Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Onley to Braunston for services

We surfaced with a heavy frost on the towpath and on the roof of Derwent6 but was pleased to see that the canal wasn't frozen..
We set off and stuck the frozen ropes on the roof.
This time it was the sun rise we had to deal with, still with it difficult to see due to the pile of wood and smoke coming from the roof.
Again it was cold but pleasant cruising, layers, hats and gloves helped as we made our way into Braunston.
It also helped that Al had made some bacon rolls to keep us going as the church came into view..

Braunston itself was reasonably quiet, as the locks here are closed till the middle of December for repair work.

We stopped for water and got rid of our rubbish and then turned into Braunston marina and had a good pumpout..

We then made our way out to the church moorings and managed to get telly just in time for Del to watch the last Grand Prix of the season.
The days now seem so short and it is an effort to move on these cold and frosty mornings, but you can tell by the pictures its all worth it..

Preparation required!

So we still had some more birthday cards to pick up and made the mistake of choosing Braunston post office. We were also getting a full waste tank and water was required in case we did get iced in.. So we loaded up with wood where we were and then set off towards Hillmorton locks which were gladly in our favour..
It was cold, but pleasant, although with the sun setting in our faces and with our view obstructed by the wood and the smoke from the chimney, it made things difficult.
Lucky it was so quiet on the canal and we never met anything.
We moored up at Onley and set up the telly in time for Al to see Strictly

Birthday Boy

I know its been a while since we blogged and we don't even have the excuse that we have been busy, but sometimes you just need a break.
During the winter months we don't move as much and sometimes stay for a week in one place, unless we're on a 48 hour mooring..

We have still been busy doing other things and meeting friends and family..
Al jumped on the train and went to Kent to see Hannah and they went to the Cinema and then Frankie and Benny's for a pizza treat.
Al stayed the night with Bernie and Sarah so a big thank you again for that..

One of the reasons for Al going down was to pick up Del's Birthday cards, yes Del was 58 on the 22nd November..
After opening his cards in the morning we jumped on a train to London and went to his favourite restaurant, the Hard Rock CafĂ© for lunch.

From there he got his present from Al, a new phone, and also brought a belt and a new shirt. The day finished by us going to a pop up theatre at Marble Arch called The New Orleans which had a themed bar.
On the side of this was a theatre showing the musical  "Five guys named Moe"  and we didn't know what to expect, but it turned out to be really good.
A massive thank you to everyone who sent cards, presents and messages, I got them all and they are on the walls on Derwent6, it is much appreciated.
So what else, well its been wood hunting, cutting and chopping , food shopping and hair cuts etc.

We have had very cold mornings and even had some snow, but Derwent6 has just been warm and snuggly, even Tooty can vouch for that...
Don't go Ahhhhh! He has come back with another rabbit, we can't be feeding him enough.

So we have been very lucky so far..
We still have a slight problem with our batteries which haven't been the same since one of them went down when they were new 6 months ago.. They don't seem to be holding charge so we might have to get on shore power to give them a boost..

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Strictly a good weekend

We stayed at Clifton for a day and Al watched her strictly over the weekend and Del the Grand Prix, as we had good telly signals here. It was nice actually, as Del chopped up all the wood on the roof and filled the storage locker. On the Sunday Al cooked a lovely roast dinner which made us feel a bit drowsy but it was gorgeous.
On the Monday we felt the need to move for a number of reasons, we needed some wood, we needed food, and we had rubbish to get rid of..
So we set off at 10.00am and made our way slowly up to Brownsover, which when we arrived had loads of spaces.
We pulled up onto the water point and topped up while getting rid of the rubbish and also clearing up the car park which was covered in litter.

Al then went and did some shopping and Del went on the hunt for wood.. We both came back with loads and piled it onto Derwent6.
While Al was putting things away Del took the trolley back and then got some petrol for the chainsaw.
We then set off again and turned at the winding hole.
We moored back at Clifton on a slightly different mooring to where we were before which made it a bit confusing for Tooty the cat, but he has to get used to it.
We relaxed in the evening with telly and games, Tooty slept..
We are getting a bit low on diesel now so hopefully we will see Mark on Calisto soon..

Monday, November 13, 2017

All in a Day

After some breakfast we undid the chains and set of towards Braunston. At the bridges here we turned right and moored up on the water point.
Braunston seemed very quiet as we expected it to be very busy with the locks here now shut..
With it so quiet we filled with water while we walked round to Tradline, the rope people, and ordered some fenders and a button which Del wants done in special rope. We will have to wait till March until we can pick them up.
We also bought some  Fabsil Universal protector as on our cratch cover every year, when it freezes, we get drips through the cover when it thaws, this sealer seems to stop that..
We then winded and did a couple of manual pumpout containers at the elsan, just to keep us going ..
We then moved off and moored outside the chandlers where we picked up some antifreeze, grease, a tiller top bush, a chimney rain hat, and some odourlos for the loo..
We set off again and headed up towards Hillmorton as the weather was being kind.
It was a bit windy but it takes a lot to move Derwent6 when its full of water. Saying that when it does get taken in the wind its hard to stop it with a rope..
It was very pleasing to see that CaRT had cut back all the trees along this stretch, but disappointing that they had taken all the wood away or shredded it all!
It is all very quiet now on the cut, but we still met an ex Challenger boat, who while we were exiting a bridge and passing moored boats, thought he could speed past us both. He hit the moored boat telling us two boats can pass here.. They obviously couldn't.
We carried on to Hillmorton Locks and as we had just passed a boat they were in our favour..
In fact at the last lock another boat turned up and locked us down which was a bonus.
We then made our way to Clifton and was surprised at how busy it was.. .Although it was late in the day.
We ended up having to pull Derwent6 back and mooring round the corner.. We set up telly and got the fire roaring.. Tooty liked it here and was off straight away and into the woods.. Del watched the England football game, but wished he hadn't..

Winter prep day

We woke up to another nice day and thought we would make the most of it.. There is a rumor that it could be Snowvember, not that we believe what that papers say, but you have to be prepared.
Del was up and polishing the side before breakfast, Al had made a nice egg and bacon fry up just to keep us going.. Then it was chopping up the rest of the wood on the roof so the locker was full again.
Then it was the paintwork, and the gunwales got painted and any touching up required was done to stop rusting. Then it was a grease up, all the hinges on the side doors and rear stern doors, also the gas locker and of course the stern tube. Then the screw caps like the diesel cap, the pumpout outlets so they can't freeze and you can't get them off in the cold weather..
Del then went on the hunt for more wood and found a bit which we might have to investigate more in the future.
As it got dark we watched some telly with the fire roaring in the corner. Derwent6 had a cozy feel about it.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Just a reminder

We woke up to a bright, but very cold morning. It was one of those mornings that reminds us why we want to do this..
In fact the whole day was a reminder that we love this life..  We untied the ropes and they were frozen solid and the roof was iced up, but with the mist on the water and the engine chuffing out condensation and the chimney smoking, it was bliss!
We got to the junction and the geese were flying over.
We had the whole canal to ourselves as we twisted and turned on this section.
There seemed to be loads of moorings and as we were starting to get cold, the smoking chimney tempted us to moor up and get warm, so a nice two hours cruise.
We managed to get some washing done on the way and when we stopped hung it out in the sunshine.
 Del did the brasses and cleaned up the outside for most of the day and Al did some paperwork jobs.
As the sun went down we were reminded again that we live in the best country in the world..