Wednesday 30 November 2016

More Murk

A few more of our misty murky photos taken in and around Lincoln over the weekend.

It really was a very atmospheric evening. Hopefully it will be a little bit brighter this weekend in time for the Lincoln Christmas markets.

Tuesday 29 November 2016

Trimming Up

The time has come for a bit of trimming up. No not of the Christmas tree. Of Naughty-Cal and more specifically her cockpit.

The cockpit upholstery is starting to show signs of wear in places, perhaps not surprising considering the use it has had, after all Naughty-Cal is coming up for 14 years old next year.

So at the weekend we had a chat with Chris Potts of Marine and Industrial Covers and booked Cal in for a retrim in February, Chris's quieter time of the year. 

We have decided against the traditional white vinyl with blue piping and have opted for something just a little bit more modern, something Chris has yet to do on a Sealine S23 so he is up for the challenge and we are keen to give it a try. I won't let much more out of the bag just yet. You will have to wait and see the finished article in a few months time!

Monday 28 November 2016

Something Fishy

After a quiet day in the marina yesterday we enjoyed a few drinks watching the F1, then with the excitement of the last race over we caught up on a couple of TV shows before listening to some music for an hour or so prior to cooking dinner.

Dinner was a fine selection of seafood that we had bought from Lincoln Markets on Saturday afternoon. It comprised of tuna steak, salmon fillet, crevettes, king scallop and a good helping of kale.

A fine way to end a fine weekend.

Sunday 27 November 2016


After a bright start yesterday quickly turned into a murky and foggy day.

We only had a short run to Lincoln though so not too bad to put us off.

We enjoyed a nice day in Lincoln doing a bit of shopping before having a few beers then heading to the Pyewipe for an evening meal.

We are now back on our home berth having enjoyed a nice breakfast and will shortly be off for a walk around the marina for some inspiration, but more on that in the week.

Saturday 26 November 2016

Lovely Start

It is a lovely frosty start to the weekend. Bright and crisp with barely a breathe of wind.

We had an evening on board Naughty-Cal last night with a few beers, a few friends and finally to finish off some nice food. We had a really nice meal of rainbow trout, wholegrain basmati rice and mixed med style veg.

Friday 25 November 2016

Plan B

With the water levels still high and the flood gates still closed at Torksey Lock we have had to make a Plan B for the weekend.

A real shame as we had been looking forward to heading out onto the Trent and having a meal in The Ferry Boat at Laneham. 

Never mind it will wait for another day. Even if the gates do open today the river levels will still be high and we don't want to have to be wading through flood waters on the banks to get to the pub or more importantly in the dark on the way back from the pub, so the decision has been made, rather sensibly to call off the trip and head into Lincoln for a curry instea

Thursday 24 November 2016

Preliminary Planning

Regular readers of this blog will by know have realised that pretty much every time we make a plan something comes along and spoils it, be it the weather, sea conditions, ill health, something usually gets in the way.

But for certain trips we have to do a certain amount of planning. Next summers trip to Scotland is one such trip. We already know that we are being dropped into the water at Inverness, and after a day sorting the boat out in Inverness Marina we will be heading onto the Caledonian Canal for a week. This part is fairly simple but then we have a further week on the West coast of Scotland to plan out. So we needed to start looking at places we would like to visit.

So far the list is looking a bit like this:

 The Holly Tree at Kentallen.

Glencoe. Probably on the same day as we visit Kentallen as it is only around the corner.

 The Creagan Inn at Creagan.

 Oban to stock up on supplies and have a days shore break.

 Seil. We have visited here by car so really want to head there by boat. We will anchor in the bay and dinghy to the pub though. Don't fancy risking Seil Sound in Naughty-Cal!

And finally Tobermory.

Of course this list is not exhaustive and we will no doubt stop in many other bays and coves on our way between destinations. But it does give a little flavour of the places we hope to see and visit along the way.

This really does promise to be a great trip.

Wednesday 23 November 2016

The Best Laid Plans

We had all intentions of heading out onto the Trent this coming weekend for a quick trip to Laneham on Saturday evening to go for a meal in The Ferry Boat.

But it looks very much like the Trent has other ideas:

Notice Alert

Fossdyke Canal
Starts At: Lock 1, Torksey Lock
Ends At: Lock 1, Torksey Lock

Tuesday 22 November 2016 until further notice

Type: Navigation Closure
Reason: Water resources

Original message:

Due to the flood levels rising and the current high tides, we have had to close Torksey Flood Gates.

Boaters will not be able to get through Torksey Lock until further notice.

You can view this notice and its map online here:

So it looks like we will have to make other plans for the weekend unless the flood waters subside quickly and in time for them to remove the flood gates for the weekend, which seems unlikely given the amount of rain we had on Monday.

Tuesday 22 November 2016

Soggy Sheffield

With the heavy rain we had pretty much all day yesterday Sheffield was subject to yet more flooding last night. The many rivers crossing the city are all either brimming or have already burst their banks.

It made for a pretty long journey home for some after work.

Here are a selection of photos taken from around the city last night and this morning.

Monday 21 November 2016


So we still didn't make it off the ditch this weekend but we did stray a little further from home with the eight mile jaunt to Torksey Lock.

It was a pleasant enough run on Saturday with the sun shining, it was cold out though and the heating was on pretty much all day which made the boat toasty warm but we felt the difference when we got off to walk to the pub.

Sunday wasn't a great day though, bitterly cold and wet. Again the heating was on all day, so we were warm and dry on board as we cruised back to base to spend the afternoon on our home berth watching a couple of films while the rain lashed down outside. We finished off the evening with a home cooked meal of pork fillet, new potatoes in a home made cheese sauce and a selection of stir fried vegetables. A nice way to end a relaxing weekend.

Next weekend promises not to be quite so laid back, but more on that later in the week.

Sunday 20 November 2016

Typically Autumnal

It was a typically autumnal day on the Fossdyke yesterday, bright and clear but chilly. So with the heating on we had a steady run down to Torksey where we had a lovely meal in the White Swan last night.

This morning couldn't be in starker contrast with heavy rain and squally winds.

Saturday 19 November 2016

It Works

Well I would say that the new moisture trap works. It has collected and decent amount of water during the week. Certainly more than we used to get from the older style traps.

Friday 18 November 2016

Chesterfield Canal Trust Need Your Help

Can you help the Chesterfield Canal Trust?

"The Last Cuckoo Project is a community history and archaeological project with a focus on the Chesterfield Canal at Bellhouse Lane, Staveley. The canal basin, now a small, insignificant patch of overgrown wasteland was once a thriving industrial complex with wharves, tramways, gas works and a lost, unique Chesterfield Canal narrowboat (cuckoo).

The map record and tales of a buried cuckoo mark Bellhouse Lane basin as an important and interesting place worthy of archaeological investigation in order to document, record and understand fully the function of this once thriving industrial complex.
Spring 2017 The Canal Trust proposes to undertake a detailed analytical study of the history of the area, with the intention of involving the whole community. Young, old, able bodied, disadvantaged and disability. Collating maps, Chesterfield Canal Company data, historic photographs and collecting and compiling oral histories.

August 2017 (2 weeks) The excavation and recording of the basin area and the locating of the cuckoo would make for an exciting community project. A project that will involve the Chesterfield Canal Trust and will extend invitation to local history groups, schools, scouts, disability groups, canal trust members, waterways organisations and the public in general. Participants would be supervised, educated and trained by a small team of professional archaeologists.

The project would serve a number of project goals:
• To provide an interesting, engaging experience for all members of the local community.
• Provide an educational experience for the community’s young people, by the inclusion of scout groups and school age children.
• Provide training opportunities for all members of the community.
• Provide experience for students of history and archaeology and a very specific opportunity for students of maritime archaeology.
• Provide opportunity for a detailed study of (possibly) the last original Cuckoo, its construction and traces of cargo carried.
• The excavation would be another chapter in the basin’s story and the story of the excavation could be included on future interpretation boards. Publicising the event within local and national media would generate interest and attract new members to the Chesterfield Canal Trust. It would also raise public awareness of the canal and its environs, helping to increase visitor numbers.
• Interesting artefacts would be conserved for display and educational purposes.

Why now? With the trust's rebuilding work at Staveley Town Basin nearing completion and HS2’s pending announcement of its chosen route and intentions not to obstruct the restoration means that the canal trust will have the green light to continue restoration east along the canal. This next phase of restoration will not reinstate the old Bellhouse Lane Basin.

“Marked changes in ground level caused by mining subsidence under the Doe Lea Valley (and recent house building immediately adjacent to the site) preclude effective reuse of the basin site and canal arm as originally configured. The alternative proposed here diverts the canal track slightly north of its original line” Next Navigation West: Restoration of the Chesterfield Canal from Staveley to Killamarsh.
Sadly, the basin will be lost under a car park.

We need £10,000 to fund our project. Our main costs will be:
• The cost of the archaeological lead (a two-week excavation would require approximately 28 days of the archaeologist's time including preparation works, the excavation itself, post-excavation work and report writing).
• Machine digger and driver
• Insurance
• Tools and PPE
• Conservation costs

Please vote for our project and help us secure the funds we need to build an amazing, educational and exciting community event in Staveley!"

You can vote by following this link:


(Text of post and picture taken from Chesterfield Canal Trust Website)

So can you help this worthy project gain the funding they so desperately need. All it will take is a few minutes of your time to cast your votes. 

Thursday 17 November 2016


Every so often a photo pops up that brings back memories of a fantastic day.

This morning one such photo popped up of Naughty-Cal and historic narrowboat Python on the Trent. A happy memory of a great day that seems much longer ago then just one year.

Here it is for you again. Photo taken by Jan Warsop on a lovely November weekend in 2015.

Wednesday 16 November 2016


We inadvertently ended up defrosting the freezer last night, rock and roll I know!

I had taken one of the drawers out for cleaning after having emptied it and discovered just how iced up the freezer had become. So iced up that we struggled to even get the shelf back in again once cleaned, so that was it. Nothing for it but to defrost the whole thing while there is not a lot of food in there. We always run the freezer down towards this time of year so that we can stock it up with fresh produce for the upcoming festive period.

It only took a few hours to defrost in the end, but it is a messy job with water and ice everywhere. With the ice all gone it was time to clean the other three drawers and the freezer body and sift through the remaining contents, now sat in a cool box keeping chilled to decide what was worthy of keeping. In the end most of it was kept as there was very little in there to start with.

So we now have a very clean and quite empty freezer waiting for the Christmas produce to arrive.

Tuesday 15 November 2016

Penned In

As the days are getting ever shorter and the nights ever longer we are finding that our cruising on Naughty-Cal is coming to a bit of a close for the winter. At the weekend we only made it as far as Lincoln and we stayed on our home berth on Friday evening, unheard of during the summer months.

In a way it is nice to not be rushing around and charging around the waterways, but in another way I am already missing the variety that this brought with it. As much as we like the Fossdyke it is now becoming a bit boring. We really must head out a little further this coming weekend just to save my sanity. Anywhere will do. Even just to drop down onto the Witham for the evening. 

Monday 14 November 2016

Drying Out

Naughty-Cal has never been a damp boat, i fact quite the opposite she is quite a dry boat. Even in the depths of winter the cabin stays and feels nice and dry.

Even so we decided that it was probably time to add a little extra help to keep the moisture at bay so have added a moisture trap to the cabin. Every little helps I suppose.

We have opted for the Unibond Aero 360 as it is a modern design but also the manufacturers claim it is 40% more efficient at trapping water then the older design crystals and traps. It is also spill proof which is an added bonus on a boat.

We bought the device on Saturday afternoon when we arrived in Lincoln but didn't set it up until yesterday morning. In less then 24 hours it has already collected more moisture then I anticipated it would, which can of course only be a good thing. I will be interested to see just how much it collects during the week whilst we are at home. 

Sunday 13 November 2016

Glory Glory

After much deliberation we finally decided to have a night out in Lincoln yesterday.

We had several drinks in The Rogue Saint before heading for a chicken wrap and then back to the boat for a few more drinks and to listen to some music.

We moored through the Glory Hole this week as it is a quieter spot by night then the moorings outside the university.

Saturday 12 November 2016

An Evening in Harbour

We had an evening in the marina last night.  As a few other friends were planning an evening in Harbour Lights we decided we would join them.

We all picked a different selection of main courses and they were to be honest a bit hit and miss.  My fish and chips were lovely, Liam said his rib eye was OK but nothing special.  The rest of the table also had mixed reviews with the bangers and mash being excellent but the belly pork a bit of a let down.

Regardless of the success of the food we still had a great night .

Now with the rain pouring down outside it will be a lazy day today.

Friday 11 November 2016

Fancy A Tipple?

For many years now, far more then  I care to look back on, my tipple of choice has been lager. Yes I am a lager lout. However in recent weeks I have made a change to Jack Daniels and diet coke. No idea why but I quite like it and it is making a refreshing change.

And as an added bonus Jack Daniels was on offer in the supermarket this morning. Cheers!

Thursday 10 November 2016

What To Do

What to do on what is forecast to be a cold and wet Saturday in Lincolnshire?

Hope and pray the forecast is wrong, or just get on with it and accept that we will be getting wet?

I suspect we will end up opting for the latter option. It's only a bit of rain after all. We won't melt if we get wet. 

On the plus side it is forecast to be a little bit milder then it has been in recent days. Almost double figure temperatures again for the weekend. It will feel positively balmy after a few days of temperatures struggling a couple of degrees above freezing here in Sheffield!

Wednesday 9 November 2016

A Little Lost

Yesterday the River Canal Rescue team helped the owners of a narrowboat who had gotten a little lost on the River Trent. They had missed the signs and entrance to Meadow Lane Lock onto the Nottingham Canal, navigated under the bridge over the Trent missing the limit of navigation sign and headed some four miles up the non navigable Trent making it almost to the bottom of the weir at Beeston!

More details on the RCR Facebook page here:

And for those who don't use Facebook a couple of pictures taken from the page of the rescue below:

Luckily no damage was done and the crew and boat were soon back on their way after being rescued along the right course. 

Tuesday 8 November 2016

Just in Time

We certainly chose the right weekend to install the tube heaters on Naughty-Cal for the winter months. Spending a couple of minutes on Sunday afternoon putting the heaters in the engine bay and in the shower room was certainly a very good idea, as we have just beaten the first harsh frosts of the winter and the sustained first cold spell of more then a few hours.

Tonight they have forecast the first real snow of the winter for both Sheffield and Lincoln, so we will be keeping a close eye on the weather in both cities. Thankfully it only looks set to be a brief spell mind, just enough to cause chaos on the roads of Sheffield tomorrow morning before melting again in time for the weekend.

Monday 7 November 2016

A Woolly Jumper Weekend

It has certainly been a woolly jumper weekend. Very bracing at times and bitterly cold even by day. On saturday we were battered by the northerly wind and then yesterday just never got vaguely warm.

Despite the weather we had a great weekend. Saturday was a lazy start with eggs benedict for breakfast, before heading across to the fuel berth to fill the diesel tank. 158 litres later and a gas bottle exchange for good measure and we were ready to head down river to Saxilby. No great journey at only 4 miles from our home berth but a good destination for our bonfire evening.

Sunday was another lazy day. Neither of us could be bothered to get up with the rain beating on the canopies, so we rolled over and had another hour in bed. Eventually getting up at about 10am, late for us, we enjoyed a breakfast of duck egg and soldiers before scurrying back to the marina to get tucked up with a couple of beers watching Stephen King's IT, before heading across to Harbour Lights for sunday dinner, which was delicious. We will certainly be going back again for food.

Sunday 6 November 2016


We had a little outing to Saxilby last night where we had a small bonfire and enjoyed a group effort meal of jacket potatoes, chicken curry, chilli, rice and hot dogs followed by some cake.

Saturday 5 November 2016


We had a quiet Friday night in the marina last night.  We watched the fireworks from the David Lloyd's display from the back of the boat before heading across to Harbour Lights for a few drinks.

Today we need to go and get some diesel before heading out onto the river for the weekend.

Friday 4 November 2016

Weather Watching

During the winter months we install tube heaters in the engine bay of Naughty-Cal to keep the frost at bay and protect the vulnerable raw water cooling elements of the engines coiling system. The closed circuit is obviously protected by anti freeze but the raw, or river water, coolers are unprotected.

But how do we know that they are working? Well ordinarily without lifting the engine hatch you wouldn't know. So to prevent having to do this a couple of times a weekend, years ago we bought a weather station with a remote sensor which we fitted in the engine bay. This recorded the temperature and humidity in the engine bay and also in the cabin where the main unit lives. 

Our current weather station is some 6 years old now and was occasionally losing signal from the remote sensor so we have decided that it is about time we buy another one. So yesterday I ordered a new one from Ebay for the princely sum of £16. It won't be delivered until the middle of next week but we plan to put the engine bay heater in place this weekend anyway as the evenings have started to get a bit on the chilly side.

Thursday 3 November 2016

Egging them On

For many years one of our favourite moorings has been the pontoon on the Witham at Fiskerton Fen, and whenever we visit we always make a point of walking to Ferry Hill Farm adjacent the nature reserve to buy some of their very tasty free range duck and chicken eggs.

The farm was taken over about 18 months ago but the new owners still carry on the egg and preserve business as well as the small camp site adjacent the farm.

While out and about on a little drive on Sunday afternoon we decided to call in an buy some more eggs and bumped into the new owners who told us all about their new plan. One of the barns is currently being fitted out as a micro brewery. They already brew on a small scale but their ale was proving so popular that they have decided to upsize. They are, or were, just a couple of weeks away from the kit being fully installed and functional. 

So watch this space for more updates.

Wednesday 2 November 2016

A Belated Shower

We decided yesterday that it was definitely about time that we got the Sierra out of the garage again and gave her a well earned scrub down and rinse off.

She had rather rudely been stuffed into the garage on the day we got back from Cornwall and has been sulking in there, covered in sand and salt ever since, nearly a month ago!

So we fired her up and on the way to work gave her a good thorough jet wash and soak to wash away the dirt and grime, making sure that the underneath was also pressure washed to wash away any sand or salt clinging to the floor pans. 

It will probably be a quiet time for the Sierra now, she will only come out in nice weather. It was a bit cold for bringing her out today, I had to scrape ice from the windscreen of the Nissan!

Tuesday 1 November 2016

Lincoln by Day

There is usually something interesting to look at in Lincoln at the weekend and this weekend it was a selection of vehicles from the Lincoln Transport Museum that were taking pride of place in the city centre.