Monday, July 21, 2014

Top (up) weekend

On Saturday we had another one of those hot nights, portholes open, sheets off trying to get some air.. but we did manage to get a few hours.. We thought we would do some cleaning jobs and Al wanted to go shopping for some bits in Windsor.. We then waited... We were waiting for a long time friend Paul and Sam to arrive on the train and they turned up at 4.00pm. It was so great to see them both..
They turned up with a couple of bottles of wine so you could see how the rest of the weekend was going to go... The sun had come out and we sat in the park and cratch chatting away and trying to catch up for lost time, with the wine of course..
As it was Saturday we booked a table for later on in the evening and walked into town to Carluccio's. We were still chit chatting all night long finding out about their travels and ours..  Paul and Sam very kindly paid for the meal which should have been our treat, so a very big thank you guys
So more wine and beers later, we walked to All Bar One where we finished off the evening with some G & T's, and when we were thrown out of there we walked back to Derwent6.. We still had another drink before we crashed into bed at 3.00am, yes sorry guys we were a bit loud but we were enjoying ourselves..
Sunday morning as you would guess, we got up late and Al was the one who was suffering the most. We surfaced around 9.00am and the kettle was on.. We had some tea and looked at the weather as it was a bit overcast.
Al somehow made the bacon butties, but couldn't manage to eat one. So what shall we do.. As it got a bit late we decided to take them on a trip to Bray and back and as we set off the sun came out... Paul and Sam were soon into helping out through the locks and it was warming up as we travelled.
We got to Bray and they were fascinated by the houses we were passing..
It soon turned to lunchtime and we pulled into our mooring at Bray.. We got out the chairs and Al (who had sobered up a bit) got lunch ready on the cratch table..
We turned the music up and the sun turned it's rays up and the drinks soon flowed again, hair of the dog!!!! we set off at five and this time Paul and Sam were taking us back..
It was nice for Del and Al to be sitting out on the bow listening to the trickle of water with a beer, it felt like we had the river to ourselves again..
We pulled into Windsor again and we managed to get a nice mooring on the backwaters.. We had some nibbles and we walked to the station at 7 30pm.. We checked the times of the trains and just had time to pop into the pub and have the 'one before they go' drink..  They ended up rushing to get the train as we all didn't want to split.. 
We walked back along the waterfront and picked up some chips and watched the sunset across the river.. then chilled in the warm evening back on Derwent6. Thanks again you happy pair.. It was just a great weekend and we had so much fun. We will be doing that again later in the year...

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Good timing to Windsor

We were up early this morning and wanted to try to get to Windsor while boats were on the move.. We set off and had to manually do Bray Lock which seemed to be no problem..
It had rained heavily overnight and we had some massive thunderstorm but the flow on the Thames appeared to be alright.
We carried on past Monkey Island and then on to Boveney Lock, just as the lock keeper had turned up, Del managed to wipe down Derwent6 on the way to get the dust off..
We went down this quickly and then turned as we came out for water.. This is a tricky water point for narrowboats as it has a very high wall which the gunwale goes under so you have to make a very steady approach.
We filled with water and reversed and turned back into the flow which had now seemed to have picked up a tad.. We took it easy round the tricky bends at the race course and soon got to Windsor.. We were surprised at how empty the moorings were on the Thames but we couldn't get into the back waters so perhaps they were trying to tell us something..  We moored up and by this time the sunshine was out in full glory again..
We had brunch out in the cratch and were soon joined by loads of boats, it just suddenly got busy. Del went out on his bike for a couple of hours while Al sunbathed/tried to keep cool on Derwent6... Two of the boats which moored with us was nb Autumn Myst and nb Autumn Years, and Bob and June kindly offered us tea and biscuits with them both in the sunshine. It was so hot and humid, you just didn't feel like doing anything. We got the chairs out and sat watching the world go by till we had some dinner, salad was all we felt like.. As the evening drew in it just got more humid but it was nice with our candles going and incense, just drinking wine.. It started to rain at 10.00pm so we took a shower and fell on top of the bed hoping to get some sleep........

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Twelve Hour Cruse

We had to go this morning, we had itchy feet again and we only had a couple of days on our pumpout, so we set off at 8.30am.. WooHoo it felt nice to be travelling down stream for the first time this year with Derwent6 at idling speeds.
We got to Caversham Lock just before it opened, good timing and then pulled into Better Boating Marina for Diesel just before it opened. We filled with diesel here even though it was 99p a litre but we did manage to get self declaration with them.. We also had a pumpout while we were there in case the stations were busy on the Thames..  Next stop......Food!.
We cruised down to the Tesco moorings and couldn't believe how empty it was..
Al popped in to mainly top up the drinks.. Can you also believe this weather Phew! we love it... The cupboards were also filled with BBQ and salad stuff..
So heavier at the stern and in the middle we needed weight on the bow, so we pushed off to Sonning and then passed another favourite mooring of ours..
We stopped again at Shiplake and filled with water and then got in the queue for the lock..
We then got to Henley and we just missed the Swan Upping as they were at lunch there, but we saw the boats and them giving a display to the kids..
We couldn't stop at this point it was so busy with people and boats because of it.. They even had an American film crew following them with drone camera's..
We got to the next lock at Hambleden where we were told one of the drone camera's went into the water and the locky had to fish it out.....never a dull moment, and as the gates opened two swans came in with their signets.
We flowed on down to Marlow in the hope we would get a mooring.. No Chance! the Swan Upping hadn't done us any favours, so we then thought Bourne End and no chance there either in fact they were three abreast..
So we moved onto Cookham and that was busy so that made our mind up to take a chance and head for another favourite mooring of ours at Bray..
Time was getting on at Cookham and we just missed the lock keeper so the lock was on Self Service at 7.00pm.
We had it to ourselves so it was a nice steady drop and we carried on to Maidenhead..  It was lovely cruising this section as it was so warm and the water was like glass with all the wildlife out and about.. At Maidenhead Lock a boat had just gone through and it was so slow filling but we got through in the end and it was 8.00pm. We passed all the millionaire houses and turned the corner.. Blimey our mooring was still empty... we swung Derwent6 round and moored up..
It was 8.30pm... Twelve hours cruising and what a lovely day cruising we had.. We then chilled out in the cratch with a glass of wine for the sunset.. We feel soooo lucky!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A lazy Left Overs Day

Well the plan was to move this morning but we were just still so knackered so it was one of those blow out days.. We sat out in the cratch in the sunshine and had breakfast and soon saw that Doug and James on n.b Chance had surfaced too.. We were soon also offered another coffee as their kettle was on, and James and Doug styley the chocolate biscuits came out with it..

We ended up chatting again and having a laugh till midday, they had also planned to move today.. we ended up having to pull the pins for them so they could get on their way..  Thanks again for some great entertainment and great company over the last 24 hours..
 After we had some lunch (which was the left overs from the BBQ last night) Del went out on his bike to work it off.. Al relaxed in the sunshine.. It was another lovely evening and we ended the night with the left overs of the wine last night, (well it was another bottle we hadn't drunk,) with some nibbles..

Lunch, Dinner and Disco

We got up late Sunday from our long day on Saturday after Del had got back from his Duxford weekend and Al had been shopping and done the boat cleaning most of the day, still finding time to read her book. So on Monday, Del had some work to do, as the brasses needed doing and Derwent6 was covered in dust from all the good weather we had been having..  It was a lovely bright morning and the sun was strong again so a early start meant he could get a lot done in slightly cooler weather..

Al had arranged to meet up with her friend Joy again in Reading as she is so close, so she left at 10.00am in the hope to get some more shopping in first.. Al also found some vouchers on line to print off, so they both got a free cocktail in Miller and Carter and ended up having some lunch there..

It got too hot by lunchtime for Del to carry on with the brasses and he did a couple of jobs on Derwent6 until 4.00pm when a boat pulled up in front of us.. It was Doug and James on n.b. Chance, it was lovely to see them.. They were stocked up with food from their Tesco's stop and they had brought a load of BBQ stuff.
We split the cost with them and soon had the chairs and tables out, loaded with nibbles and drinks, while Del got to work on the Barbie..
The only problem was when you light a BBQ the sun always goes in but it didn't stop us eating some really good food and drink with them.. we also had a good catch up with everything that had gone on and if you read both our blogs you will know we had plenty to talk about..  Anyway did it finish there, no way, It was back to Derwent6 for what can only be described as a Disco..
While Del and James put away the stuff on the towpath and Del cleaned the BBQ, Al and Doug were dancing in the saloon to 80's hits at full volume making ripples in the water..
We had a great time boogieing the night away till we dropped.. After our long days and full tummies we were knackered after 10.30pm so after just a fantastic day, we both crashed out to the applause of any boats near us. Thanks guys for another great afternoon and evening..

A Duxford memory

Del got a call from the boys saying that they were going to go to the Duxford Warbirds Airshow on Saturday, but to miss the traffic they would have to leave at 6.00pm in the morning.. So Del ended up leaving for Kent on Friday afternoon to join them.. Al stayed on Derwent6 and looked after the fort..
We have had just the best weather here on the Thames and are making the most of it..
On Saturday Del jumped in with Bernie and Steve who kindly drove up the M11 to the airfield.. The whole reason for going, was that for the first time, twelve WW2 Spitfires were going to be flying in the air at the same time, almost like a full squadron, a sight not to be missed..
We got there early before the gates opened and then took some chairs in and got a good spot for the afternoon show.. we then had some nice bacon butties with a coffee and started to wander the stalls..
Duxford is part of the Imperial War Museum in London and it has loads of hangers full of all different aircraft.. It also has loads of things for kids and shows the history of flight and how a plane flies. Del even found the Derwent9 engine.
At 11.00am we could then do the runway walk where all the planes flying were lined up on the runway, it cost an extra fiver to do it but we it had to be done..
At 2.00pm the flying started and the sun was out in all it glory..
The start was the sound of one, then two, then three, Merlin engines idling on the runway just a great sound...
 Soon all twelve Merlins were running and the Spitfires trundled out onto the grass..
All lined up they took off together and the roaring sound we will never forget..
When they flew over head it was a great sight it must have been such a moral booster in the war.. We saw the Lancaster Bomber and the American Mustangs and B52 flying fortress.
There was loads going on and the looking up into the sun, was making our faces look like beetroot.. It finished with about 25 planes all flying over head together.. 
We managed to miss the traffic on the way out and was back in Kent by 6.45pm. Del stayed over night with Bernie and watched the playoffs of the World Cup.. A big thanks to Steve for driving and to Sarah and Bernie for putting up with Del..
On Sunday Bernie dropped Del off at Swanley after they did a bit of driving around, reminiscing where they both grew up together.. Del got back to Al at midday with everything ship shape and it was nice to be back chilling with a glass of wine in the cratch of Derwent6 with some nibbles.. This primed us up for the World Cup final between Argentina and Germany.. and guess who won!!!