Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Meeting in Rugby

It was lovely and warm today and the plan was to meet up with some boating friends in Rugby. We decided to leave early and caught the bus at Clifton. We were in Rugby by 11.00am. We made a beeline to Weatherspoons as Del wanted to update the PC and it was faster and quicker using their free Wi-Fi. We were met by Keith and Ann and Lynne and Paul just in time for us all to have their cheap breakfast at £3.49. We had a good chat and a catch up and left at about 2.30pm. After a bit of shopping we got the bus back to Derwent6. We sat in the pleasant sunshine before it got dark when we lit the fire and got ready to watch the football. We say this every time when we watch England, but we wish we hadn't....

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sooty and Sweep

It was quite a damp morning and the fire had gone out overnight again, so the first job of the day was to clean the chimney. It was coked up a bit and probably the problem. Al then got the train down to London to meet up with some work friends and Del walked to the station with her. When Del got back, Derwent6 got a wipe down and then got a polish down the starboard side as the weather started to warm up a bit. He then went out on his bike to get some exercise. Al got back at 6.00pm and Del walked to meet her. We treated ourselves to fish and chips on the way back and sat at the bus stop to eat them......

Monday, February 27, 2012

Turn Around

For the first time we went to bed and left the cratch cover up and guess what, it rained.. It was only a short sharp shower but it got everything wet. We had to move this morning due the the waste tank being at nine on the gauge and Del wanted to polish the other side of Derwent6. We set of at 9.30am in the hope we could pump out at Clifton marina. When we went past there was nowhere to moor up as the boats they were working on were in the way. We didn't feel like breasting up so we carried on to Brownsover. We ended up doing a manual pumpout which we didn't really want to do this time. When you have been static for a long time the sediment in the tank all falls to the bottom and a powerful pumpout is the best way to get it out, plus you can also rinse the tank with fresh water. Still we got the gauge down to pump out next time. Del did all this and got rid of all our rubbish while Al popped down to Tesco's to get more goodies.. We then went and winded (turned round) and topped up with water. As we set of again it was trying to rain so we moored up at Clifton again where we set off from!Del can now do his polishing.... The rain had got worse so it was light the fire and snuggle in for the night... It did bring the lambs out, it must have been the first time they had seen rain. Just look at this little black lamb with it's white tail.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Weekend of Rugby in Rugby

We have had a lovely weekend in the sunshine. Del has got Derwent6 shiny all down one side and all the brasses are gleaming.......that was the mornings work, and the afternoons were spent watching the rugby six nations on telly. On Sunday we had a walk in the sunshine and went to the Butler's Leap restaurant for Sunday lunch.......yummy. It has started to get busier on the canal now with more boat movement and lots of people out walking enjoying the 'spring like' weather.........what a lovely weekend!

Friday, February 24, 2012

A walk to Tesco's

It was a nice morning and we had breakfast out in the cratch again, unheard of in February. We were passed by Lynne and Paul on n.b. Piston Broke and ended up chatting for a good half a hour. It was so nice we decided to go for a walk up to Tesco's and the retail park as we needed money for Gosty the coal boat (remember the IOU) and Del wanted to get some bits for Derwent6. It takes about half a hour from where we are and it is a nice walk. We managed to get most of the things we wanted but Del still couldn't get the pull out switch he needs. As we went by McDonald's we popped in there for a coffee and ended up having lunch there. The weather had turned a bit and it was trying to rain, so we headed back to Derwent6. We just made it before we had a short shower and we felt we had to light the fire to warm us up a bit. We then settled down in front of the telly and watched the Gerry Rafferty night on BBC four which went on till the early hours and we couldn't turn it off with lots of Old Grey Whistle Test footage.......

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Spring Like!!!

We were up and about early again as we had an early night last night. It had been a warm one and we didn't need the central heating or the fire. It felt quite spring like!!! For the first time this year we had breakfast out in the cratch and just when we had finished we could hear the Thump, Thump, Thump of n.b Hadar. It was nice to see Jo and Keith as they pushed on their way to Rugby. Del then got the bike out and decided to give it a service. Last time out it was caked in mud and it needed a good clean out. As the weather was so nice he went out for a bike ride to stretch his legs. Al sat out in the cratch and got into her book in the sunshine. In the evening it was a beer and the footy.......

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Clearing Cupboards

Well we got the wind and we got the rain.. so it was a day when we did some inside jobs.. We cleared out a few cupboards and draws which had some clothes we hadn't worn last year so they ended up going in the bin or becoming new rags for Del for cleaning. By 2.00pm in the afternoon the rain had cleared and the sun tried to come out. Del cut up some wood we had found yesterday and when we run the engine Al did some more washing.. You could feel it warming up during the early evening and we let the fire go out as it was getting too hot to sleep.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

All Oiled up for pancakes

It was a warmer night last night and we had some lovely sunshine so a good day for some outside jobs. We had our breakfast and as we did the calf opposite was having his as well. Del got the wood oil out and started on the cratch boards which had gone a bit white over the hard frosts we had been having. With oil in hand this continued on, doing the cratch table and doors and all the wood on the stern deck. With the nice weather there has been a lot of boat movement and it wasn't long before we got a toot from someone we knew, n.b Piston Broke and n.b Oakfield came past on their way to Rugby. We then went on the hunt for wood and were lucky enough to find some, and drag it back to Derwent6 for cutting up in the morning. Al then oiled up the pans for pancakes as it was Shrove Tuesday and with full tummies we then settled down for the night in front of the telly to watch the Brit awards...

Monday, February 20, 2012

We love Monday's

Pinch yourself it Monday!!! Every Monday when we wake up we still can't believe we are doing what we are doing, so we have a little pinch, we are just so lucky! We used to hate Mondays but now it's one of the best days of the week..... We thought we would have an easy day today so Al pottered around inside Derwent6 while Del did his hobby outside, the brasses.. We got together in the afternoon and had a late lunch and then did some reading.. After dinner in the evening we relaxed with some music until the Queen came on the telly......

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Gosty's IOU

We had to get up early as we knew Gosty the coal boat was on the way and we didn't want to miss them. Sure enough at 9.30am they turned up and we couldn't hear them coming. It was nice to see Iain and Alison again and we ended up chatting for about a hour. When we came to paying the bill we found we were ten pound short of cash! As they don't take a cheque, we ended up having an IOU and will have to pay them next time we see them. That's great service for you. Al then walked down the shop to pick up some milk and also go to the cash point and came back with a few goodies to eat in the afternoon. Del calibrated the water gauge as it wasn't showing right when we ran out last week. He also tried to calibrate the fuel gauge, but couldn't bleed the diesel pipe going into the tank as he needed a new valve. In the afternoon we watched sport on the telly with football, cycling and then Al's Dancing on Ice.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Ahhhh! Water at last

We lay in bed and thought we had better move to get water this morning. The pump was groaning again and Del couldn't be bothered to cart another barrel of water up. We could see rain on the horizon but we decided to go for it. We set off at about 8.30am and turned at Tarry's bridge. We then passed two boats which meant the locks would be in our favour. We managed to get through with no problems, with the bow of Derwent6 pointing up in the air with no water in the tank, and the wind which was having fun blowing us about as we were so light. We then maneuvered onto the water point. The tap here is very slow but there are two taps. Del was using the hose and filling the container at the same time to try and speed things up. We weren't in any hurry, but the rain was now in the air. It took a good hour and a half to fill the tank, as we did some washing as well, but at least we were full of water at last. The wind and rain was getting worse as we headed towards Rugby so we pulled over at Clifton. We just managed to get the telly set up before the heavens opened..Phew!!! We were expecting Iain and Alison on the coal boat to come through, either today or tomorrow, so Del cleaned out the diesel filters and drained the water from the bottom of the tank, not that there was much in there. The rain by then had blown over and we were left with bright sunshine which gave us some nice rainbows. Del then watched the football in the afternoon, and we chilled in the evening with a film.

Opportunity Taken

We were up early again as we were being picked up by Karen and Terry as they were going back to Kent and we thought we would grab a lift. Al wanted to see her Mum and Dad and Del had a doctor's appointment so it was a good opportunity to do both. We had a good run in the car and were down there by 11.30am. After spending some time with Pam and Alf, Del went to his doctors appointment and we got the train back to Derwent6, arriving home at 8.30pm. As we went to bed, the water was giving up the ghost, so we will be on the move tomorrow.....

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Day out to Coventry

We were up early as Terry and Karen were arriving at 9.30am. It was a nice day and we really wanted to go cruising with them but because they had the car and we had to watch the waste tank and diesel we decided not to. Instead we thought we would go to Coventry and while we were there do some geocaching to get us walking round the city. We jumped in the car and arrived at 11.30am.
The first thing we did was walk round the ruin cathedral which is now a memorial to the blitz in the Second World War. We then did a geocache and found it by one of the churches. After going round the church the girls could not avoid going to look at the shops and we ended up eating in Debenhams.. We did another two geocaches, but never did find them, but it did take us round a nice market.. We then went to the Transport museum which is just one of the best we have been round. They had a beach and surf expedition on and it showed the old to the modern day camper van.. We came back to Derwent6 via the large Sainsbury's and we got all the heavy shopping, like cans, fruit, and jars and of course wine.... We then got ready and drove to The Barley Mow at Newbold and enjoyed their steak deal of any two steaks and a bottle of wine for twenty pounds.. It was a great end to a perfect day...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Guest's Arrive

We woke up this morning with the last bits of ice banging against the stern which turned into a crunching sound when a boat came past and broke it all up. We had a quick tidy up and got another container of water, as we had guests today. Terry (Del's step mum) and friend Karen were staying at a hotel in Hillmorton for a couple of days to see us, and they arrived at 11.30am. We couldn't do too much on Derwent6 because we were so low on water so we jumped in their car and went to The Red Lion pub in Crick for lunch; we like the prices here...
We were back on Derwent6 for coffees in the afternoon and a good chat. In the evening all the girls went out to have more food and then went to the cinema in Rugby, while Del stayed on Derwent6 with pie and chips to watch the football, both the film and the football were as bad as each other.....

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It's Melting!!!! (well it is Valentine's Day)

We were up early and surprised to see the ice still there after such a warm night (well compared to what we're used to). The first job of the day is to get water; this has become a routine in the morning. It has to be done if you like the luxuries of a shower in the morning and doing some washing, clean pants Del then cleaned the porthole liners and some brass cleaning inside. Then it was the job of getting some wood as the coal was getting a bit low. We have a tree down here and one of the boaters has spoken to the farmer who is happy for us to get rid of it for him.. Paul then met Del and they cut it all up and split it between them. We then had a Roses hire boat come past breaking the ice and closely behind him, another boat followed. With the ice broken and the warmer weather, you could see a thaw coming on. In the evening Al had cooked a lovely romantic dinner for Valentine's Day... Let's face it, everyday is Valentine's Day.....

Monday, February 13, 2012

Watching Rainbows (that's the life)

Del got up early and took another waste container and walked it to the elsan point and he came back with water from the water point a bit further on. It pays to do it early because the frost overnight makes the ground hard and it is easier to pull the sack barrow. We had planned to get some wood but as we poured in the water it tried to rain. Del chopped up some more kindling as the wind picked up, and it made it feel very cold again. It was too tempting to go back inside with the fire roaring away.. It rained on and off in the afternoon producing some nice rainbows.. We are still well and truly iced in and won't be going nowhere for a while yet... As coal is getting short round here we must get that wood soon....

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pump repair, saving despair

It wasn't as cold as they thought it was going to be last night, and Derwent6 felt quite warm inside. We had to get the waste tank emptied today so Al walked down to get more water while Del started work on the manual pump out. It is quite a palaver getting to the pump as it behind the large adjusting valve which directs which outlet you want to use. After getting it out Del found a blockage in one of the rubber valves.. Well we had a new service kit on board so we changed all the rubbers and diaphragms. That did the job and we were pumping out nicely, just as Al came back with the water. After a quick spruce up, we met up with Paul (who is on his own for a couple of days) and went up the pub for a £4.80 Sunday Roast. When we got back Del walked the waste to the Elsan point and then got some more water on the way back. Paul had kindly let us have one of his bags of coal as he had some spare, so we paid for the food and drink up the pub. We managed to get all this done before it rained... So we seem sorted now for a few more days.. In the evening we just watched telly checking the weather for the week ahead...........Al could have practised Dancing on Ice outside the window!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Cold test for Derwent6

Wow one of the coldest nights we have had on Derwent6.. It was minus fifteen on the little weather station we have.. The insides of the windows were frozen and that was with the fire going all night..We didn't want to get out the duvet. We normally get a slight rock from Derwent6 when we move around the boat but not this morning, we were stuck solid... We had been thinking all night what was wrong with the water pump before we went to bed and things were no better when we tried it again in the morning. The gauge was still showing four and it is normally pretty accurate. We had to get some water in it today, so Del walked down to the water tap three times which gave us a hundred litres. When we tried to put it in, the hose connecting the filler to the top of the tank was frozen solid.. This made us think that the water tank could also be frozen. After a few kettles and moving the pipe around we manage to free it off and get water into the tank. The gauge still stayed the same at four so it could be a lump of ice causing the problem. The pump started to work properly again. So it looks like we will be putting water in every day till we start to get a thaw. We then tried to empty our waste chance!! The pipes were frozen on that as well and the pump couldn't work properly, it might be a fault on the rubber valves on the pump.. We have left some antifreeze down it overnight so watch this space! Knackered from carrying water and clearing pipes we chilled in the afternoon and evening.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Pretty quiet day

Well we did get the snow but not as bad as they thought.. It was only a couple of centimetres and just seemed to dust everything, it still looked pretty though.... It seemed to warm up a little bit and everything started to thaw a bit in the morning. We just kept ourselves to ourselves and kept warm with cups of tea and home made rock cakes... The afternoon just seemed to get colder and colder so we played games and watched telly.. As we went to bed the water pump started to make a funny noise which made us feel that the water tank could have frozen or we are just that low and the gauge isn't working correctly, hmmm!!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Preparation Day

With snow on the horizon again, today was going to be preparation day. We could still see ourselves frozen in for a few more days yet so resources are now getting low. You can plan these things but only for so long. We thought we would try and do a manual pumpout and while emptying it we would fill another container with water. This went wrong because the pump wouldn't siphon as it was still too low in the tank. We have about another four or five days left and thought it would be easier with no snow on the ground. Oh well!! That's a job for next week now. We did go and get another fifty litres of water and also helped out Ralph, an eighty four year old boater, on his own, just up from us.
On the coal front we are down to our last bag so it will be back onto wood for us...When we got back, we cut up the wood we had on the roof so we have a bit to last us for another couple of days.. We are now mixing wood and coal so we can keep it in overnight. This cleared the roof, so Del took everything else off and gave the roof a polish. OK now let it snow.. It was nice to be back on wood as we just love the smell. It's also very snug watching wood burn.. We just kept warm and at 7.30pm it did snow, not as much as they said it would, but we will see in the morning...

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Up to Crick without a paddle

A really cold night again last night as the fire just took the edge off the biting cold before the central heating kicked in. With the water we got yesterday this enabled us to have nice long showers to freshen up.. The canal coating of ice is now thicker than ever due to the minus seven temperatures we got last night and the bitter winds we have been getting. At midday we set off the catch the bus to Crick. We were meeting up with Del's mum Pat and husband Keith in the Red Lion Pub. The bus took about ten minutes and cost us £1.60 each way. The food here is good quality and great prices and it comes recommended. It was lovely to see them and catch up on all the things going on. When we left them we walked to the post office to post a few letters and then popped into the Co-Op for a couple of things, before getting the bus back to Hillmorton. When we got back it just seemed colder than ever and the wind was biting our faces, we were glad to be back in the warmth of Derwent6. We then got a tap on the boat and opened the side doors to find two police support officers standing there. "Have you seen this man walking around as we are concerned for his safety, he is not dangerous" they said. He was apparently walking around in just a shirt and believe us it was not good in those temperatures. The police helicopter was flying round looking for him as well, gosh lets hope they find him.......
It was nice to just sit by the fire with the telly on and we watched the Folk awards..yep! we love our music......

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Walk for Water

We are now down to half a tank of water and needed to do some washing, so we decided to try and get some water before the temperatures drop too low again and freeze up the water tap. So we got going early so we could get a couple of runs in. Paul and Lynne kindly lent us their sack barrow and water can so we could double up, and we trundled down to the tap which is about a third of a mile away. The snow had thawed a bit and made it a bit easier to pull the sack barrows. So we managed to get one hundred litres in the tank which will help us out for a couple of extra days. It's amazing how much it wears you out and how long out of the day it takes, we needed a well earned rest after it all. For the rest of the day we did nothing as the temperatures dropped again. You could feel Derwent6 getting colder on the outside as the ice sticks to the hull and it creaks and groans as you walk through. We were warm and snug with the fire... We are now starting to get low on coal and will be back on wood by the end of the week if things don't improve. We have been spoilt on coal for the last couple of months, which is not like us.... It was quite spooky outside with the moon glistening off the ice.