Thursday, March 10, 2016

Take a Chance!

In the morning, after not much sleep, Del had a plan.. and soon had the tank dropped down and could see where the leak was coming from.. Yes it turned out to be the pipe which had perished at the sender unit, but with no parts he managed to seal the pipe with a piece of brake pipe he had and a couple of clips.. The problem was the pipe was so bad it could split at anytime in another place..  Do we get recovered back or take a chance driving the car back down the M1?.
We had a 70% chance we could make it or £250.00 recovery charges..  We took a chance!
After loading the car up we got to the gates again in the marina. A quick look and no drips, so we went for it..
We managed just to get to the garage, as we were nearly out of fuel, when Tooty was sick on the way.. On filling and cleaning up cat's sick, it was another look and we only had one drip. With the car filled with fuel we had no choice now and if we could smell petrol we would have to stop and call the recovery out..
We took it easy to start with and no smells, and slowly got more confidence with it with our finger's crossed.. It seemed to leak when the car was at idle so we just made sure we kept moving and we did all the way to Kent luckily!
After unloading we knew a guy in the village who did car repairs.. Dave Carter. Del gave him a ring and he said he was busy, but would pop round later and have a look for us.. Well he turned up and before we knew it he had dropped the tank and renewed the pipe which went round the tank and down the side of the car. It was getting dark and starting to rain,  but he got it all done in an hour and half. He was brilliant and such a nice guy and to top it all, he only wanted sixty quid including the cost of the pipe..
So we were well made up after being so depressed last night..
The good news is that we have got our first stage of Probate through already, (which we know can sometimes take up to eight months), so things are moving..
Our plans are to get the house in Kent sorted and then move back onto Derwent6, popping back to Kent when we need to, although Del is due to have a knee operation soon which could scupper things!

All good plans!

We woke up to ice on the canal again and needed to make our way back to the marina Uuucckkk!
After getting rid of the rubbish at the disposal point we sat and waited for the ice to melt, then the boat in front of us decided to go. Touch! we thought, he should pave the way through the icy sections. It was very cold, but beautiful clear blue skies, just great for cruising..
We took our time and although we saw some ice it was so thin it never did any damage to the bow of Derwent6.. We passed some of our friends on the way and Tooty was making some new ones..

We plodded along for two hours and never passed a boat, and then we met three and always in the thinnest section of the cut.. We grounded a bit on some rocks, but squeezed through.
We soon got to Roses hire boats and dealt with the little swing bridge there..

We just love days like these when things are just like a dream and you're really living it! You just feel like the trees are talking to you as you pass under them,
and the wide open sections, where you feel like you're travelling on a mirror sliding through the green rich fields of the countryside with just the sound of the birds, sheep and the Beta engine purring under the stern deck..

We turned straight into the marina and on to our pontoon with ease and tied the ropes with a big sigh! We had run the food down low so we had nothing on board and the plan was to go and get something in the car and tomorrow go to see Del's Mum..
Wrong! all good plans never work do they..
Del went to get the car out of the carpark and we then though we would go out and have something to eat.. We had also planned to get some things done on Derwent6 which we will tell you about later..
We got to the gates of the marina and Al could smell petrol. On inspection Del saw petrol pouring out from the tank area and we knew we weren't going anywhere.. We turned round and got back to Derwent6. Del had all his tools there and jacked the car up to have a look at where it was coming from. It looked like it was a feed pipe, but it was leaking from the top of the tank area and covered in underseal..  The fuel tank had to be removed to see where it was coming from and it was now getting dark, time for a think!
By now we were starving and Al tried to get a takeaway pizza from somewhere, but not one of them would deliver as far as the marina.. In the end she found a Indian restaurant that did deliver and after an hour we walked to the gates to collect it.. It was lovely having a takeaway on Derwent6 something we hadn't done before, believe it or not!
We were now pondering over 'what do we do now', an expensive recovery to Kent seemed like our only option and then an expensive garage bill when we got down there.. Lets sleep on it Del said and with our bellies filled we crashed into bed..

Sunday Roast beckon's

Brrrr it was a cold night last night.. Even the fire had trouble taking the chill off the boat and it was very difficult to pull the sheets back and get out of bed.. When the porthole liners were removed all we saw was white fields... With the central heating on for a hour and a cup of tea and the fire cranked right up we were soon warm and toasty..
We pulled the pins at 8.45am and made our way towards Marston Junction and it wasn't long before we hit our first problem, ICE!
Where we were moored was fine, but in the open exposed places the canal was still frozen..  Derwent6 breaking Ice, that doesn't happen.. When we hit it, it was so thin it just melted into the water in front of us, phew!
It was still very cold, but very pleasant, as the sun exposed the green fields again. It was also very quiet as we hadn't met another boat and movement was scarce..
We got to the turn on the Coventry and that went smoothly, then we passed our first two boats on our way down to Hawkesbury Junction..
We moored on the seven day moorings (and there were loads of spaces) and Del walked round the corner to see if we could get on the moorings on the Oxford, there was loads of spaces there as well, in fact it was empty. Al took the windlass and got the stop lock ready while Del took the turn in front of The Greyhound pub..
With the smell of beer we took no time in mooring up and getting ready for a Sunday pint or two..
We had tried to book a table but no chance being Mothering Sunday, so we waited for the doors to open and got a table in the bar which was serving the full restaurant menu, touch!
We were not disappointed again, the Sunday Roast was to die for.. in fact we had starters, mains and dessert and come out of there totally stuffed, and fat...
We walked the 100 metres back to Derwent6 and opened the doors to that lovely warmth and smell of the log burner, very inviting when your stomach is full, yep and you guessed it we were soon asleep on the sofa..
We surfaced an hour later and Del took the rubbish we had collected to the Refuge point, something lacking on the Ashby canal.. It started to turn really cold again so I think we will sit in front of the telly and watch a programme on cats, not that we need it..

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Time to reflect

We have a nice mooring here at Burton Hastings and are all on our own, well nearly!..

So we have just chilled for the last couple of days as the weather hasn't been too clever.. We have had rain, sleet, and snow showers, but we have been very warm and snug in Derwent6..  It has been good for Tooty as well..

The Tooter has been venturing out a bit further, until he gets spooked by something..
He sits looking at the ducks and they have got to know him so well now they tease him to go for them, just so they can see him splash into the water.. He just lays in the long grass waiting for a chance that never happens.. 
Sorry about all the Tooty pics but he is the new kid on the block..
We have used this time to think about things that have happened over the last year or so and also to plan for the future and on what we still have to do.. We think we will move off tomorrow!

Friday, March 04, 2016

All viewing the situation

Wow it was so windy last night and the cat was going mad, so not much sleep for us..  Tooty ended up sleeping with us as we think he might have been a bit scared.. This cat is like having a child!
When we all surfaced in the morning it was a lovely clear blue sky and the sun was streaming through the windows.. Funny but Tooty didn't want to move then, snuggled up in the duvet..
On looking outside, Derwent6 was covered in leaves and twigs, and a clean up mission had to take place..
We planned to move today, and after a long chat with a fellow boater, it was time to set off..
It was lovely in the sunshine but the weather soon turned cloudy and colder as we headed towards Hinckley..
We had no problems as there was now plenty of water in the cut due to last nights weather and we soon passed the Triumph Factory.
We headed on past Trinity Marina and then just got under the low bridge.
It was nice to see the new houses again on this stretch..
Here is our view.. and then Tooty's view..
He ran in every time he saw something new like a horse or sheep and even another boat coming towards us, all new to him..
This canal is so quaint when you get out into the countryside..
We spotted some wood on the way down through the next couple of bridges and stopped to pick it up on the way back.. yep we were a bit heavier but we will be warmer. We found a lovely mooring at Burton Hastings..

We had to post a couple of letters so after a cup of tea and some lunch, we set off towards the local village.. There is a lot of history at Burton Hastings with it's 14th Century church.
We posted our letters and then tried to get in the church, sadly it was locked but it was interesting looking round the graveyard..
We walked back and then let Tooty out . He just thought he had better go along the gunwale for safety and he made the wrong decision.. He slipped and fell down the side of Derwent6 banging his leg on the alcove and dipping his tail in the water.. he came back with a sorry look on his face.. Nothing a good lick won't sort out..

Cloudy or Clear

With a wet day in store and snow on the cards, we woke early but just stayed in bed and snuggled down.. That's what we love about boating, if you fancy doing nothing then you can just do that.. Al was having a bad day and had hurt her toe on the gunwale overnight somehow, so the rest would do her good. Del on the other hand was looking at the diesel tank, because when he took a sample out of the bottom of the tank, it came out a bit cloudy.. He then drained the water trap filter and ended up stripping it down to check it for diesel bug.. Everything we crystal clear at this end and that proved that the clouding from the tank wasn't getting to the engine.. Mmmm something to keep an eye on.. and more regular samples to be taken, maybe we just got some dodgy fuel from somewhere or where Derwent6 has been left with half a tank of diesel, we may have gathered a little bit of condensation..
Del the cleaned the porthole liners through Derwent6 while Al read her book and we then got some snow. It was quite thick at first and started to lay in the fields, then it just stopped.

We just threw another log on the fire and the Tooter just took to his favourite viewing position..

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

A would be Happy Birthday!

We woke up a bit sad this morning, today, the 1st March, would have been Pam's (Al's mum) 87th Birthday, so many happy returns Mum and hope you're having fun with Dad today.. We miss you both!
It was pouring with rain where we were so it was decided it would be a stay put day.. Tooty was pleased as he had just got used to the area..
We had breakfast, and just as the rain stopped and the winds started we took the opportunity to pick up a couple of bags of coal, as we were due a cold snap and we needed to keep the fire in overnight.. We went to the local marina next to us, but had to pay twelve pounds a bag for the privilege, needs must!
Tooty is now on walkabouts where we are, but soon comes running back in when he gets spooked by ducks, swans, dogs and even moorhens.... all this was so new to him.. He spent most of the day just looking out of the cratch window.
Al cooked a lovely dinner in the evening sunset and we chilled with a sing song and a few beers, and lit a candle for Mum
 "Cheers Pamela, Happy Birthday and send our love to Alf"

Winding, Watered and Content (well the cat is)

It was a cold night and when we pulled out the bungs we could see why, we were frozen in..
Oh well that has put the mockers on us moving early.. The plan was to leave at 8.30am to get to the Sutton Wharf Café for breakfast, turn and then come back to where we are..
We waited for the ice to melt and Del did some more brasses, as he does..
We ended up leaving at 11.00am after a boat had gone through breaking ice and it had melted enough for it not to harm Derwent6..
It was a lovely slow one hour cruise in the sunshine to Sutton Cheney, The water suddenly got very shallow past this point and slow was the order of the day.
We did pass one boat and grounded, we take it this section hasn't been dredged as the water was flowing over the weirs and looked full. We managed to turn ok and then moor on the one hour mooring point, and we soon got a table in the café over looking Derwent6..
We missed breakfast by ten minutes, but we wasn't worried because lunch looked lovely.. 
With full tummies we set off back towards Stoke Golding and we tried to moor in another spot a couple of times but couldn't get in because it was too shallow..   So it was back to where we had come from.
We then battened down the hatches for the wet weather approaching, and Del made up a hook for the cratch cover so Tooty could go in and out, but all he did was stick his head out until he was spooked and then run back in and sat on the sofa, you can see he has made himself feel at home..
Al still won't let him out at night, because she is worried he might not come back quickly, and then she'll be up all night waiting for him.. Del tries to tell her he is a cat and will go where his food is, Del always comes back when he's hungry...

Monday, February 29, 2016

Scaredy Cat, Scaredy Al

It is just so quiet here! We laid in bed and thought we would have one of those lazy days today.. It was a lovely sunny day, all be it very cold, but we never had a frost...
We opened the doors to let our new member of the family out to the world and he just sat on the gunwale and watched the world go by (till a dog walked past lol)
He was a bit of a scaredy cat and run to the engine room on Derwent6 shaking till he built up enough courage to have another go.. Last night we did have the hands of our clock chewed in the galley (the white bits on the hands are chew marks) and a few things knocked over, it's like having a dog really..
Del oiled the cratch board and cleaned out the bilge, while Al tided the inside which made us a bit thirsty, so we decided to go for a walk.
There is a lot of history around this place with Richard III settled up the road fighting battles.
We found a nice pub out of the three pubs in Stoke Golding called The George and Dragon and we had a couple of pints before we continued our walk back to Derwent6..
Al then cooked a lovely Sunday Chicken Roast Dinner that went down so well after our beers at the pub..
Del watched the football late in the afternoon, and at Dusk, Tooty was getting a bit braver as he was difficult to see..
He ventured off along the towpath and then Al was the one who got scared, worried he might leap into the cut chasing a duck, not realising it was water.. The last thing we wanted was to be groping around in the dark with a fishing net getting a soggy cat out.. (early days)
In the evening we watched some telly with a eager cat trying to get back out...