Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Oakley leads the way

We set off early at 9.00am this morning as we heard the weather was going to be stormy later on, and headed for the marina for our pump out. We pulled in and got sorted on the service station, but it all seemed very quiet.
Al had walked up there on Saturday and found out they were open but failed to find out the fact that they didn't start till 10.00am on a Monday. Still time for a cup of tea and some breakfast. We ended up getting a gas bottle and we did feel our pump out was a good one so it was all worth the wait. From there is was out and onto the water point. Del had been wanting to wash the cratch cover with a new fluid he had got from A J Canopies a month ago, so used this water point as it had a nice area to do it.. When we had filled Del hosed off the canopy, so lets wait and see if it gets rid of all that green mould. We got the lock ready and as we went in another boat turned up.
It turned out to be a couple who had not long been on the cut and they were out on a trip to London. She was partially sighted and she had a guide dog called Oakley, and what a lovely dog.. she said "bollard" and he found a bollard and sat by it so his lead could be put over it, he never moved.
The lady suffered with like a pencil vision so could only see what was directly in front of her..
Oakley guided her round puddles on the towpath, he was her wider vision. When we parted she told him to make friends and he just changed into a normal dog wagging his tail and licking us to death.... We then moored at Berkhamsted and we could have got in anywhere here, unusual as it is normally so busy.
I'm sure it will get busy with the boats travelling to the cavalcade in London this weekend. We chilled in the sunshine until we got the rain they said we would get.. Great big drops of it, but it never stormed.

Getting our Fixes

On Saturday morning Del went down into London as he was meeting mate Bernie for a Colditz Society meeting which is held twice a year. It is a bit geeky but its a good day out and so interesting. He met Bernie at Victoria and they then had a good old traditional breakfast in Trafalgar Square.
We then walked to Waterloo over Hungerford bridge and spotted this hire boat going up the Thames in very windy and choppy conditions, but they were all enjoying it.. 
We met the rest of the Colditz gang in the Union Jack Club which is a club strictly for the forces.. The meeting was great as always with a small film of a past visit to Colditz.
Its not all about Colditz it also gives very interesting facts about the war and other escapes.. Afterwards we went to The Wellington pub and chatted to other members including Martin Frances who is rebuilding a life size scale of the Colditz glider and is a glider pilot himself..
There is a narrowboat on the system called Colditz and lets be honest it is a great escape.

Del watched the football in the pub with Bernie then he went back to Kent.. Al stayed on board Derwent6 .
On Sunday Del had his gliding fix with Bernie and they went flying with their model gliders for the morning and then watched the Chelsea/Liverpool game in the pub in the afternoon before getting the train back to Derwent6. Al had another shopping fix and got some exercise by walking back into Berkhamsted. We are now low on water and need a pump out so will have to move tomorrow..

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Del's Juice, ON TELLY!

We had a plan today to clear out some old rubbish and Del wanted to lubricate all the locks and hinges for the summer months.. First job was to repair the table in the cratch which had come loose on the screws. Then it was a grease up of the hinges and get rid of the rubbish. Del then went out on his bike and took the route over the Ridgeway. As he pulled out of the woods and got to the main road at Ivinghoe he spotted a large camera filming. "What's going on?" Del asked. "Oh! Keith Lemon" the guy replied and as he answered Keith (Leigh Francis) went past on the back of a trailer..
Del peddled like mad to catch up with him and followed him for about a mile in camera shot..
He must have been filming Celebrity Juice. Worn out he stopped at another camera and heard on the walky talky he was coming back so Del got the camera out..
He took a shot of him and took chase, when the trailer stopped at the bottom of a hill and turned into a car park where Keith Lemon rushed off to relieve himself in the woods.. "Hope you've got a wide angle on that lens" he shouted "need it for meself" Del replied. He laughed!

He jumped back on the trailer and answered a phone call before heading off.
Fancy that in the middle of the woods.
Del then took the Ridgeway track through the very pretty bluebell path which took you high up on the hills, beautiful!
He got back to Derwent6 where Al had been doing the (boat) housework and then reading her book. We had an early dinner and chilled with the telly, on telly!!!!!

Biked to Berk

We decided to take the bikes out today as we felt that after the last couple of weeks of eating and drinking we were getting a bit on the heavy side and Derwent6 was heavy enough as it is.. Del got the dust of Al's bike and then we cycled to Berkhamsted.. It is a pleasant two and a half mile ride from Cowroast as it is mostly tarmac, so when we arrived that thought we deserved a coffee..
We had a toasted sandwich for breakfast with a coffee which set us up for the day. It was Market day and they had some lovely things on the stalls but we headed for the church.
It is nice when you see an open door on a church and we walked in to have a look around. It was lovely and drenched in history..
We then walked along the high street which gave Al a shopping fix, they have some lovely shops.
All the times we have passed here we have only been to Waitrose and never the high street, we were quiet shocked at how good it was..
The weather was starting to turn so we jumped back on the bikes and headed back to Derwent6.
Just as we put the bikes away it started to spit, good timing, that praying in the church might of helped.
 We chilled for the rest of the day feeling good that we had done some exercise.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter weekend

We had some lovely weather here at Cowroast and made the most of it by sitting in the cratch watching the world go by eating chocolate and wine.. It has been getting busier with boats as a lot of them are making there way down to the Cavalcade down at little Venice. We did have a lovely Easter Sunday lunch, roast lamb with all the trimmings followed by a very strong sherry trifle, Yum!..

So yes we are a lot fatter and Del has been making the effort to get out on his bike and burn some of it off.. We have enjoyed our few days in each other company relaxing..  We were passed by Sue and Richard on n.b Indigo Dream and we had a nice chat with them for about half an hour before they had to get on.
We had some sharp showers, late in the day, so we had to light the fire again to keep us snug... Tomorrow will be a jobs day....

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Crew depart

It is amazing when we have Thomas on board we always get good weather and sure enough it was  another lovely day, but Thomas was going home .. We were up sorting out his bits and pieces and he packed his case (well chucked it all in as boys do).. We said our goodbyes and then Al and Tom walked down to the bus stop and they got the train down to London..
Thomas then got the train down to Kent and Al returned..  The sun stayed out in the afternoon and we sat reading out in the cratch watching the boats go by. Del went out on his bike while Al had some me time..  Bet it rains tomorrow!!!

Friday, April 18, 2014

To Rothschilds secret masterpiece

We got up early and did some small jobs after breakfast, before we got the bus into Tring town centre.. We had to wait for a bus for about half an hour, because it was a Sunday service on a Bank Holiday.. It took ten minutes to get into town and as soon as we got there we made our way to Tring Zoological Museum.. Thomas was really looking forward to this as he is mad on animals and wildlife.

We had been before and we've got to say we were still blown away with the animals in there..
It is free entry and well worth the walk up to it.. It is like an over flow of the Natural History Museum in London. It was the home of Walter Rothschild who studied animals of all species back in the 1800's.
Thomas loved it and we had to pull him away as he wanted to spend all day in there..
We came out and grabbed some sausage and chips and then decided to do some geocaching in Tring..

We first did one in Tring park and was amazed at how big and beautiful it was..
The cowslips were all out and when we got to the woods the bluebells were out as well, it must be all this warmer weather.

It was fun seeing it's grounds and soon found our first prize..
We then set about our second hunt and this took us to Tring Church where we had to find some grave stones to give us the co-ordinates for a second find.. We found it with a bit of a walk, feeling smug we weren't beaten.. We then picked up some shopping and got the bus back at 5.00pm..
We arrived back at Derwent6 and it had got a bit busier here.. It has been so quiet, spooky for a Easter Weekend. Even in Cowroast Marina a lot of the boats have not moved.. All the hire boats at Leighton Buzzard must have gone the other way and we have been on our own here for the last couple of days..  We now have one boat behind us and a few boats have moored in front of us, but its still quiet as you normally struggle to get in here.  Thomas was having his last day with us today, so he sat and chilled watching a few Easter films and his favourite things on telly, together with an early Easter egg!

Chopping and Geocaching

We stayed put today and Del was up early chopping us some of the wood on the roof for the colder weekend ahead and also making up some more kindling. He cleaned up the roof where the wood had been in the sunshine before we had some lunch....
After lunch we decided to do some geocaching and picked a couple of finds not too far away from us, (but not before Del got his hair cut by Al)
We went out and managed to find both of them and felt we were getting rather good at this.. We also checked out the bus times for tomorrow.. It started to get overcast and rather cold so we made our way back to Derwent6.. We soon had the fire going and Al had the dinner going.....ready for a chilled out evening..

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Sunny Marsworth Flight

We set off after a bit of breakfast, (toasted hot cross buns of course,) and made our way down to Marsworth Locks watching the wildlife..
We first had a pair of locks which we had to do on our own, but they were in our favour so we went up with ease..
When we got to the top it was a very steady cruise pass the Aylesbury Arm and on to the main Marsworth flight..
We entered the first lock on our own and was helped by the lock keeper. We were then told that a boat had just gone up in front of us and was very kindly waiting in the next lock..
We did know this couple as we had met them briefly in Braunston once and they were experienced boaters. We soon had both boats going in and out of the locks together and this is a tricky flight to do that, as it twist and turns a bit.
We seemed to get to the top lock in record time and we weren't even trying..
Both boats wanted water and we waited behind as they filled up and we had some lunch... 
After we got topped up we carried on at the summit and Thomas took over the tiller through the trees.
He has slowly built up confidence on doing the locks on his own and now steering.. One day Del and Al could be siting on the bow having a glass of wine going along..
We got to Cowroast and found a nice spot in the sunshine where we could get a good telly signal between the trees..
In the past it has been very shallow here, but not this year, at the moment.. We did notice the reservoirs at Marsworth, we have never seen them this full.. The only interruption we had was Phil on n.b Hyperion, the coal boat who topped us up with diesel.
Thomas then started to do some studying (he has his mocks after Easter), and we chilled out in the cratch, till the sun went down..