Thursday, October 10, 2019

Wendover canal trust and got hit by some experts..

We have really enjoyed our stay here up the Wendover Arm as it has been so peaceful and the wildlife is amazing.. We did have one drama when n.b Tarporley, a community narrowboat which runs organised trips, turned up..
With loads of room to turn he just carried on and hit us diagonally on the bow telling us he couldn't find reverse. That's a shame as it has this on their website..
 N. B. Tarporley is an historic vessel; she can only be handled safely with skill and experience, and she is therefore not available to hire on a self-steer basis, so why not let us show you.
The three guys then found it funny and after some thought (and Del letting them know it was not ok) did apologise. They moored up and didn't have the manners to come and see if things were alright.. So we now have to pay for a new Button as it took the brunt of the hit.
An email was sent off to them to let them know how we feel..

We then went for a walk and explored how the Wendover Canal Trust are getting on with the Wendover canal.
They are getting on very well and working on the last section as we speak..
They have dug out the last section and it doesn't feel far away, however there are lots of hidden work to be done..

Here you can see the bridge you can walk down to and each direction from the top.
If you walk back towards the basin then you can see where they have cut it all out and are preparing the sides.. The guys are really nice fellas and love to see boats using the basin.
Moving off tomorrow!

How to not blow up your Alternator when charging Lithium

We get a lot of questions on the charging issues with Lithuim Batteries and Victron have now done a video (with the help of Jono) and hope this helps..

Derwent6 uses a DC to DC Buck Boost that reduces charging to 25 amps. Also when the batteries are fully charged the BMS system directs those Amps to two 12 volt lead acid batteries (called dump batteries) so the alternator doesn't get too hot. So far this has been fine, but the test will be through the very cold winter months.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Shock, Sheepish, and Sharp Left

We had a bit of a drama this morning.. Al was drying her hair when she let out a loud scream as her hair dryer had blown up right by her face. She threw the hair dryer down on the floor and Del (who was standing on the stern) leapt in to find Al in a bit of shock. It is only 6 months old and had broken up inside and was smoking as Del unplugged it and got it off the floor. Luckily Al was ok... Still in a bit of shock we set off at 8.30am and as we untied two single handed boats came racing past us. So we just took our time to get up to the lock which was walkable..
Went Al got there she found the top gates had been left open and the boats were in the second lock just ahead.. Not in a good mood after the hairdryer incident, she did no more than walk up to the guys and let them have it. They seemed very embarrassed about doing it, apologised, and sheepishly closed the gates from the lock they were in.. The lock gate was leaking bad and already the pound was down by a foot..
After we got through these two locks we made our way up to the Aylesbury Arm where we got rid of our rubbish and used the pumpout there (after we had got it working from a blockage)

We then got to the Marsworth flight of seven locks and soon met Keith who was the volunteer lock keeper.
 We just have to say he has been the best volunteer locky we have ever met on the system..

He was polite, friendly and efficient, and asked us how we wanted the lock opened. He then did the paddles and Derwent6 didn't move at all as we went up. He helped us up the whole flight, alternating with Al to go ahead and set the next lock. Thanks Keith!

At the top we took a sharp right turn and went up the shallow Wendover Arm..

We were warned about how shallow it was but we have done it before so thought we would risk it.. The art is just to go slow, very slow. In fact idle the whole mile and a quarter till you get to the basin..
It is very pretty along this section and god help you if you meet anything, but you are well rewarded when you reach the end..

We were the only boat here and we had it all to ourselves.
It was good to see the Wendover Arm Trust working on the last section of completing the canal all the nine miles to Wendover, but more on that later. 
Del watched the football and then did the brasses on Derwent6.. It is so quiet here you can hear a pin drop, but you can just listen to the birds and watch the planes in the distance landing at Luton.. Oh and we lit the fire for the first time this autumn..

Monday, October 07, 2019

Empty pound at Seabrook

We looked at the weather this morning and could see a window where we could move. It was due to rain at midday and we wanted to get to the start of the Marsworth locks..

Things were going well as we went through Seabrook locks until we reached the middle pound.. Al noticed the gates were open and the pound above was completely empty.

It was a quick call to CaRT to put them in the picture and then we walked up to the top lock and let just enough water down for us to idle through the pound and into the top lock.. It was amazing to see what was in there and the things we had to dodge to get over the cill but we felt very pleased with ourselves when we achieved it..
Al then opened the swingbridge at Pitstone  and we pulled up outside the rubbish point to get rid of all our stuff from doing the fire yesterday..
It was then hunt a mooring. It was busy here because of a car park nearby for boaters to park and also we hadn't helped by taking some of the water to fill that empty pound..
We managed to get moored at the bottom of the Marsworth flight of locks as the water levels slowly came back to us..
We managed to miss the rain which turned into showers. It still feels warm for the time of year, but on the boat it felt quiet cold and we had to put the central heating on for an hour to just take the chill off.. While this was going on we picked some blackberries for tea tonight.
Al needed to go shopping as we needed a card and stamps, so we took a half hour walk back to Pitstone to a small Premier store and a post office.. Del went as well and we picked up a few treats to have later.. It had felt like another eventful day but it is keeping us fit.. We chilled with the telly and caught up on things we had missed through the week..

Servicing the Morso

We had arranged a delivery of some fire bits we needed so we were ready for the winter months.. There was a Bed and Breakfast opposite us and they kindly said we could get a parcel delivered to them so we could collect it..
It arrived at 9.30am and it was a lovely calm morning as a hot air balloon passed over our heads..
  After breakfast Del set to work on pulling out the bricks on the Stove. It had been nearly eleven years since we had pulled this lot out.
Al held the torch and put down all the dust sheets, opened all the packaging and we were ready to go.
When we took out the back brick we found that the blanking plate had come loose again.
It was a good job we ordered one of those as well so we could seal everything up here.. After cleaning things out and fitting the bricks it was then time to sort out our broken glass.
New sealing ropes and the new glass was fitted and the door closed the best it had for a long time..

We felt good that we had achieved something today, and that things were safe on board Derwent6. We have been lucky so far this year as we haven't had to light the fire, but we have had the central heating boiler running for an hour in the morning and an hour at night..
Al did clean out all ornaments from the dresser as they were getting dusty and the fire wasn't helping..

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Flying at Ivinghoe Beacon with the pro's

After a day of bad weather and the wind in the wrong direction, Del managed to get a glider flying day in at Ivinghoe Beacon..
 Its about a two and a half mile walk from Derwent6 in Pitstone, but it is along some nice footpaths and bridlepaths. The wind was a lot stronger up in the Chiltern Hills of Bedfordshire but the flying was amazing..

Del managed to take these pictures while flying. There is a club called the Ivinghoe Soaring Club ( ) and you need insurance to fly here.They also ban electric flying aircraft inc drones as it is National Trust parkland. 
Del did meet the 2018 World Champion, Dave Woods, flying his Pitbull 2 glider and it was something else to see. He came second in the world champs this year..

It was then the walk back to Derwent6 where Al has cooked a lovely dinner and kept things snuggly in the boat.. You can feel the nights drawing in now, and we are turning lights on at 6.30pm, but there is just something about the autumn and winter we like..

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Onto Ivinghoe after a quiet weekend

We moored up for the weekend and made the most of it like we always do.. We did remove all the interiors of the cupboards and relined them, cleaning all the dust out, which seems to get everywhere.. We watched all the sport on the telly including Rugby, Athletics, Football and Grand Prix. We did manage to go to the Grove Lock pub and grab a Sunday lunch, and even though it was just over the canal we got soaked by a downpour..
We left on the Monday and planned to leave early, but didn't wake up till 8.00am, so left at 9.00am..
We soon got to Church Lock and took our time as it was so quiet.
We then made it up to Slapton Lock and Al managed to do the hovering through Derwent6 on this section.. It was also handy that a boat was coming out as we arrived.
We then pulled up on the water point and topped up the tank which only took 20 minutes.
It was then on the long straight past the glamping huts to Holton Lock where we met another boat coming out.

then we did Ivinghoe locks, with the sunshine still giving no warning as to the rain in the afternoon..
We moored in a lovely spot with the hills in the background giving us a lovely view..

We had some lunch and then it just got a bit colder so we snuggled inside watching the athletics in the afternoon and then the football in the evening..

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Win some, Lose some!

On the Wednesday Al was back on the train down to London and then onto Sevenoaks to meet up with friend Sarah for lunch.. They ended up having a cheap meal in Prezzo's because Al had some Tesco's vouchers to use up.. They had a lovely day catching up and while down Al picked up the post.. Del spent the day clearing out the engine room of stuff as it was looking like a garden shed in places..
On the following day we set off as the weather had a window, but first Al had a surprise as we had won £140.00 on the lottery.
Very happy, we got to Leighton Lock and it was in our favour.
We soon reached Tesco's and Aldi and Al spent an hour going round the shops food shopping.
Jules the coal boat turned up as Al was shopping and we were ready with a big order. We soon spent our £140.00 there. We topped up with 122 litres of diesel, had two bags of coal and needed a gas bottle.
Al turned up with the shopping so we were well out of pocket lol, but with the feeling that we were all sorted for a few months..
More bad news was that the glass on the fire, had, for no apparent reason, cracked, and now required replacing..

We then went under the bridge and topped up with water and got rid of all the rubbish which filled the bin up from shopping..

We were then really set to go, and made our way past all the moored boats along this section..
At Grove lock again the lock was in our favour, another win, and as we went in another boat was waiting to come down..
The wind had really got up and we thought we needed to moor up. We knew we could get a good telly signal here so pulled up in the sunshine in the reeds..

We felt very smug with all our tanks topped up and gas and heating fuel if we need it.. it had felt a long day but in fact we had only gone a few miles and done two locks.. Best not over do it!