Sunday, September 15, 2019

Sunshine, Solar and Dust! but all is not lost

We woke up this morning and it was just a picture when we looked out of the window..
 We thought we would stay put and just enjoy the weather and also Del had loads of cleaning and painting he wanted to do, and lets be honest with this view why would you want to move..
Al had a bit more washing to catch up on from our Southwold trip and also wanted to make some bread.
We had a Cactus in the salon which Al has had from a child and it wasn't happy on Derwent6 after we had moved it about.. We though we had lost it, but while we were in Lincoln with Ann and Tony Winter, green fingers Tony took a cutting and managed to save our family friend.. The plant is now back on board and looking great, thanks Tony!!

The sun is a little lower in the sky now and Del wanted to see if by tilting the solar panels for the first time, what difference it would make..
We were getting 300 watts with them flat so they were put onto tilt.
We were then pulling over 630 watts which was giving us 16 amps of charge into the batteries..
Even using these appliances we were back to 100% by 1.00pm.

Del polished the side and also polished under the solar panels as they were up. He then did some painting of the side rails and stern deck, but it turned out to be a bad move.. Just when it was all finish the farmer in the field next to us decided he would churn up the field for his next crops..
Dust covered Derwent6 and also the painting.. Shit happens!
Still, Tooty was loving it as the mice were scampering out of the field into his lap..

Friday, September 13, 2019

Divided we Part

We were up early again and after John and Louise had walked the dogs, and we had all had breakfast, we said our goodbyes and set off for the locks.. We so enjoyed spending some time with them and had such a laugh.. Looking forward to seeing them again hopefully later in the year.. They turned left and we carried on to find that a hire boat had filled the lock and then waited for us to join them..

They had five crew and we were making good progress going down the flight of seven locks..
We did get held up for a bit as a tree was down by the railway bridge.
Del got on the bow of Derwent6 and trimmed a few branches, just enough for us to get through, then Al made a quick phone call to CaRT to tell them the situation.. The next three locks were easy.
The hire boat was stopping at the bottom so they let us go on our way..
and we were being watched!
We headed towards Weedon and then to Weedon Wharf

After a couple of washing loads and with the smell of the slow cooker wafting out of the engine room we pulled over onto another of our creature of habit moorings..
We now have to decide whether we stay here for the weekend or not.. What do you think Tooty is thinking on the stern deck? 

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Day of Surprises!

We arranged to leave in the morning with John and Louise on n.b. Ploddin' Along at 9.00am. The weather wasn't brill but we took a chance and went for it..
Again it was busy with boats as we made our way into Braunston.
  We needed to get rid of our rubbish from our BBQ and while we were there we topped up with water..
As we were filling we got a nice surprise as Adam off n.b. Briar Rose turned up to meet us all. He was moored just up from us and was also getting rid of his rubbish..
We had a good catch up and then set off towards the locks..

We had timed things just right as we both were at the front of the queue and almost went straight in..
It made things so much quicker as we all knew what we were doing. Our plan was to stop at the top of the locks and go through the tunnel in the morning, but after a chat with John we decided that a good pub tea was in order for the girls has they had worked so hard.. It was now lunchtime as we approached the tunnel and we only met one boat in there..
As we came out the sun came out and we had a tip off from Adam that the moorings at Norton Junction had been extended. We both managed to get on a nice sunny spot here just before the wind got up..
We both decided that we would go down the pub at 7.00pm but first would meet on John and Louise's boat for a couple of warm up drinks..

We then walked down to the New Inn pub and had a lovely dinner, we all really enjoyed it, the only thing was the dogs couldn't come with us, because they now don't allow dogs in the pub..
We didn't have too late a night and walked back just as it got dark to our moorings and arranged to met again at 9.00am to say our goodbyes..

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Plodding to Onley

We had a lazy start and Del even did some brasses before we left for Hillmorton locks. It was very busy here as only one of the two paired locks were open in the flight of three locks.
Again the top pound was very low and even though there was a volunteer locky on it wasn't getting controlled there.
At the top you could see the landscape changing as the new Houlton village was taking shape.
The weather was looking a bit angry so it was fingers crossed as we pushed on.. Just round the corner on the road bridge we met Jo and Keith on n.b. Hadar on their way to another boating festival .. It was nice to see them looking so well.

We do like this section as anyone reading this blog will know, but that sky was a worry.
 Even these fella's were taking cover.
We arrived at Onley, another of our favourite moorings, and for the last couple of mile was following another boater and she was having trouble getting her prop to work..
We both moored up and Tooty the cat was off in a flash, telling us the weather was getting better.

Del then walked back to see if he could help the woman.. He was soon down in the engine and looking at the gearbox which was flooded in water and it had weakened the oil.. You could get the filler cap off but the drain plug was seized on. Del added a little oil to the weakened oil just to get her to a marina so they could change the oil for her.. It worked..
Meanwhile friends John and Louise on n.b Ploddin' Along turned up and before long the drinks were flowing..
They have a new puppy Lola, a friend for Jasper their other lovely dog..
They got out their new BBQ and it was pretty amazing.
It had special coals, but only took a small amount and was ready to cook on in about four minutes..
Might have to purchase one of these for next year.. As you can imagine we sat outside into the night, drinking and chatting, as it still felt quite warm..
 It was a memorable night and we plan to move off with them tomorrow..

Catch up at Clifton

So here we are again at Clifton, you all know how much we like this spot.. This is where they have got to on the new road nearby.
The road signs are up and the tarmac is down, paths are made and they are building a wall to block out the noise..
The bridge is near completion and it won't be long before its open to traffic

 Its such a shame this lovely area has been taken for more housing and infrastructure, but times change and you have to move on..
When we were in the marina we didn't have to go on shoreline and because of solar our batteries were kept at 100% even though we didn't turn everything off (i.e. fridge, and internet) the only thing we did turn off was the water pump in case of a burst pipe, and of course the gas.
While we were here for three days, we did three loads of washing, vacuuming, hot water, and had the telly on for sport most of the day and it took out 20% each day from the batteries. This was because solar wasn't very good over those days. We have learnt that if we run the engine for an hour it gives us 10%. So while we were here we just run the engine for an hour and treated Derwent6 like you would in a house.. We can't stress enough that so far these batteries have been amazing!   We are moving on tomorrow, so we should get them close to 100% and get another three days of free power!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Back on the Cut heading South

We got up early and picked up Tooty at 9.00am.We then got some oil and paint we wanted before taking the car back to the hire company. We got a lift back to the marina at midday and paid our bill before saying our goodbyes and getting ready to set off.
It always feels so good to be cruising again. You just feel so free of everything going on around you..
We had to make a decision as to whether we go North or South, and South won as we felt we could do the North, bit a bit, later in the year..
We still found it busy, but it was a lot better than before we went away.
 We soon got to Newbold tunnel and soon got to the Aquaducts at Rugby.
Brownsover wasn't that busy.
But as we got to Clifton Cruisers it got manic..
It was lovely just pottering along and letting the world get on with it..

We moored up on one of our favourite places and Tooty was off in a flash.
 Our first port of call was to get a load of washing done as we never used shoreline when we were in the marina.. Al did a couple of washes just on solar power alone. Again it had felt a long day and to sleep in the countryside sounded bliss.. Del watched the football and we caught up on some telly before going to bed...