Saturday 30 September 2017


Naughty-Cal is back in the water looking very smart with her new white rubbing strip.

Now we just need to get the first bump out of the way so we can stop worrying about scuffing it!

Friday 29 September 2017

In or Out?

Will we be in or out of the water? That is the burning question for this weekend.

We know that works were well underway on the boat at the middle of the week but don't know if they have or will be finished in time for her to be launched and taken back around to our mooring this afternoon.

I suppose only time will tell.

We have a couple of plans prepared to cover every eventuality. We have jobs we can finish if the boat is ashore and plans afoot for a weekend afloat if she is in the water. Either way we will still be having a very boaty weekend.

Thursday 28 September 2017

Not Very Helpful

It was a wet horrible evening in Sheffield last night and that coupled with the fact that our fridge freezer has started playing up meant that it was time to start eating up the contents of the freezer. So I rustled up a very filling fish pie with some cod, smoked haddock, salmon and king prawns along with some peas and sweetcorn in a lighter mature cheddar sauce and topped off with a parsnip and sweet potato mash. Served with some carrots and kale it was a perfect dish for a damp autumn evening. Very filling.

This evening it will be yet more delving into the freezer to use up what little is left in there before the freezer decides to give up the ghost completely. 

Why do kitchen appliances always choose the worst possible moments to start playing up or break?

Wednesday 27 September 2017

Drawing In

The nights are certainly drawing in now and they are certainly becoming much longer. It was dark by the time we got home last night and it was dark when we got up this morning.

The collection of murky and cloudy days we have had have not helped matters either, some days it has barely felt as if there has been any light at all.

Time then for the wardrobe to change over to the winter clothing and for some wholesome hearty winter grub in the evenings both on the boat and at home. We have already resorted to having the heating on at home, it is still a bit warm on the boat to be having the heating on full time, but it has been on for the odd hour here and there just to take the chill off. 

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Very Strange

It feels very strange not being able to make any plans for this weekend, by this stage in the week we would normally be concocting a sketchy plan. However this weekend we don't actually know if we will be afloat or ashore.

Very strange.

If we are in the water we will be going out and about somewhere, but where?

If we are still ashore then we have to decide what other little jobs we are going to start and hopefully finish off. So we really need to make two plans for this weekend. Or even three, we must not forget that we still have the dinghy to use if all else fails and the weather is kind we can head off into town on ASBO.

Monday 25 September 2017


After a flurry of activity on Saturday Cal is ready to go back in the water, on our part anyway. The yard still have a couple of jobs to finish off but all being well she should be back in the water by next weekend.

If not we have a few other jobs we could be tinkering around with next weekend but we fully expect that she will be back in the water looking fresh after what has to be the quickest spruce up we have ever carried out on her.

Hopefully the new drive rams will have sorted the droopy leg syndrome, but we won't know for sure until she is back in the water, which is always a bit of a worry.

With the work finished we can now look forward to the winter cruising season. We have missed out on the last few with having the boat out over the winter so this year we plan to make full use of the time afloat.

Sunday 24 September 2017

Dinghy Day

We were going to head home today but with the weather so nice we have decided to have a day out in the dinghy instead.

Saturday 23 September 2017

Shine Bright

It has only taken us a few hours to rattle off the jobs we had to do on the boat today.  Cal is now looking ready to go again although looks a little naked without her bump strip at the moment.

Friday 22 September 2017

Not to be Out Done

Not to be out done by the boat the trusty Datsun decided it wanted some work yesterday when the brakes decided to fail. And by fail I mean literally no brakes left. Not the most ideal by any means.

With Liam in bed ill I had little choice but to send it to a friends garage for him to have a look, diagnose the problem and fix it, hopefully within the day so that I could get home without the need to resort to public transport.

Thankfully the car was finished by 6pm, no thanks to him being sent the wrong parts a couple of times and I was home for 6.30pm just in time for a lovely lasagne that Liam had rustled up.

Now hopefully the car feels a little loved and we can get on with getting the boat finished and ready to relaunch by the end of the weekend. 

Thursday 21 September 2017

Pump It Up

Another of the little jobs to add to the list of stuff to do at the weekend is replacing the faulty shower sump pump. We have had no end of trouble with these over the none years we have owned Naughty-Cal. This will be the third pump in that time.

We had though that the newer design with the float switch built into the pump might prove to be more reliable but we were wrong. The last one has made it to the grand old age of two. 

Fortunately this time we only need to replace the pump and not the whole sump box assembly so it will be a relatively simple task. It will be nice to shower on the boat again. It has been playing up since mid way through our trip to Scotland so we have been making use of shore side facilities instead, which are not always found in the cleanest of condition, it does have to be said. At least with a shower on Cal we know who was in there last!

On the subject of pumps we do also have a new float switch to fit to the main bilge pump in the engine bay. This met with a sticky end when something was dropped into the engine bay a few months back so it is certainly high time that this was fixed as well.

Considering we didn't think we had much to do this weekend the list does seem to be growing.

Wednesday 20 September 2017

An Early Start

It was an early start this morning as we left Naughty-Cal high and dry on the hardstanding at Burton Waters. Not only was she ashore in double quick time but work had already started on the replacement of the rubber bump strip, the yard lads must be working in double quick time. 

Last night Liam drained the leg oil. As expected it was contaminated with water due to the damage oil seals but not as badly as it has been in previous years. Of course it would only have gotten worse if we had left it longer to replace.

So this morning we set off for work early. Liam taking with him a bucket full of oily parts that need fettling for the drive and the props which need a few minor repairs after a meeting with the slipway at Oban!

By the end of Saturday we should have the drive rebuilt, the rams refitted and new hydraulic fluid in the system, the props back on and a few other odd little bits and bobs of jobs completed. A super quick turn around this year. 

Tuesday 19 September 2017


Naughty-Cal is now safely chocked ashore for a couple of weeks. So tonight we will head across to the marina and start a few jobs on the stern drive. The most important job is draining the drive oil and bringing the bottom end home to fit some new oil seals. These were damaged on the first day of the fishing season this year by a careless fisherman on the Trent!

As we potentially only have the one weekend to work on the boat, Cal won;t be getting her usual full fettle this year, more of a quick service then anything else. But we can do a lot of the jobs we have planned for this winter whilst the boat is in the water, which is a good job really as we don't want to be taking her out again if we can help it.

Monday 18 September 2017


Yesterday proved to be a very changeable day, one minute the sun was shining and it was too hot under the canvas, the next it was raining heavily and it was chilly so we would put on the heating only to be turning it off half an hour later when the sun came out again.

With this in mind we decided to head back to the marina during one of the sunny spells, but not before we had been for a circuit walk of Lincoln just to stretch the legs and to walk off the eggs benedict we had for breakfast. Fortunately the weather stayed dry for this little wander and was still sunny and warm when we arrived back at the boat. So we rolled up some canvas to let some air through the boat and pootled back to the marina.

No sooner had we got the ropes on with the engine still running the heavens opened, so we hurriedly got the covers back down and the orange mooring rope plugged back in before settling down to watch the last of the F1 with the brisket bubbling away in the slow cooker with some Adnams Ghost Ship, onions and mushrooms and the thunder rumbling away over head.

We foolishly decided against leaving the heating on the timer, deciding it would be warm enough when we got up this morning to head to work. How wrong were we? It was a decidedly chilly ten degrees in the cabin this morning at 5.45am!

Sunday 17 September 2017

No Gincidents

The gin tasting was a very civilised affair. I did manage to find a couple that I really enjoyed.  My favourite being a ginger gin from Spain.

After the gin festival we had a few beers in town followed by a curry before retiring back to the boat to listen to some music with a few beers and the heating on.

A very nice way to round off a very nice day.

Saturday 16 September 2017

A Hearty Start

A hearty breakfast to start the weekend with turkey sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes, scrambled eggs and hash browns. We have a busy day today so a nice breakfast should see us through.

We will shortly be heading to Lincoln to the gin festival.

Friday 15 September 2017

Staying In

We are planning another lazy night in tonight. We have a busy day planned for tomorrow so time to just chill out and unwind this evening with a few beers and a nice meal later of loch trout and stir fried vegetables. With a distinct chill in the air this morning I also get the feeling that it might be time to get the heating put on the timer as well. I don't like being cold!

Tomorrow we have a gin tasting event to attend at the Lincoln Gin Festival in the Drill Hall. Now gin isn't my favourite tipple I will admit but Liam loves it and I am determined to find one that I like. So an event with over 50 gins to sample should make the perfect chance to find that special one for me. 

Thursday 14 September 2017

A Late Night

We had a late night last night as we had to go and collect a purchase we had made on Ebay earlier in the week. I'm not sure when they said local collection they assumed we would travel from Sheffield to Kettering one evening during the week, a journey that should take a couple of hours each way but in the end took us nearer to three on the way back due to roadworks on the M1.

So tonight Liam has the job of wiring this little lot together and dismantling the existing set up. I suspect much swearing coming from the living room this evening!

Wednesday 13 September 2017

Sealed with a Kiss

The last of the parts arrived for Naughty-Cal's mid season spruce up yesterday. The stern drive shaft oil seals arrived just a day after ordering so we were well pleased with the service we have received from Key Part as usual. A very pleasant company to deal with.

So this time next week Cal will be chocked ashore and we will be heading down one evening in the week to remove the props and drain the leg oil before removing the bottom end for Liam to take to work and refit the new seals.

By doing it this way and having one evening working on the boat it means that we can have everything built back up over the weekend so that we won't be holding up the relaunch should they finish early the following week.

Tuesday 12 September 2017

Picture Perfect

Today I have a selection of pictures for you taken on our walk in and around Lincoln on Sunday morning.

Monday 11 September 2017

A Short Walk?

We were expecting to have a quiet day yesterday after a lazy breakfast and few cups of coffee in The Square Sail, we set out on what was going to be a short walk up Steep Hill and around the top end of Lincoln. Well a little over two hours later we eventually made it back to Naughty-Cal. We had walked a bit further then expected, a good 7.5 miles in fact as we walk at a very brisk pace.

A little weary we untied and set off back for our home berth. We knew that the wind was due to pick up later in the afternoon and it is no fun being blown around when trying to moor up a light boat so we made a break for it while the wind was not too bad.

Settled onto our mooring I fired up the slow cooker and set the steak and ale casserole off cooking, filling the boat with a lovely smell all afternoon and into the early evening. With the boat being blown around, the rain pattering on the canopies and the heating ticking away we settled in with a few beers and a few tunes until the casserole and dumplings were ready to eat.

Sunday 10 September 2017

A Little Soggy

It was a little bit soggy yesterday in Lincoln but we didn't let that put us off as we dodged the showers between pubs and the curry house.

Today we will spend a few hours in town before heading back to the marina to watch the end if the Scampton air show.

Saturday 9 September 2017

Here For The Weekend

We have Naughty-Cal installed in her usual spot in Lincoln . So now we can have a day of chilling out and relaxing in the many pubs and bars.

Next choice is where to have lunch.

Friday 8 September 2017

A Spare Weekend

In the run up to our busy period we have rather unusually this weekend got a spare weekend with nothing planned and nothing to do. So we fully plan to make the most of the time relaxing and chilling out aboard.

Tonight we are having a night in with a few beers, a film and later on a nice home cooked turkey madras which I rustled up in the week so just needs warming through and serving with some wholegrain basmati rice and a vegetable bahji.

As the weather looks set to be quite hit and miss with sunshine and heavy showers in the forecast we are not heading far tomorrow and will just head into Lincoln and have a mooch around, have a few drinks on board, have a few drinks in town and at some point decide on what we want to eat. We still don't know if we will eat on board or eat out tomorrow. We will see where our fancy takes us.

And as Sunday looks set to be another day of sunshine and showers we will have a steady morning in town before heading back to the marina and our berth. We have got all of the ingredients together to make a slow cooked steak and ale casserole with dumplings for Sunday evening which seemed quite apt with the downturn in the weather and the drawing in of the evenings. And with the forecast temperatures for the weekend we may even be turning the heating on properly for the first time this autumn.

Thursday 7 September 2017

Spring Into Action

We are now deciding which jobs we are going to do whilst Naughty-Cal is out of the water in a couple of weeks. We will only have time to do a few bits and bobs as all being well she will only be out of the water for a couple of weeks and just one weekend.

The obvious jobs to do are on the sterndrive. We already know that the oil seals have been damaged due to fishing line, this happened on the first day of the fishing season on the Trent, so a seal change and oil change are in order. We also know that we have a leaky drive ram and this is causing the leg to droop at slow speeds which isn't ideal. So we have ordered a pair of new ram inserts and seals. Our current shafts are a bit worn and we believe this is why the seals are becoming prone to failing. Hopefully the new inserts should solve this problem and we won't have to touch them again for a while.

If the weather is fair we may as well give the hull another coat or two of wax to keep it shiny next year. We hopefully won't be coming out of the water again until we are pulled out onto the trailer next summer for our trip to the Thames, so we need to keep her looking good for that trip.

Wednesday 6 September 2017

Busy Times Ahead

We have a run of busy weeks ahead with Naughty-Cal what with one thing and another planned for the up coming weekends and an unplanned short period ashore for some minor repairs to some damage we picked up while we were away on holiday in Scotland.

Whilst unplanned, the period ashore will give us the chance to service the drive again and do a few other odd jobs which will then save us having to pull the boat out of the water again over the winter months. So we can have our first winter in a while afloat on our berth. We have not done any winter cruising in a fair few years now so we are both looking forward to the chance to cruise at this time of year again.

And then with the boat back in the water, hopefully by the end of the month, we can then look forward to our weeks holiday on the Norfolk Broads on hire boat Viscount next month. Busy times ahead this month but it will save us much time over the winter months so will be well worth the extra effort now.

Tuesday 5 September 2017

With Friends Old and New

Isn't the boating community a funny old thing?

You meet people time and again who become firm friends, you might not see them for months or even years on end but when you do meet up again it is as though you have never been apart.

Then you have the friends who you see on a more regular basis. In our case the same people who we see most weekends. 

And then there are the new friends who you make. A chance encounter, a lock shared, waiting for the tide together or just being in the same village at the same time. You might never see them again, but at the same time they may also become one of your long term friends or a friend you see on a regular basis.

We may be relative new comers to the boating community at only nine years in. But we have already made very many friends and hope to make very many more as we continue on our travels.

Monday 4 September 2017

Drawing In

There was a certain more autumnal feel to the weather this weekend. Whilst it was pleasantly warm during the day the temperature quickly fell away during the evening and the light faded much more quickly. 

It is the start of the autumn boating season. A time we both love on the water as the summer boaters start to lock up for the winter and the waterways become just that bit quieter.

The slow cooker was brought back into use yesterday which filled the boat with the smell of a lovely pork loin joint cooking away with some home grown new potatoes throughout the day. As the night closed in and the rain pattered on the canopies we enjoyed our first slow cooked meal onboard of this autumn and looked forward to the weeks ahead.

Sunday 3 September 2017

Funds Raised

It was a brilliant night in the White Swan at the annual charity event. The final figures are not yet in but I'm sure a decent amount was raised.

Well done to the team.

Saturday 2 September 2017

Brightening Up

After a misty and murky start it has brightened up no end in Lincoln. It promises to be a warm and sunny day.

We have done a few bits of shopping, had breakfast, been for our hair doing and had a brisk walk up Steep Hill and back to walk off a few calories.

Soon we will set off for Torksey and the fund raising event at The White Swan.

Friday 1 September 2017

Back to Torksey

This weekend we are heading back to Torksey for the annual fund raising event at The White Swan. The regular readers amongst you may well remember that the last time we went I ended up getting roped into taking part in the fire walking!! There will be none of that this year.

But before we head to Torksey we are tonight heading into Lincoln for a few quiet drinks and a bite to eat. I am booked in for my hair cutting in town tomorrow morning at 9am so it makes sense for us to stay the evening down there and grab a bite to eat in the morning before heading back the other way down the full length of the Fossdyke to tomorrow evenings destination. 

It should make for a nice easy weekend with no rushing around. We have plenty of time to enjoy Lincoln and also plenty of time to spend in Torksey.