lincoln  before heading to Saxilby for a curry.

Friday 28 October 2016

Slightly Odd

We have been busy planning our holidays for 2017 and have made a slightly odd move for next year.

Our main holiday to the Caledonian Canal and west coast of Scotland will take up over two weeks of our usual four week allowance. This doesn't leave us much, so we won't take our usual week at the end of May when we normally head to Wells next the Sea. Instead we will have a four day short break over the bank holiday and then for October we have booked a week on the Norfolk Broads.

But we won't be taking Naughty-Cal this time. Instead we have booked a hire boat from the Richardsons yard in Stalham for the week. We will spend the week aboard Viscount, a roomy four berth cruiser.

Richardson's Viscount, an Alpha Craft 35.

The large well fitted galley.

Bright and light rear saloon area.

 The spacious en-suite master cabin in the bow.

The layout of Viscount.

This will be a bit of a change for us and a completely different style of boat to get to grips with for the week. Only another 12 months to go before we can go and pick her up!

Thursday 27 October 2016

Fixed at Last

For the majority of this year the lock at Torksey has been only partially working. One of the paddles on the top gates has been broken which has mean't that filling the lock and coming back up off the Trent has been a somewhat long job. 

Finally we got the notice this week that the divers have been in and fixed the problem. The lock is fully functioning again.

Just in time for the slower winter months!

Wednesday 26 October 2016


 While doing our weekly shop in Sainsburys on Monday evening we stumbled across a pair of huge ribe eye steaks on the reduced shelf. Well we couldn't turn down an offer like that. The larger one, which was enormous was reduced to £2.04 and the smaller one, which was still huge just £1.14.

We had to have them so last night we had a delicious steak dinner on the cheap. Thank you Sainsburys.

The reduced steaks.

The finished product served with cajun sweet potato wedges, onion rings and a rocket, spinach and watercress salad.

Tuesday 25 October 2016

All Rise

Boat licence fees, we all have to pay them, well we all should pay them anyway but lets not stray off topic with that one.

Next year Canal and Rivers Trust are raising their licence fees by 2.5%. Not a massive overall increase but an increase all the same.

Now spare a though for our boating cousins on the Norfolk Broads who are facing an annual increase in their licence fees of 22%. Yes that is right 22%. On top of that to add insult to injury they are also proposing to increase the fee for using Mutford Lock from £13 each way to £30 each way. 

Now we love the Norfolk Broads and it is always nice to see that the Broads Authority are spending the money on works to keep the Broads useable for all. But how can they justify those annual increases in licence fees?

Monday 24 October 2016

The Present

I forgot to tell you yesterday that we had picked up Naughty-Cal's latest present. We have bought her a tonneau cover in readiness for her road trip to Scotland next summer.

Now a new one was going to be £480 from the chap we use for our hoods and soft furnishings, however a quick word with the marina staff and they had one with very light use that we could have for £100 made by the same chap. A done deal if ever there was one.

We have not had chance to fit it on the boat yet. The weather looked a bit iffy yesterday for taking the hoods off the boat, but we do know that there will be a few modifications to make too it. Not all of the studs will line up as it was made for another S23 and they are all slightly different. But these minor modifications shouldn't cost much to rectify. We will wait until the weather starts to get a bit better next spring and fit the tonneau cover then get the canopy man to sort it out during the week while we are at work.

Sunday 23 October 2016

Clean Dinghy

Dirty Dinghy is no more. Liam spent a few hours yesterday scrubbing her up and she looks almost like a new dinghy.

Unfortunately the outboard is still not running right so it is back to the drawing board with that. Latest thought is that the carburettor is non so clever and wants replacing.

Saturday 22 October 2016

A Night In

It made a very pleasant evening last night not rushing around. Just sitting back and relaxing with a few beers watching TV on Liams new tablet and later having a lovely meal of Cajun salmon and stir fried vegetables.

Might have to stay in more often.

Time to get up and start some work now though.

Friday 21 October 2016

It's So Unusual

A slightly unusual evening for us this evening as we will actually be spending it in the marina tucked up on our home berth, something we very rarely do. If you think about it we don't really get such good value from it as we so rarely use it other than to leave the boat on sat empty during the week.

With the dinghy cleaning booked in for tomorrow though we decided it would be a good idea to stay in the marina. We also have a few other jobs line up for the morning so it makes good sense. 

Other then the cleaning of the dinghy and testing of the freshly serviced outboard engine we also have to refill the fuel tank on "big boat", replace and empty gas cylinder, give the inside of the boat a good clean and the cockpit upholstery is ready for a good scrub also. We re also hoping to be able to pick up a present for Naughty-Cal but more on that at the weekend if we can pick it up! 

Thursday 20 October 2016

Winter Planning

It is the time of year where we will start to wind down our cruising, sticking to more local jaunts. The hours of daylight each day are diminishing so trips further afield start to become less and less frequent.

These slower months do however give us the chance to plan ahead for our winter maintenance regime and also for next summers cruises. 

The first hurdle will be Naughty-Cal's annual three months ashore which allows us to iron out and little niggley jobs that have raised their head through the year. We had hoped to keep Cal in the water until after Christmas this year but we have developed a leak of oil from the drive, most likely fishing line in the oil seals again, which may well scupper those plans. We shall see. Another job to add to the ever growing list!

Wednesday 19 October 2016

Dirty Dinghy

We have had our dinghy for quite a few years now and the time has come to bring it home for the winter and give it a thorough refurbishment ready for our trip to Scotland next summer.

The main body of the dinghy is in good order if not a little dirty, the bottom will have a fine layer of green as it has not been out of the water for a long time but this will wash off with a little bit of scrubbing and the jet wash. 

The wooden floor boards on the other hand have not weathered so well. They have spent several winters now covered with water as we don't cover the dinghy over. This has rotted the wood away on several places. The plan is to remove the boards and use them as templates to make some new fibre glass boards which will stand the weather much better.

While we have the dinghy at home we will give it a very thorough clean and polish, buy and fit a new rope which runs around the dinghy and also buy some new mooring rope as well. We will also be on the look out this winter for a second small outboard engine. We will be limited by weight and space when we get the boat trailed to Scotland so our big 6hp won't be able to come with us. So we are on the look out for a smaller and lighter 2.3hp Honda outboard.

Tuesday 18 October 2016

The Downward Spiral

We discovered at the weekend that our batteries are finally on the downward spiral. The combination of using the diesel heating again, the fridge being on, the electric kettle and the slow cooker has finally started to take it's toll on them.

They are far from completely useless mind and we will continue to use them this winter, there seems to be little point replacing them for what use they will get in the next couple of months and then the following two or three ashore and plugged in. So we will replace them when the boat is relaunched ready for the new years start to the holiday season. There is still plenty of life left in them, some people no doubt would say that we are replacing them far too early, but we like to be able to rely on our batteries rather then hope and pray with crossed fingers that they will last the night out.

This set won't have done bad. They were installed in May 2012 so have far outlived our previous sets of batteries and will have been on for almost five years by the time we replace them in the Spring. Not too bad as we do tend to use our batteries whilst out and about cruising. We will certainly use the Varta branded batteries again as we have been impressed with their performance right up until last weekend when they gave us the first inkling that all is not as it once was.

Monday 17 October 2016

A Mixed Bag

What a great weekend we had, the weather might not have always been great, but it was certainly better then forecast. 

Saturday was a mixture of mist and bright sunshine. The day dawned very misty but by the time we had sorted ourselves out and were ready to head through the lock the sun had broken through and burnt the mist off leaving long spells of lovely hazy sunshine. Perfect for a run up river.

By the time we had moored at Dunham Bridge for a few hours the mist had started to draw in again and looked set to defeat the sunshine but that didn't stop us from walking into the village for a couple of afternoon drinks. First stop the refurbished Bridge Inn which is a strange mix of cafe, tea room and pub which doesn't really work so it was only a quick one in there before moving on to the White Swan further along the road.

With a few pints inside us it was time to head back to the boats and start thinking about moving on to High Marnham. It was by now pretty low water and there will still plenty of fisher folk lining the banks so it was a steady cruise to the ski club moorings and on to the pub where we enjoyed a cracking evening with good food and good company.

Sunday was a far wetter day. We awoke to the sound of rain hammering on the roof, so both rolled over and had another hour or so in bed. No rush to get up today as the tide wouldn't turn until about 11am. Eventually however we did have to get up and still beneath heavy rain we untied and cast off heading towards Torksey on a dull, damp and dreary day. Back up through the lock we briefly stopped for breakfast and coffee in the tea rooms before steadily cruising back up river with a pair of lamb shanks slowly bubbling away in the slow cooker in a mint and onion gravy.

Once settled back on our mooring it was time to kick back and relax with a few beers waiting for dinner to cook through, and what a dinner it was. Well worth the wait and a nice way to end a great weekend.

Sunday 16 October 2016

Dancing in the Moonlight

We had a great evening in The Brownlow Arms last night with good food, good company and some live entertainment. We all ate, drank, sang and danced the night away.

We are now sat on the pontoon in the pouring rain waiting for the tide to turn and then we will head back to Torksey.

Saturday 15 October 2016

On The Trent

At just after 9am this morning we descended onto the Trent in the company of Anna and Sloe Mate and are now tied up at Dunham Bridge for a few hours before we head to High Marnham later this afternoon.

Friday 14 October 2016

Back to Boats

So after a few weeks away from the boat it is now time to settle back into the usual routine of boating again.

This weekend we have a group trip to High Marnham on the tidal Trent planned with six boats heading out from Torksey tomorrow morning. We will convene in the Brownlow Arms tomorrow evening for drinks and a bite to eat.

This evening we will literally dump our gear on the boat and set off for Torksey. At this time of year the majority of the journey will be spent travelling in the dark. Not that this is a massive problem, we know this stretch of water like the back of our hand by now. We will have some dinner on the way down and no doubt end up in the White Swan for a pint or two when we get to Torksey.

Thursday 13 October 2016

Cornwall 2016 - Part 4

Day Six

 Lovely blue skies.

 Quiet beach.

 Surfs up.

 Crystal clear rock pools.

 Caves in the cliffs.

 Pretty beach scene.

 High above the beach.

Day Seven
Charlestown and Hemmick

 Charlestown Maritime Museum

 In the clay caves.

 Looking our over the harbour.

 Gas piece.

 Fancy diving in that?

 The tides in today. The picture doesn't show just how lumpy it was in harbour. Would have been like being in a washing machine waiting to enter the dock!

 The beach at Charlestown.

 Down the hill to Hemmick.

 Hemmick beach.

 A lovely deserted beach.

 Stunning Cornish Seas.

 Rock falls.

 The tide is coming in.

 Rocks to catch out the unwary.

 Back to the lodge.

Day Eight
Home Time

 Our last time on the Cornish back roads.

 One last look at the sea.

 That's not home! No we got distracted by a road sign for Lincoln and thought why not?

An unscheduled night out in Lincoln.