Sunday, February 25, 2018

Ahead of the cold snap

The weather looks like we have another cold snap ahead, and as we didn't want to be iced in where we were we decided to move on..
Al went down to Tesco's and got a shop to keep us going, and Del checked the anti freeze levels and then met Al to carry the bags back to Derwent6.
We set off at midday through an empty Brownsover and made our way back to Brinklow going over the two aqueducts.
Where the canal hasn't been used it is getting a bit mucky in places..  There are some tricky turns in places and you can see where the hire boats have hit the bridges.
We went through the tunnel at Newbold which again was full of broken branches and rubbish, its amazing how much the boats keep it clean.
 We then made our way past Cathiron and towards Brinklow marina.
After a tricky turn in we got on to our pontoon which Eric had organised for us. It is always windy up here and it took us a couple of goes to get in, but after Al did a bit of pushing off we reversed into our old original slot.
It was nice to be back on shoreline and we had a good telly signal. So with batteries charging back up we chilled with the Olympics and football..

Gas Leak Detector

Our main objective today was to sort out this gas leak.. We could smell it out in the cratch area and also round the fire which was a bit of a worry.. We didn't sleep very well and run the fire so low it was a bit of a chilly night..
Del ordered a Gas leak detector tool from Screwfix which cost £49.00 yesterday, and picked it up in the morning.
After getting back Del was sniffing around and found the leak easily.
It turned out to be a loose nut under the gunwale where the seats fix in the cratch.. After tightening it up the gas tester confirmed it was fixed..
To any boat with gas fitted we would recommend everyone having a tester on board. Its very easy to test the pipes and bottles for leaks. Even the new bottles have leaks and it is very dangerous as it is invisible..  So worry over for us at the moment..

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Just a Lucky Day

We had some things we needed to get here at Rugby so we set off early to get some tarpaulin for our cratch cover. We plan to have it all re-stitched and given some TLC, so we need to cover up the bow while we do this. We found some which hopefully will be the perfect size.
We then went and had some lunch in Frankie and Benny's where we had some vouchers giving us 50% off our main meals, we had a pizza each and it came to £9.00, our first piece of luck.
Al then went to Boots and got some cosmetics, and with that got a free gift, and when we got to the till the lady said if we put a few things through separately she could then use the voucher on that receipt to get a further discount, our second piece of luck.
We then went back to Derwent6 and ordered a few items to pick up tomorrow, and then at 7.00pm we went out into Rugby to watch the football on the big screen. We ordered the drinks and just caught happy hour, they came to £5.50, touch, and when we sat down at our empty table Al found a five pound note under her chair, our third piece of luck..
After the football we then walked over to The Merchants Inn, (Del's favourite pub,) because there is music in there on a Tuesday night.. When we arrived it wasn't who we thought it was and it turned out to be Kent Duchaine with his famous guitar Lead Bessie.
The man is a Legend in his own right and is just a fantastic Delta Blues player, and if you ever get the chance, go and see him..
To make things even better, two people had to leave there seats as we turned up so we were right at the front.. Our forth piece of luck.
We came out of the Merchant's at midnight and walked the half hour walk back to Derwent6. We had already made up the bed and fell into it with big smile's on our face's, we just could believe our luck!

Tea at the Ritz

We were up early again as Al was getting the train down to London. Del was having a chilled day but Al was having a bit of a treat. For Christmas, Sarah got an afternoon tea at the Ritz and she asked Al to join her..
They met in London and got there for 11.00am and had a wander around the Ritz until they could be seated in the Palm Court which is like a big conservatory.
They chose their tea from the menu and then it arrived. Its as much as you can eat, so you don't leave hungry!
They got back before the rush hour and were still full up and didn't need anything to eat when they got back..
So it was football and the Olympics in the evening..

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Quiet Cruising!

After a heavy night we were up early as we thought the weather might be a bit iffy. It showed it was going to be cloudy but in fact it was misty first thing and then we had a bit of sunshine. We set off from All Oaks and with no wind the canal was like a mirror glass.
In fact it was lovely to be cruising again and we took the opportunity to do a bit of washing while watching the new born lambs in the fields..

We soon got to Newbold tunnel and never passed a boat, it has been so quiet, lovely!
We passed through Brownsover and again it was empty because of the closure at Clifton.
We spotted some wood on the way up to Clifton marina, which is now a winding hole. Its a bit tight to turn but we got it spot on and turned easy.
It has nice views of the cows in the fields opposite.
We then went back to Brownsover and filled with water and got rid of our rubbish.
We then picked our mooring and picked a spot where we could get telly.
Al walked down the shops and picked up a roast chicken for a Sunday lunch, while Del cleaned out the chimney and set things up.
We have been a bit worried because we are getting a funny smell from the cratch area which smells like gas, but could be a dead animal. It seemed to go when we turned off the gas so an inspection will be required later, another important item added to the list
We watched the Olympics and the football in the afternoon and threw another log on the fire. We are so enjoying where we are..

Super Saturday

We were up early and watching the Olympics and it turned out to be a Super Saturday with a gold from Lizzy Yarnold, the girl from West Kingsdown in Kent, together with us getting two bronze medals. This took up most of our day and we needed to go out in the evening.. We booked a table at The Bulls Head in Brinklow as there was a band on.
We got there at 7.30pm and had a great table by the band. The food was very good and not too pricey and the band came on at 9.00pm just before our desserts.
The band were called "One Six Twenty" and they played rockabilly and played it well. We got loads of 50's and 60's music which got us foot stomping. The drummer was a session player who had played for Yellow Dog and even Danny La Rue of all people.
We had a great time, singing along and rocking!
Eric from Brinklow marina gave us a lift back to Derwent6 and we got in at midnight, a good night!!

Meeting friends

It was a lazy day with breakfast with the Olympics on. Al then walked into Brinklow and posted a few letters and picked up some bits while Del polished the sides..
In the afternoon Andy and Hilary off n.b. Maisibert met up with us for a nice cup of tea and biscuits.. We had a lovely afternoon with them both as they are going through a tough time at the moment..
In the evening were doing this blog with a helper..

Friday, February 16, 2018

Clean, Gleam!

It was a bright sunny day today and a good day for getting Derwent6 gleaming again.
Al had a paperwork day so we have a bag of rubbish to get rid of.. It has been so quiet here and to be honest we are loving it!!

Busy here ain't it!!

Happy Valentine

We don't get each other cards and things for Valentine's Day, because every day feels like Valentine's Day, a good excuse for Del, but Al still likes to do little things and it started with breakfast.. Yep that is heart shaped toast!
We then made a few phone calls because we wanted to sort out some things on Derwent6, but more about that later..
It was a very cold night and the central heating had to come on for only the third time this year as we had ice on the inside of the portholes and the fire needed support! Mmm it was lovely when we did that, looking out the window to see we were iced in.
Soon the fire was roaring and the ice on the canal was melting as things warmed up a little outside.
Del then re-checked all the belts on the engine, as when the generator was used the other day we could hear one slipping, also the bilge was cleaned out and some greasing was done, as the covers were off..
We still have this drip from the oil seal but we will have to go to the safety of a marina to change that because Del has to remove the main pulley which became loose and it means the keyway will be inspected and all the re-torquing will have to be done again. Finger's crossed it comes off and goes on alright.
In the evening Al had cooked a lovely Valentine meal with loving wine!! Bless!

Pancake day and the Mile Roses

It was one of those feel like doing nothing days, but it's shrove Tuesday and you have to make the most of things..
We watched the Olympics in the Morning until just after lunch and then Al cooked a lovely chicken dinner followed by pancakes, of course. Al has progressed with her tossing skills and didn't drop any of the three she made!..
After we had full tummies we got ourselves ready and then walked into Brinklow as we knew it was folk night with the Wurzel Bush club, which funny enough is run by Eric from Brinlow Marina and Dave Sampson..
They has a guest appearance of a brilliant folk band called "The Mile Roses" which are a blend of folk and country and they all write their own stuff.. Try and catch them on tour if you can. We were drinking and foot stomping all night till late..
When we came out we just felt we had a great time. It was very cold when we left and it was showing minus three. The bonus was that the towpath was frozen and not muddy and we had left the fire ticking over so Derwent6 was warm and toasty when we got back.. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Brinklow and stuck, with a seal of approval

We have had a lovely week at Brownsover near Rugby. It has all the things you want in the winter months like the cinema, shopping, and food. It also has water, a rubbish disposal, and an elsan, and (apart from the muddy towpath!) the best thing is that it has been empty of boats here with the canal closure at Clifton..
Al has been shopping every day while Del has rested his groin and back. So no boat cleaning, no engine work, no DIY, and definitely no lifting.
It was a lovely sunny day and we had a sprinkle of snow, a good time to cruise.. It was up early and first the washing went on using up the water in the tank. Al did a last top up of filling the cupboards with food and then we pulled over to the water point. We filled the bow and emptied the stern and then set off.
It was pleasant cruising but there was a lot of wood floating in the canal were it had been a bit static with not much boat movement. You had to be careful that you didn't pick up something which would wedge in the prop. 
We got to Newbold where it seemed a bit busier, but still spaces.
We then got to Newbold tunnel and it seemed a bit haunted as it was so quiet.
We got out in the countryside and were surprised to see five, yes five guys cutting the hedges back and mowing the towpath, CaRT know how to spend their money they haven't got..

We then got to Brinklow and thought as the weather was good we would turn, bad move!
We had never turned here before on Derwent6, and stuck the front end into a bridge hole, but the canal went back on itself, and on turning in the stern got caught in the mud and we lost steering and got wedged across the canal..
First Al then Del tried to pole the front round but it was stuck on rocks and we couldn't get off.. Luckily a boat must have been behind us and a guy appeared with a smile on his face "wanna hand" he said..
Del threw him the centre rope "That'll cost ya" he said laughing. Poling and pulling we got free and thanked the guy who decided he wouldn't turn there!..
Relieved, we moored up and sorted ourselves out, yep we're still learning lol!
We set up telly and then met up with Terry on n.b. Aqualady, he helped us when the bottom pulley fell off the Beta 50 by letting us link into his generator.
As we are on the pulley issue, we have had a problem with the oil seal now which appears to be leaking in the sump pan.. I take it this got damaged by the pulley nut coming loose and rattling round in the seal. It's not leaking bad (one small drip a day), but will get worse over time. Its a shame Beta don't supply a new one in their modified pulley kit, knowing a new pulley will need a new seal. We had to take a chance at the time as we just needed the engine running at any cost.. In Beta's defence they have offered to send out a new seal as a good will gesture. We have now done 100 hours on the clamp, but the belts need checking as we get a screeching when the engine is cold, lets hope its not that pulley. Del hasn't been able to look because of his groin strain!..
Oh we still haven't got any answers on the questions we asked them, but they have offered our money back if we take off their modified clamp, for their design fault, and put it in a box, and send it back to them.. No this isn't a joke!!!
Anyway, Terry bless him, then offered to saw up our wood as Del was struggling with his groin strain. I think he also wanted to show off his latest chainsaw which cut it all up like butter, so we might be investing in a new chainsaw..
We settled in and then watched the Olympics all afternoon, smug that we had beat the rain we were expecting tomorrow..

Trip to Banbury

It was up early this morning and running the engine for a shower as we had a train to get at lunchtime. We left Rugby and changed at Coventry and then went to Banbury.
After a bit of a walk around and a bit of shopping we met up with Mark and Sian of n.b. Mochyn Du. We did a few pubs (nothing changed there) and then had a curry (nothing changed there either)
It was lovely to catch up with them both and we had a great time as always. We even supplied some of the entertainment with some singing and guitar playing at one stage..

Monday, February 12, 2018

Needed a glass and a rest

We woke up to a light covering of snow on the towpath and the fire was the first thing to attend too.  The first thing we noticed was a small crack in the glass had appeared over night. Blimey what else! We looked on line and found out that Morso was just round the corner from us, so a quick ring was in order. They were only a distribution centre but the lady we spoke to, Samantha, was very helpful. She said they don't supply parts but she would see what she could do to get us one. If you pop in this afternoon I will have one here.. Wow great service, hard to come by these days..
We had some lunch and then took the 15 minute walk to Swift Valley retail park and called her when we got to the gates..
They opened electronically and we met her in reception. Not only did she sell us the part but she took us through to their training room and showed us how to fit it and also showed us how to do the collar which is a summer job for us.. We left feeling that their customer service had exceeded all expectations..
From there we went over to the retail park and walked back along the old canal section which they had all cut back and cleaned out, we wonder what the idea here is..
We popped in Halfords and then went for a coffee at Cafe Nero..

After a nice chill out we went to Tesco's to pick up a few bits.. On the way back Del was getting a pain in his groin which we feel might be a slight strain from lifting some heavy wood the other day.. Rest was in order for the rest of the day.

Through the closure and full again

We got up early just in case Mark on the coal boat Calisto came through early..  Still with a no show in the morning we chopped up some more wood to top the locker back up for the next cold snap.. Other boater's had told us the coal boat was close to us and at 12.30pm Mark arrived.. Its always good to have a chat with Mark, he is like the Telegraph for the canals.
We were shocked to find out that bridge 75 which was closing the canal had now been cancelled. When checking this he was right, but the canal was still closing due to the work on bridge 66A. Rumour has it they are doing bridge 68 the Kent road bridge as well.

We gave the coal boat a 40 minutes head start so we didn't get in his way and set off full of diesel, wood and coal..
You can see the posts fitted where they will chain the canal on Monday 5th and the work is ready for the bridge structure to turn up..

We passed Clifton Marina which was busy with boats and you couldn't get in to use the services there.

We made our way up to Brownsover at Rugby and the good news was that the water point was empty..
With Derwent6's tank near to empty it was going to take along time to fill so while we were on it we decided to manually empty the waste tank. Al went off and got some shopping at the local Tesco's and as the water poured over the overflow she turned up, good timing!
So very smug with all our resources back we pulled over to find a mooring on the 14 days.. The towpath here is still bad and very muddy, but we have been used to that this year.
We were even luck enough to get telly here.  Del got rid of the rubbish and picked up another bag on the way to the waste bins, and then we settled in for the night..