Monday, August 31, 2009

Missing Derwent6

It made a change to wake up in a house again but you actually feel a bit claustrophobic. You can't look out of the window and look at the countryside. When you talk to each other you seem miles away. We had to walk Murphey the dog before doing a bit of shopping on the mad roads down here.

We met up with Steve, Erica, Bernie and Sarah for a lovely meal in the afternoon as it was Zak's birthday. Still missing Derwent6 though!!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Looking after Murphy

We have been down to Kent for the last couple of weeks looking after Murphy the dog while Deb and Steve went to Canada for their daughters wedding.... We will give you a brief update to show what we have been up too.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Winter closures announced

It was good news that BW have produced a draft document( ) of the winter closures for 2009/2010, so we sat down today and planned a route south for later in the year. We were looking up all the places of interest to us, but probably, knowing us, we won't get round to any of them.... It has been very busy here today with some boats going past so fast it feels like we are surfing, but holding on to the glasses. Its a lovely sunny day so we will be sitting out and making the most of it.......

Friday, August 28, 2009

Chilled with the freezer off

Another windy day today with a chance of showers, so a quiet day chilling out. We walked up to the chandlers and picked up some stern grease and waste tank additive, dropping our rubbish off on the way. As the weather brightened up in the afternoon we sat in the cratch reading.
We have now turned the freezer off as we have used everything in it and wanted to see if it makes a difference on the batteries, and was surprised how much better it is. We are now back to running the engine for an hour and half a day where it used to be two hours. The freezer is much better when we are cruising and not happy when we are static for a few days. Saying that, it's fantastic to have a freezer due to the fact you don't have to worry about having fresh food on board in remote areas and not having to rely on tinned food.
We won't be doing much over the weekend because we'll hopefully be enjoying the bank holiday sunshine!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Early Cruise

Got up early so we could beat the morning was lovely to be cruising early and seeing all the wildlife it was very tranquil. It took us a hour to get to Braunston and just before we got there we met these early birds. There were three pedalo's coming towards us with their back packs on board but we must admit they could have walked faster.... On entering Braunston it seemed quite quiet and we were a bit surprised to see quite a few mooring spots. The old wooden bridge going over the marina entrance had got a new one. We then went pass the old pumping station before pairing up with a hire boat to go through the locks. At the top of the locks there were six boats waiting to go down and in the tunnel we met another six boats, one of them being a rather over sized dutch barge which Derwent6 didn't like too much. Oh well get the paint out later.....

When we got to Norton there were plenty of moorings so we moored up for the bank holiday weekend. We wiped Derwent6 down after going through the tunnel who should be walking along the towpath but Andy off n.b Maisibert ( ). Hilary had gone down south for a few days....(sorry to have missed you Hilary, hope to see you soon). In the evening we walked down the pub for a nice steak and chips for a change, washed down with some Frog Island......lovely!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

We'll stay put....Over!

Woke up to the wind and the rain lashing the side of Derwent6 so just pulled up the sheets. When we did get up Del sorted out some engine room stuff like checking engine, gearbox and coolant levels before fitting the VHF radio. We then had a music fest with Al singing and Del on the guitar, while we watched all the boats going by battling in the wind and rain. We had no reason to move today so thought we may as well wait till the weather improves. After a lovely lunch of Spag bowl Al read her book while Del listened to music on his headphones. In the evening we played guess the intro on itunes....

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Del Boy at the locks

We left early this morning....early what's early, we here you say.....Well it was 9.00am. early for us. We set off for the locks and only had one boat in front of us.As we were mooring up who should be coming out of the locks but David Jason from "Only fools and horses" on a hire boat, who spotted the Del on the side of Derwent6 and said it's nice to know another Del Boy. It just wasn't the right place or time to get the camera out as you could tell he was trying to get away from all that.

When we got to the Napton flight Al said she would take Derwent6 down the flight which meant Del had to do the locks.....for a change!

When we got to the bottom lock we thought we would top up with water and get rid of the rubbish. We were a bit disappointed that they don't have recycling bins here as we had just got into recycling from Cropredy.

We gave our old copy of Canal Boat magazine to the boat next to us filling with water and he went into his boat and gave us a book, it pays to be nice to people....

We then hit the M25 of the waterways again and soon had three boats following us..Ho Hum they will have to wait....we're in no rush.... it wasn't long before we were in a string of six boats.
The clouds were starting to get darker so we moored just in time before a short sharp shower.

In the evening we just listened to music....... and chilled

Monday, August 24, 2009

Free Blackberry and Apple crumble....yummy!

The day didn't start too good today....While we were having a fried breakfast Del got stung by a wasp..... We then went out blackberry picking as we had run out of deserts, so Al was going to make a apple and blackberry crumble.It then started to drizzle so we decided not to move today, we really like this spot anyway and Al was well into her book and Del wanted to do a bit more on the guitar. It turned out to be a nice day, but still alot of boat movement, so we were pleased not to be queuing at the locks.

We had a sing song in the afternoon much to the amusement of passing boats. The day ended up with us stuffing ourselves with the crumble.....Oh well, it was free and we can work it off through the locks tomorrow..

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Washing day

After a lovely sunrise this morning we could see with the strong winds it would make a good washing day. We didn't want to move today as it was busy with boats and we wanted to see the Grand Prix....After doing some small jobs and watching the race we just sat and read in the cratch till the athletics came on. We also listened to the cricket........ It is such a peaceful spot here we will find it difficult to move tomorrow, so weather pending maybe we won't.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

It's like buses here

Nice sunny day today but definitely a bit cooler. Del got on with cleaning Derwent6, wiping her down, and Yes, doing the brasses. Al, well she had a lie in. We then watched the qualifying with lunch, and then decided to walk it off by geocaching. We went out to hunt down five geocaches, yep five, and with great success, but we were shattered when we returned. There are ten in this area alone, but we will be saving some for when we have friends on board.While we were out we had a rare treat and spotted this fella crossing the canal, he was a bit surprised to see us. It has been like buses here today with five boats going by in a row and then nothing for a hour or so, strange with all single locks on this canal. On the way back we picked some crab apples because Al was going to make some chutney with them, nice on a curry night......
In the evening we sat in and watched the athletics and shhhhhhhhh...... the X Factor.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Finding a weekend spot

We decided to leave early this morning, as the weather forecast was wet in the afternoon. We got to Cropredy village and Al popped in the shop for a paper while Del did the first of nine locks. We then got to the third lock and yes you guessed it, they got it wrong again and it poured hard. There was sunshine and showers all morning but the queues were ok at the locks. After one heavy downpour we were going to stop at Claydon but decided to press on. This fella wanted to help Al with the locks. We stopped at Fenny Compton for a gas bottle and then got out into the countryside where we wanted to be for the weekend. We were being pushed by two other boats behind us but that wasn't going to bother us.It was good to see the old wooden plank bridge being re-erected, but we do still miss the old low one. They have now renamed it the Wedding bridge, we wonder why? We had to find a good telly spot so we can see the Grand Prix for the weekend and watch the weekend rush. It's not been as warm today and we have been on the back with sweatshirts on but it has been an enjoyable trip.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Staying put!!

The wind was howling against Derwent6 and the rain washing her down as we got up this morning, so we decided to stay put. As the morning went on the rain did stop but the winds were proving difficult for some boats as they went past us. So nice day to ourselves just messing about really, general cleaning, guitar practice, and listening to music, with some athletics in the evening. We didn't even step outside the boat today........Lovely!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Everything all on queue

Well it seemed like a noisy night after being in the countryside for nearly two weeks, but we were woken up by a tap on the side....."have you got any jump leads" a man from a hire boat said. He had got a flat starter battery and planned to jump off his domestic batteries, not a good idea and one which often won't work. With that Del got up to help him out and ended up walking along to Tooley's boat yard and borrowing their jump pack and leaving the keys to Derwent6 as a deposit. After getting the engine started we found it wasn't charging (a alternator fault) so he had to phone his hire company anyway but at least he could run the engine so the rest of the family had hot water.

Meanwhile Al had taken the opportunity to do a bit more shopping, a danger in a village let alone a town. So when she got back we made our way down through the town centre and down to the winding point to turn. At the bottom of the lock we had to wait to get water but we didn't mind as we knew we would be on there for ages. Our water has gone for 13 days and we have not changed our living habits at all. We also took the opportunity to empty the waste tank using the manual pumpout. We made our way back through Banbury which was like Piccadilly Circus, and we had to hold Derwent6 before the dreaded swing bridge where we lost our chimney last time. With us a bit lower from a full water tank we went under with ease.

We had a queue of five boats at the first lock and two there after so it was a slow journey back towards Cropredy, but the sun was shining so who cares. It was satisfying watching them crawling along on the M40 while we were waiting to go through the locks, and we know where we would rather be. At one of the locks we had time to have a look around and found a nice plum tree and greengages, some yummy puddings coming up we think.

The plan was to get through Cropredy today, but due to the traffic we knew we weren't going to make it. We were surprised when we got to our old mooring of 12 days it was still there. So with a good TV signal, 3G and rain on the way tomorrow it was rude not to use it again for a couple of days.

It had been such a hot sunny day today so we got out the BBQ and chilled for the rest of the evening with the Athletics.
We though we had better mention this guy as he had been with us all day and we had got rather attached to him. Here he is on the cratch cover.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Busking in Banbury

With water at a quarter of a tank we thought we had better move off today. We have been at Cropredy for twelve days and really enjoyed ourselves. We set off at 10.00am and made our way through the first lock where we were greeted by a Mink which run along the lock and was going to cross the lock gate before it saw us. We never had the camera, so no photos we're afraid.
We made our way down to Banbury and were lucky enough to get a mooring just before the town centre. We then popped into town as we wanted to change one of our folding chairs which had torn a seam and was still under guarantee. They were really good in Robert Dyers and changed it with no hassle. We then had a McDonalds as we like to grab one when we can....Not many on the canal you know, perhaps there's a opportunity for someone......a sail through Big Mac! After picking up some other bits and pieces we headed back to Derwent6 to have a read with our new magazines. It's very busy here and there's loads to watch and do. We did like the paintwork on these closed side doors on one boat. Al was going to send Del out onto the streets to do a bit of busking with the guitar and make a few bob, but the crowds may get a bit peeved with Mull of Kintyre, as that is all he can play lol.

We'll get the water tomorrow.........

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lazy Day

Had a lay in this morning, still recovering from the weekend. As we still have a couple of days left in the water tank, we decided not to move, and just pottered about. Del cleaned the brasses, whilst Al made some home made soup for lunch. We said our goodbyes to Alan & Frances on nb Lazy Days as they set off, and we watched a steady stream of traffic wending their way all day.
Chilled out for the rest of the day watching the Athletics........will move on tomorrow.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

And now the party's over

It was a nice sunny morning but we were in recovery mode. We had breakfast at around 9.00am and watched all the tents and caravans packing up, The queue was horrendous just to get out of the field.At 11.00am Phil and Marlene turned up to have a cup of tea and say their goodbyes. We then walked back to the car park with them as we wanted to see the charity cricket match which was Fairport Convention v Cropredy cricket club. It didn't start until 2.00pm so we went back to Derwent6 for lunch. The cleaning up operation had already started, but there was rubbish everywhere. The village seemed dead compared to the last couple of days. After a nice salad lunch we walked back down to the cricket and watched Fairport get trounced. It was lovely sitting out on the green with a blanket and a beer of course. After seeing all the stars we left with the clouds closing in and it seemed to be getting a bit colder, so we made our way back to Derwent6. In the afternoon and evening we watched the Athletics, enjoying our gold medal in the heptathlon, and saw Mr Bolt, the fastest man in the world, run 9.58.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cropredy, Day three

We woke up at 9.00am still shattered..... we mustered up some energy and got dressed. We could not be bothered to go over at 12.00am today so missed Richard Digance and the Churchlifters but we wandered over to see Feast of Fiddles. They were really good and we dived down the front to get in with the crowd. After seeing them we decided to walk down to one of the pubs to see a new band called Leatherats. Well it's a good job we did because they were brilliant. They played a mix of Rock and heavy folk which gave it a bit of Queen and Pink Floyd feel. They must have been good as we walked away with their first album and missed a bit of Nick Kershaw on the main stage.We got back just in time to watch Nick's last four tracks and then waited for Ralph McTell who's lyric writing was superb as every song told a story. Then it was the main band, Fairport Convention, where we wasn't expecting much, but they were also very good.....It was even better when Cat Steven's came on stage, here are two of his greatest fans who got to the front. They finished with their sad old song of Meet on the Ledge which turned out to be very moving, and a good end to the three days. We left at 1.15am after the crowds had gone. We trudged through the rubbish back to Derwent6 and got to bed at 1.30am.....Knackered!