We woke up early due to the noise here at Brownsover at Rugby and looked out the porthole to see bright sunshine and a nice mist on the water.
We had decided to go and do some cruising in this fresh clear blue skies day, the only problem was that the sun was in our faces all the way and as it was so low it was very difficult to see where you were going. We soon got to Hillmorton Locks and they were all in our favour in fact both pairs of locks were in our favour and we could pick what side we wanted to go up.
We passed our first boat in the middle lock and he had warned up of a boat break in at bridge 74. It was busy at the top of Hillmorton with loads of moored boats and it looked like they were having a gathering for Christmas.. We passed the stricken boat and moved on to Onley where is was very quiet..
It was then plain cruising to Braunston and all the wildlife was out today...
We managed to moor up right outside The Boathouse pub/restaurant.
Al walked up to post a few letters and Del broke up the pallet which was on the roof which will be handy for kindling in January and February. We chilled in the warm as it got colder as the sun went down. We pulled up opposite n.b. Milly M and Maffi and also n.b. Oakfield and Keith and Ann so it was rude not to have a boating Christmas reunion over the pub we were moored next to. We all met in the pub at 7.00pm and Maffi arrived just as we were ordering starters. We had a good catch up with the goings on from last year and still ended up talking about toilets.. We only had about 30 steps till we were on Derwent6 and ready for bed... Perfect!
As we were starting to get short of water and we needed to get a few things in Boots and The Range we decided to move today.. We sorted ourselves out a bit then pushed out the bow and got going.. We always love it when we're cruising again just for a change of scenery. It is still so quiet here and we haven't seen a boat for ages. It's been lovely this winter and we have all been a bit spoilt due to it being so quiet, we can moor where and when we like and have no one round us so we can even run the engine when we like.
We passed Clifton Wharf and then made our way to Brownsover where there was only three boats, we carried on and winded before stopping for a water top up.
Del decided to top up the wood locker with some of the wood on the roof and then the heavens opened.. he got soaked! We thought as we were on the water point we would do all of our washing while the kettle was on so we made good use of the time.. With a break in the weather we pulled through the bridge and moored at Brownsover on a spot we knew we could get telly and have a good signal for everything else.. We warmed up a bit before we headed to the shops. We started at Boots where Al wanted a few bits and then moved on to The Range where Del always gets his chainsaw oil and antifreeze, Al wanted some candles and a couple of presents. We then stopped for lunch and had a nice sandwich in Subway before we headed to Tesco's. He we picked up our Christmas treats for sitting in front of the telly with.. Mulled wine, chocolates and hot chocolate with a splash of Cointreau, Mmmmm
The next thing was to fill up the petrol can for the chainsaw and on the way we spotted a nice pallet for kindling, so we carried that back to stick on the roof.. So a very effective day today and you can guess what we did when we got back.. Well we had our own Christmas dinner with the gammon we had to finish off from yesterday and mulled wine and Mmmmm that chocolate is lovely!!!
We are loving our spot here at Rugby.. We look out of the window and see the horses drinking from the canal and we have made friends with a Robin who looks for the treats Al gives to him..
We have been keeping active though. Del has been seeing to a coolant leak in the engine room which is so difficult to get to he has only managed to tighten the hose a bit to hopefully get us through the winter. Al has been finishing off the Christmas cards and sorting us out for Christmas.. We have ordered a few LED bulbs which have blown, and also got some others to replace the tungsten ones we have left on Derwent6, should help save the batteries.
At lunchtime Del wanted to see the football, for his sins, so we walked up the pub and watched Arsenal lose to Manchester City 6 - 3, so a lot of swearing and drink was drunk..
We came back to chill and watched a film eating a whole box of roses, we were pigs but it was nice.. And of course Al watched her Strictly in the evening...
We were getting a bit behind on Christmas presents this year, don't know why, perhaps it's our busy lives, lol.. So we decided we needed a Christmas shopping day.
But we didn't want to have the hassle of a town centre, hacking through the crowds to get wrapping paper, we decided on the alternative. As we had a lovely time up at the Butler's Leap restaurant/pub, we thought we would go on the internet for a couple of hours and work in lunch. We had lovely broadband speeds and soon got our shopping done with a lovely steak burger and chips thrown in.. Very satisfied with our lot we finished with apple crumble and ice cream, now that's the way to do your Christmas shopping. We celebrated with a couple of drinks and walked back very happy with ourselves. We came back to Christmassy Derwent6, put on our lights and lit the advent candle (which is going down now) with the text's coming through saying the presents were being delivered..
We know it's not doing the high street any favours, but it's just so easy and stress free, and you have a feeling of satisfaction. We also don't have to carry them anywhere and best of all it works out cheaper.. So a no brainer really!!!! Del watched the football in the evening & Al started on the Christmas cards...
Well I know we have been a bit quiet with the blog, but we have just enjoyed not doing much over the last few days.. Oh we have been busy like sorting out Christmas presents and we have started our cards for this year. Then there's the normal cleaning Derwent6 and chopping wood to keep warm.. Al has been into Rugby a few times just so we can have our Christmas treats and get in the spirit of things as the town is well decorated. Last weekend we went down to Joy and Steve's for our annual get together. Joy had cooked a lovely meal at their house, so we got the train down to Reading and was picked up by Steve and delivered to a well decorated Christmassy house. We had a lovely evening and Al even got to see her Strictly as Joy loves it too..
The food they had done was just the best and the cheese board we will never forget.. We stayed the night so a few bottles were drunk including a drink which was a mix of wine and chocolate and a lot of port..
We went to bed late as you can image... We were treated to breakfast in the morning and then got the train back later.. We arrived back at Derwent6 at 3.00pm and warmed her back up for the evening..
On the Monday Al was back down to meet her Dad at King's College hospital in London for his first 6 week check.. She then went back with her Dad in the evening and stayed the night.. She got back on the Tuesday at 3.00pm.. So we have and haven't been busy..
We had a bit of a lay in, listening as the wind picked up during the morning.. We thought we would treat ourselves to breakfast this morning by walking up to the Table/table restaurant just up the road from us and we also took the pc's for a update using their Wi-Fi.
We got up there at 10.00am and ordered two full English breakfast's at £3.75 with a bottomless cup of coffee for a £1.00. This turned out not to be a bad deal as we were in there for four hours and a little bit coffeed out and high on caffeine.
When we looked out the window the wind had got worse and it was trying to rain, so we quickly made our way back to Derwent6. We just got back in time before it poured hard, and the wind started to rock us around a bit.. Good job we had backed off from the trees.. It felt very cosy inside Derwent6 and we shut ourselves away for the afternoon. It soon gets dark now and the batteries are taking a hammering, just like this Green Woodpecker, still they are not doing bad for five years.. Perhaps we have spoken to soon. lol
We had the telly on for the evening while Del played a game he had loaded earlier in the restaurant...
After last nights heavy night we left a bit later than planned but still got away at 9.30am.. We made our way out of Braunston and we are still amazed at how quiet it is here.
We were soon out in the countryside and as the skies got bluer the wind got colder.. Del was wrapped up on the stern deck with four layers on... It was funny but we never passed a boat on our way to Hillmorton and we didn't pass many moored boats either, Onley was empty, and we made it in record time..
We got to the locks and Al had been making some jam and lemon curd tarts, so we had to wait in the lock till they had finished cooking as she didn't want to burn them.. We then got a single hander behind us so Al got the lock ready for her at every lock as well..
We took our time down the flight, still so quiet, and then got to the bottom lock where a gathering of boats were. We then just managed to find a mooring slot, "Oh so this is where they all are"
We set up the telly and then chilled in the afternoon and evening due to our lack of sleep last night..
Wooo Hoooo Its Derwent6's Birthday today.. Five years we have been on the cut with her.. And what a great five years she has given us both...... Long may there be many more, Ching!!!!!
We decided to move today as it was a lovely day for cruising and we wanted to make the most of the available wood.. We soon got to our location and we couldn't see the wood for the trees.. Whoopee! Boaters Gold! Bring it on or load it up..
A lot heavier we moved on through Braunston tunnel, and we had it all to ourselves. Where are the boats this year it's so quiet.
We got to the first lock and found them against us but we just took our time to get down the flight, at the last lock we meet a boat coming up, typical!!.
We crept through Braunston and saw Graham on n.b. Matilda Rose. We said we had plans to stay the night but wanted to pick up the pubs Wi-Fi, so could we meet them tonight for a drink.. We topped up again for water before mooring up outside The Boatman..
We chilled for the afternoon and then got ready to go out at 7.00pm when we walked down to meet up with Graham and Jill. We walked up to the pub, got a beer, and found a nice table by the fire..
We first had a celebratory drink for Derwent6's Birthday, and then had a good old catch up about where they had been and their future plans to take the boat to France. After some good food and a few pints we walked back to n.b Matilda Rose where we were kindly invited on for another drink of Golden hen and wine, well maybe it was two or three.. Thanks guys for a great night, and thanks again for the drinks...
We left there at 1.45am and got back to Derwent6 and crashed out at 2.00am knackered!
We were up early as we had been coughing all night. This bloody cough won't go away but we had a busy day.. Del took the leaves off Derwent6 and Al got herself ready to go to Daventry on the bus.. Al left at 11.00am and Del then chopped up the wood on the roof to top up the locker.. Al picked up some Christmas cards for her Dad and got some treats for us. On her return we got out the Christmas Decks and put on some Christmas music and decorated Derwent6 into a grotto. It feels like Del is sitting in the corner with a white beard and red hat on giving out presents...
We've got to say it does get you in the mood, and we need to be in the mood because there are presents to get and cards to make and send.. It was lovely in the evening with the telly on and the fire with the Christmas tree in the corner..
Due to the locks at the Watford flight closing on Monday we decided to turn and get back through them today.. We left at 9.00am and pulled onto the water point for a top up.
We then turned at the marina and then headed into the wet Crick tunnel.
It was just lovely cruising weather and we had not seen another boat and pushed on to the top of the lock flight.. When we arrived and found the locky, we found a boat in front of us going down and one waiting to come up.. We were allowed to go down the first lock and wait in the pound..
We only waited about forty minutes before we were given the go ahead to descending down the flight .
We got to the bottom and then took a steady cruise to Norton Junction. It was empty, so we took a spot with a nice view and loads of sunshine..
We set up the telly and got the fire roaring, and chilled for the rest of the day...
Well we were here at Crick on Friday due to the fact that new boat AmyJo was going in the water at the marina.. but we received a text from Steve and Chris to say the launch had been delayed because the crane had broken down, but only until Saturday, so it gave us a free day to do other things.. Del chopped up a load of wood which we picked up the other day and Al walked up the shops. She also cleaned inside Derwent6 so it was spotless.(ready for the christmas decs!). It was a horrible day so it was a good job the launch was delayed really.. We were happy sitting in trying to get over our colds..
On Saturday it was a lovely day and Del was out doing the brasses early, while we waited for a phone call to say things were going ahead. At lunchtime we got just that, and made our way down to the marina at 2.00pm to see n.b. AmyJo turn into the gates. Steve and Chris had done some lovely food and drinks to keep us warm while we waited and it wasn't long before 22 tonnes of AmyJo was up in the air and spinning over the water, just look at Steve and Chris's faces.
It went into the water and things were fine, no bubbles, and it didn't even need ballast.
We were then shown round her, with a glass of bubbly in hand, and she is stunning. We then decided to leave them to it for a bit so they could take in the experience..
We got back to Derwent6 and chilled taking in the day and at 8.00pm we went up the pub with Steve and Chris to celebrate some more with something to eat and drink.
We didn't have a very good night with our colds taking grip, but we still got up early. It was very foggy but we made our way down to the water point.
We topped up with water and got rid of our rubbish, before moving off towards the flight of locks..
The first lock was against us but we met a boat coming down at the second, and it was plain sailing to the top..
We then hit the Braunston Tunnel, the first time since we had hit the wall last time, and luckily we didn't meet anything..
Talking of luck, when we came out of the tunnel there was a stack of wood for boaters to feast on.. We loaded Derwent6 right up, knowing we had another cold snap coming up.
Due to loading up we lost half an hour in time and had to press on. We turned at Norton Junction and headed up the Leicester line to the Watford flight..
Lucky again we had three lock keepers to help us up and they locked the gates behind us.. They seemed bored as they had only seen four boats all day.
We reached the top in record time. We love this part of the canal, and we made our way to the very wet Crick tunnel.
We went through not meeting or seeing anyone till we moored up at Crick..
The first thing we did was wipe down Derwent6 as the water in tunnels marks the paintwork then we managed to get a TV signal, a miracle in Crick, and also we got on the fourteen days... Our luck had to run out.. In the evening our colds got us down a bit so we snuggled by the fire till bed time..