Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Strictly a good weekend

We stayed at Clifton for a day and Al watched her strictly over the weekend and Del the Grand Prix, as we had good telly signals here. It was nice actually, as Del chopped up all the wood on the roof and filled the storage locker. On the Sunday Al cooked a lovely roast dinner which made us feel a bit drowsy but it was gorgeous.
On the Monday we felt the need to move for a number of reasons, we needed some wood, we needed food, and we had rubbish to get rid of..
So we set off at 10.00am and made our way slowly up to Brownsover, which when we arrived had loads of spaces.
We pulled up onto the water point and topped up while getting rid of the rubbish and also clearing up the car park which was covered in litter.

Al then went and did some shopping and Del went on the hunt for wood.. We both came back with loads and piled it onto Derwent6.
While Al was putting things away Del took the trolley back and then got some petrol for the chainsaw.
We then set off again and turned at the winding hole.
We moored back at Clifton on a slightly different mooring to where we were before which made it a bit confusing for Tooty the cat, but he has to get used to it.
We relaxed in the evening with telly and games, Tooty slept..
We are getting a bit low on diesel now so hopefully we will see Mark on Calisto soon..

Monday, November 13, 2017

All in a Day

After some breakfast we undid the chains and set of towards Braunston. At the bridges here we turned right and moored up on the water point.
Braunston seemed very quiet as we expected it to be very busy with the locks here now shut..
With it so quiet we filled with water while we walked round to Tradline, the rope people, and ordered some fenders and a button which Del wants done in special rope. We will have to wait till March until we can pick them up.
We also bought some  Fabsil Universal protector as on our cratch cover every year, when it freezes, we get drips through the cover when it thaws, this sealer seems to stop that..
We then winded and did a couple of manual pumpout containers at the elsan, just to keep us going ..
We then moved off and moored outside the chandlers where we picked up some antifreeze, grease, a tiller top bush, a chimney rain hat, and some odourlos for the loo..
We set off again and headed up towards Hillmorton as the weather was being kind.
It was a bit windy but it takes a lot to move Derwent6 when its full of water. Saying that when it does get taken in the wind its hard to stop it with a rope..
It was very pleasing to see that CaRT had cut back all the trees along this stretch, but disappointing that they had taken all the wood away or shredded it all!
It is all very quiet now on the cut, but we still met an ex Challenger boat, who while we were exiting a bridge and passing moored boats, thought he could speed past us both. He hit the moored boat telling us two boats can pass here.. They obviously couldn't.
We carried on to Hillmorton Locks and as we had just passed a boat they were in our favour..
In fact at the last lock another boat turned up and locked us down which was a bonus.
We then made our way to Clifton and was surprised at how busy it was.. .Although it was late in the day.
We ended up having to pull Derwent6 back and mooring round the corner.. We set up telly and got the fire roaring.. Tooty liked it here and was off straight away and into the woods.. Del watched the England football game, but wished he hadn't..

Winter prep day

We woke up to another nice day and thought we would make the most of it.. There is a rumor that it could be Snowvember, not that we believe what that papers say, but you have to be prepared.
Del was up and polishing the side before breakfast, Al had made a nice egg and bacon fry up just to keep us going.. Then it was chopping up the rest of the wood on the roof so the locker was full again.
Then it was the paintwork, and the gunwales got painted and any touching up required was done to stop rusting. Then it was a grease up, all the hinges on the side doors and rear stern doors, also the gas locker and of course the stern tube. Then the screw caps like the diesel cap, the pumpout outlets so they can't freeze and you can't get them off in the cold weather..
Del then went on the hunt for more wood and found a bit which we might have to investigate more in the future.
As it got dark we watched some telly with the fire roaring in the corner. Derwent6 had a cozy feel about it.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Just a reminder

We woke up to a bright, but very cold morning. It was one of those mornings that reminds us why we want to do this..
In fact the whole day was a reminder that we love this life..  We untied the ropes and they were frozen solid and the roof was iced up, but with the mist on the water and the engine chuffing out condensation and the chimney smoking, it was bliss!
We got to the junction and the geese were flying over.
We had the whole canal to ourselves as we twisted and turned on this section.
There seemed to be loads of moorings and as we were starting to get cold, the smoking chimney tempted us to moor up and get warm, so a nice two hours cruise.
We managed to get some washing done on the way and when we stopped hung it out in the sunshine.
 Del did the brasses and cleaned up the outside for most of the day and Al did some paperwork jobs.
As the sun went down we were reminded again that we live in the best country in the world..

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Locking um up

Feeling a lot better today we got up early as Mark and Sian were moving off up the locks and we had offered to lock them up. Mark came to tell us they were leaving at 9.00am, sporting a cut on his nose which he incurred on the Sunday night, so we were all in the wars.. It probably didn't help he was crowd surfing with the landlord on Sunday night and was dropped by the crowd.. Yep it was a good night..
We walked round and got rid of our rubbish and got the lock ready for them..
 Luckily the locks were all in our favour and we managed to lock through in an hour and a half..
It was going to rain hard in the afternoon and it gave them a good start. We all said our goodbyes and we then went to the village shop to pick up some provisions.
We got back to Derwent6 just as it started to rain and by 1.00pm it was tipping it down.
We had another chilled afternoon by the fire and will be moving tomorrow..


Recovery Day

In the morning we surfaced at 10.00am and Del started the day with his cut head still down the toilet and Al had a lump on her eyebrow and a bruise on her knee. Not Good! We spent the morning trying to hydrate and to eat something, but we had already decided today was a write off..
At lunchtime Al offered to cook a  Roast Lamb dinner to see if it would kick us into gear, she did so well to cook it, even though the smell was putting Del off eating it and normally you would love it..
It was put on the table and looked amazing and we started slowly by eating a few roast potatoes. They stayed down and we both were tucking into it like we were staving.. It did us both the power of good and brought us back into civilization. We watched some catch up telly and went to bed early in the hope we would feel more with it in the morning!

Through before the closure

We left early Sunday morning as we knew the locks were closing on Monday and the traffic could be busy. You could still see the moon as dawn rose.
As we got to the tunnel another boat was just linking up with another one to tow him through as his engine had died, and they followed us in.
It was clear in the tunnel and we got to the lock with it in our favour, so made the most of it with the two boats behind us..
In fact the locks were all in our favour as we passed a few coming up, so it was a good move to leave early. You could see all the new lock gates and work gear ready for Monday's closure.
We got to the bottom lock with ease with the help of boats coming up and then squeezed onto the water point with a boat already filling.. It was a good time to order a sausage sandwich from Gongoozler's Rest, the floating boat cafe....
With full tummies and a full water tank we proceeded towards Wigrams turn, a section we have done so many times but still love it.. We just took our time with boats following us wanting to get by on this motorway section of the system.
We carried on at Wigrams and made our way to Napton on the Hill..
It seemed a bit shallow along here but we took it easy like we always do and got to the winding hole just before the locks..
We turned here and were surprised to see a few moorings.
We were meeting Mark and Sian on n.b Mochyn Du, who together with Nick and Graham were in the Folly Pub.. It was a shower and shave and out for us and we got to the pub at 3.00pm.
We were all straight on it with some nice Old Hooky on tap and it was catch up time..



As you can imaging it started refined and ended messy, so messy in fact that Al banged her head on a table.
We just about got back to Derwent6, with Del falling in the brambles and cutting his head, and he also knocked into Al and pushed her in the canal as she was getting in the cratch on Derwent6.. Yep very messy!
It got worse because Del did not feel very well when we did finally get on board, like we said "very messy!"
It had been a long day!

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Up to Norton

We set off at 9.00am and passed the aerial disgusted as a tree.
It was then through Nether Hayford and then on to Weedon.
It was lovely cruising again in the November sunshine and the campsites here prove how good it is.
This is one of our favourite sections on the Grand Union but there are a few..
The funny thing is that these winter moorings that CaRT have put in place don't seem to be working.. We passed two and they were completely empty, which is good for us because we can still moor there but if a winter moorer has a permit they have priority to kick us off it..

Then it was the new A45 which is a new direct route into Daventry from the M1 at Junction 16. They are carving into the coutryside but are doing a good job about it, not looking an eyesore. It is needed and will take a lot of pressure off Weedon and the A5.
If you look closely you might just spot another Kingfisher on the bow of this boat.
and we were closely being watched by this guy. The canal then went back into the trees and things were very difficult under the bridges with the leaves.
Derwent6 almost came to a halt as the prop became clogged up with black dead leaves, but we must say it was so pretty..
 
We then made the locks at Buckby, and was pleased to see anther boat waiting on the lock moorings for another boat to go up with them..
These are tricky locks, especially going up as the gates and paddles are difficult and heavy. They are also quite fierce, so two boats is an easy solution.
Things were going OK till we got to the third pound where the water levels were very low, so low in fact that we both got stuck just outside the gates..
We were then lucky as the water came back to us both as two boats were coming down the lock in front of us, and we even managed to pass. Al let some water down when she arrived so the levels were normal again.
We got to the top lock and could smell the food in the pub, not a good thing. There were two moorings in front of us, so it was rude not to use them..
 With a quick shower we walked down to The New Inn and ordered up.. Al had a nice Fish & Chips and Del a Lasagna, with chips of course and a nice beer to wash it down..
It was then back to Derwent6 and we lit the fire and snuggled in with the telly. It was Queen night on BBC4 with some new footage of the band making the News of the World album, we were rocking!