Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A walk with a view

Lovely day this morning so decided to go out for a walk. It was great to see all the gorse coming out which made it very spring like. We walked up to Napton church which dates back to the 13th Century building and has one of the best outlooks in the country. What a nice place to get married. The church was open and we had a good look around. After this we continued into the village till we came to the village green with a sycamore tree. Behind this tree was The Crown pub with it's doors wide open..so rude not to drop in and grab a couple of pints of IPA and a packet of crisps. We were a bit annoyed we missed the live band they had last night, but we will know next time. We then went on to the village stores, which was well stocked, and picked up a few bits before making our way back to Derwent6.

This afternoon the clouds began to form, so we decided to go through some clothes on the boat which we haven't used and will be making room for some more summer clothes.

Just a note to say about the water gauge which we calibrated...it seems to be working fine now. Also the water leak in the bilge seems to be sorted as Fernwood have now put in a leak off pipe, so it now drains into the canal. As for the prop noise! Watch this space, but it is in hand. or so we are lead to believe...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Chilling in the cratch

What a lovely long day today......quite unusual as the clocks went forward last night, but think its a combination of a beautiful day, light evening, and the fact that we were up at 6am to watch the Grand Prix! What a great race.....team Brawn taking 1st & 2nd, Jenson winning, and Lewis Hamilton taking 3rd from last place on the grid.

After tea and toast, we got on with some jobs. Del cleaned the boat, and it was gleaming in the sunshine. It was quite quiet this morning, but after lunch, we had a steady stream of boats passing us. We just chilled out at the front of the boat, reading and listening to the radio. Pick of the pops today went back to 1979, the year we got together, and some great music. A trip down memory lane.

There were lots of walkers out enjoying the fine weather, and we chatted to some lovely people.

Ernie passed on ten bob note (http://erniesplace.com/) but we could only manage a quick hello as there was a boat coming the other way. Have a good trip Ernie.

We had another lovely sunset tonight......and we know how much you all love these sunset shots.

It's now 7.56pm and its still light........woo hoo !!!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A walk to the windmill

Up early this morning to watch the Grand Prix qualifying and it was a nice surprise to see Jenson Button on pole. With the weather not knowing what it wanted to do we decided to stay put.... we then put on our walking shoes and walked up to the windmill at the top of the hill in Napton. It was a nice walk up the half eaten apple as they call it, to the windmill which is now a private house. So it was a bit disappointing that we couldn't go in and see it. The views from the top were fantastic and you can see why someone brought this property.

We then walked back via the village and were quite shocked at the new houses built on the hill. They had built a stone face front on them and the rest was new brick, so from the hillside it blended in with the other property's. Cheapskates we think....

The weather then turned for the worse with some howling rain showers, so it was light the fire and watch the Rugby, as we couldn't watch England play football as it was on Satanta. Shame on you whoever!!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

We like a challenge!

Blimey!!!! more wind today so what shall we do..... Well we checked the weather using the Met office site (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/radar/index.html) and tracked the rain fall and could see we should be in the dry today, so no use for the Nubrella yet. We felt we needed a more sheltered spot anyway, so pulled the pins after seeing three other boats go by..... It was one of those tricky days when concentration was at a must.... and it wasn't long before we passed the three other boats moored up. There are some tight turns along the Oxford and with the strong winds around every corner you have to angle the bow in the right place every time. On some of the bridges, we were approaching them sideways and last minute belting through with a bit of throttle to reach the calmness of the other side sheltered by the bridge. We have been showing off a bit trying to hold Derwent6 before going into locks, but nearly got caught out today with the wind taking us into the trees , so the centre rope was used on more than one occasion.

At Marson Doyles, how about this guys luck!!! he decided to take his private helicoptor for a spin in these conditions..rather him than us! We did duck as he went overhead, but he landed it, how's that for showing off......
The weather was certainly getting colder as we came down through the locks. We decided to get water, so moored at the bottom lock water point. It was a bit disappointing to find that one of the water points we couldn't get the lock to open with the BW key and the other one was so slow that we would have been there a couple of hours.....so we moved onto the 14 day moorings to make way for the hirer's and private boats out for the weekend.
We went to The Folly Inn in the evening and had some of their famous pies with home made chips, followed by a home made crumble, washed down with some local ale.

We lose an hour on Saturday night and us liveaboards really look forward to it. Those long evenings cruising as the sun set's and the wildlife come out to play, and BBQ's on the towpath with a glass or two, watching the evening cruisers go by.....

Bring on Summer!!!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Making waves today

We were getting itchy feet again and felt the need to move. The forecast was sunshine and showers, still with the strong winds, but we pulled the pins and made our way with the wind behind us...It wasn't too bad and only difficult on the tight turns, but we wouldn't have wanted to go into wind. We were lucky with the showers as well, the sun followed us all the way to our mooring spot. It was a bit of a shame the old low Wormleighton Grange wooden footbridge had gone and BW were there hopefully erecting a new one. We thought we might take the new chimney off here, but it lasts another day!!!!!The wind was howling at this point and creating waves down the side of Derwent6 so we then did the gearbox oil change. Derwent6 has now done 230 hours and it took about one and a half litres of oil. We then cleaned the Houdini hatches as they were looking a bit tarnished but they all came up ok. The next job was the brass liners in the portholes, which have been a godsend. We are so pleased we didn't have wood liners fitted, all we need to do is run Brasso over them every couple of weeks and they come up like new.

We then went for a small circular walk to give us a bit of exercise and then Al made some cakes.

In the afternoon we listened to the radio and had a nice pasta dinner. Time for another DVD tonight.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Windy woo, so we won't move

Woke up to the wind and rain howling against Derwent6 and it was blowing us about...So decision made...breakfast in bed! We then did a few jobs like Al cleaned up and wrote some cards while Del tightened a few hoses in the engine room. It soon came round to lunch time and as we were right outside the Wharf Inn, it would be rude not to to have their 99p lunchtime meal.... We ordered two pints of Spitfire and Egg & Chips twice with a side order of Hot Dog and chips which we shared.... It was a real tasty lunchtime treat which came to £8.47 for the two of us...Yes! £8.47..Where can you go out and get that nowadays..

We then walked down the lane to Fenny and posted some letters just before it decided to pour hard again.... When we got back to Derwent6 we lit the fire and had a coffee. In the afternoon and evening, we just listened to music and watched DVD's .... quite a nice day really!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spring is in the (windy) air

It was a nice sunny morning, with strong winds, but we decided we would move as we needed to have a pumpout after having visitors on board....

We set off with all the locks in our direction, so we got through Claydon very quickly... well in a couple of hours anyway.... The strong winds meant it was full steam ahead to get in to the lock and then full reverse to stop Derwent6, but we got the hang of it after a while. You could just see the beginnings of spring with the trees smelling sweet and starting to blossom. We then got to Fenny Compton marina and had out first go at a D.I.Y pumpout. You purchase a token at the marina for £10.00 and then set up the pump out and rinse hose. You then put your token in and you get eight minutes to do your pumpout. With a clear hose you can watch it go up the pipe and then rinse until it goes clear. (WE DON'T KNOW WHY BOATER'S ALWAYS TALK ABOUT TOILET'S) While we were there we filled up with diesel as we like to keep it topped up, so as to reduce condensation in the tank.
So all that was left was to fill with water, so we moved up to the water point at The Whalf Inn which took about a hour, so we had lunch.

We then reversed up and moored for the afternoon... we then looked out our bow doors and there was n.b. Harnser (http://nbharnser.blogspot.com/) with it's brand new shiny paintwork, it made Derwent6 look second best.

It was great to see Brian & Diana on their way down to Bristol on the K & A. Brian didn't like being a shiny as it wasn't his scene, but the boat does look fantastic.. Let me know if someone see's him polishing it..... and good luck both of you, on your trip.

Monday, March 23, 2009

New chimney and a bit poorer

Up early this morning and made a few phone calls to locate a chimney. Then set off to get the 10.10am bus into Banbury. We took the sea searcher and windlass with us and when we got off the bus we spent 40 minutes having another go to find it. We picked up loads of metal objects and thought we could feel it, but couldn't pick it up...So it was off to the Chandler's and forty five pounds lighter, we had our new chimney....Al also wanted some new jeans and managed to find some, at least we were having a better day then yesterday, but with an empty wallet..... We got the bus straight back so as not to spend anymore money, but we did go via the Spar shop and picked up a couple of pizza's. After lunch we fitted our new chimney and with a bit of cutting and filing around, Derwent6 looked complete again. Al gathered a few sticks and we lit the fire just as it was going to pour hard with rain. The wind had really got up and was blowing us around all over the place, and the hire boats were having a few problems but we just sat and listened to it reading beside the fire.

We should have moved today as they have changed the Cropedey mooring times to 24 hours. They used to be 48 hours, so someone must have complained about boats running their engines....Well ours will be run for a hour, because we're not moving today. We did watch one of the residents toss his Kit Kat wrapper into the canal when having a coffee in the garden, so we're sure he won't mind if we leave our rubbish on his doorstep, we didn't, but we felt like it... also there are no dog bins along this stretch and we have had to shovel two lots of dog poo into the hedgerow. One day we will follow them home and dump on their doorstep.

On a happy note though, we just want to wish Len a quick Happy 72nd Birthday today and glad you both enjoyed Derwent6..

In the evening we had to take some rubbish down to the BW bins so grabbed a bottle of wine to see if Graham & Jill were on board n.b. Matilda Rose. They were eating when we turned up but still insisted we came in...Well three and a half bottles later we were having a wail of a time singing songs with Graham on the guitar and Al and Jill on the recorder. Thanks for a good night guys.
We should be on the move tomorrow!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Oh No! we lost the chimney

We left early this morning from just the other side of Banbury and when we got to the lock in Banbury town centre a hire boater was closing the locks gates as we arrived so we stuck the nose up against the lock and then he just opened the paddles sending Derwent6 into the side wall....After explaining to him that the boat with the water in the right direction has the right of way and the saving water thing, we proceeded into the lock to find he had moored so tight to the exit that we couldn't turn to get out of the lock. On then trying to line up for the lift bridge we caught the bridge with the chimney and in slow motion it plopped into the canal. We then moored up and got out the sea searcher magnet, hooks and things, but after 20 minutes we still couldn't find it and as we had a table booked for lunch had to leave without it. Gutted or what!

We made our way up the Oxford chimney less, passing Matilda Rose and Balmaha. One day we will catch up with Vanessa and Mo, but it will probably be next winter now. As for Jill and Graham we said we would meet them in the pub in Cropedey.
When we got to The Red Lion pub it was very busy with people waiting outside and you know when things come in threes, well we weren't too shocked when they said we never had a booking. We booked over a week ago and were very disappointed when they told us they would have to squeeze us in the bar, and not in the restaurant. Al then asked if she could see the booking sheet and there was our telephone number under a completely different name, so we had a table after all. We had a fantastic Sunday lunch and met up with Jill and Graham for drinks afterwards.
When we left, we said we would try and meet up later in the evening.
When we got back to Derwent6 we said our goodbyes to Len & Terry and drowned our sorrows on the days events , so thought we would have a lay down....bad move we slept right through the late afternoon and evening, so if we missed you J & G sorry! but we must have needed it !!!!
Anyway best to get all your bad luck out the way all in one day!!!!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Heading back to Banbury

A bit colder this morning but with bright sunshine and a strong wind.... As we were ready to set off a crowd of guys came passed us on a stag do......They were heading up to Banbury in three hire boats and having the night out and travelling back Sunday. They were all dressed up in fancy dress and were all having a great laugh. This guy did give us a laugh!!!We followed them up taking in the wildlife again.
We found a nice spot just before Banbury and then went out and did some sticking..(looking for kindling for the fire)

We sat and watched the Rugby in the afternoon and in the evening we had a meal on Derwent6 and put on some soft music........yes we had lamb shanks.....those poor lambs...but it was lovely!

Just look at our red faces, it's looks like we have had a week in the Bahamas!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Can you believe it!

We woke up to bright sunshine again...Len and Terry have been on board and have had the best week of the year so far...jammy or what!

We left Banbury at around 10.30am and made our way through all the gongoozlers at the lift bridge and lock in the town centre... It was nice to get out in the country again, passing under more of the famous Oxford lift bridge's
We only had one lift bridge down but with extra help on board it made life easy to get through.
With Spring on the way it was brimming with wildlife

and lots of deep locks....

We made our way onto Aynho and booked ourselves in for dinner so we chilled out all afternoon feeding the swans, watching the lambs and rabbits.

In the evening it was back to the wine and watching the sunset and then off to The Great Western Arms for a slap up meal....the food was good, but it was a bit pricey..... We all had a good time though..

Thursday, March 19, 2009

26 years today

It's our 26th Wedding Anniversary today....

We set off from Cropedy a bit earlier this morning and trundled pass all the moored boats and through the three locks on our way to Banbury. It was lovely countryside until we went under the M40 and hit the outskirts of the town. We moored right in the town centre and had some lunch on the boat. while we were having lunch n.b. Matilda Rose (http://contentedsouls.blogspot.com/ ) came pass...We will catch up with you guys later!!!Then did some shopping........ It made a change to walk around a shopping centre after so many villages and you get to catch up with what's out there...

When we got back there was this guy with his nine year old owl. keeping a watchful eye on Derwent6.

In the evening we were taken out for a nice curry as there are not many eating places in Banbury it's self. We managed to find a place called the Indian Plaza Balti, it looked like a cafe from the outside but was busy inside. We had a lovely Indian... and staggered back to the boat for a coffee and bed!!!!!!!