Sunday, April 29, 2018

That wasn't forecasted

We had a bit of lay in this morning and could hear the sun making Derwent6 creak and groan as the sides got warmed up, but it still felt cold, like we had had a frost. We ended up having to light the fire.
We had some breakfast in the cratch and then set off.
It started to cloud over and then we had one of those April showers, "That wasn't forecast" Del said as he put on his coat.

We followed a boat up to Hillmorton Locks (now the busiest locks on the system with over 9,000 boats last year).
A boat came out the lock as we arrived and we went straight in with two waiting below us for us to come down.
With the locks in our favour it didn't take us long to descend and be on our way again..
Work was still being carried out on the new houses and link road here with some slight restrictions.
We got to one of our favourite moorings at Clifton and set up things to chill for the rest of the day.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Sense of Achievement

After a day of rain, us doing our paperwork, and going to bed early we were ready to make some progress today.
Del was up early and made the turn at Norton junction to head west.
He reached the tunnel before Al surfaced and we had a clear run through before we got to the locks.
It seemed very quiet as we went down the flight on our own, having to fill each lock before we went down.
The sun had come out and the wind was light as we descended to the bottom lock.
Here we used the time to go into the chandlers and pick up some touch up blacking and a filter. Two boats arrived as we got back, and we set off to Braunston Marina where we backed in to get a good rinse out on our pumpout.
From there we went round to the water tap and got rid of our rubbish and filled with water.
 As we passed through Braunston it was empty and there were loads of moorings available. We think it might have been because of the Boat Share Show going on over the weekend. We pulled into the Midland Chandlers mooring as we had a rudder seal to change, and they gave us our money back on the wrong one we had picked up and we now have the correct one.
The wind was picking up and the clouds we coming in but we took a chance and pushed on to Onley. We passed about seven boats through this section so Braunston must be busy again.
We timed everything right because we just had time for some lunch and Tooty had a look around, before the heavens opened all afternoon..

The boats kept coming past us, some at a rate of knots in the rain. We just bite our tongue sometimes and make sure Derwent6 is tied up real tight. I know they are getting wet but some people just don't have manners.
We chilled for the rest of the day and watched the football in the evening with a real sense of achievement after today's antics..

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Down the flight

We woke up to a lot of noise in the cratch and Tooty had caught a rabbit again, why rabbits, it always seems to be at the top of the Watford flight that he likes rabbit..

As we were up early we decided to make our way up to the locks and when we got there, we only had to wait ten minutes before we had the instruction that we could go down..
It was an easy descent and we got to the bottom in less than an hour.

We took it nice and steady up to Norton Junction where it appeared to be busy, but we managed to get in right at the end..
We had an easy day and did some admin jobs as we had good signals..

Monday, April 23, 2018

Chillin' and a chilled cat

After a heavy night Del got woken up by a boat going by at 6.45am. As he was up he decided that it might be a good chance to just get out of Crick and moor in the countryside somewhere and stay put over the weekend.
We got through the tunnel, which even though we had had a few hot days, was still very wet.

When we exited the light at the end it looked like we had been through a storm.
We made one of our favourite moorings and the sun came out, it was a good time wipe down Derwent6 while Al got some eggs and bacon going. It wasn't long before the cratch sides were lifted and breakfast was served.
We chilled in the sunshine for a few hours and then did a few jobs in the afternoon like changing the waste tank filter and cleaning a few other filters..
In fact the day was going well until Tooty (the cat) had a look out of the window..

He was sitting on the towpath when Del started the engine in the evening. It made him jump and he jumped straight into the canal.. He climbed out on the rudder and stern button and made the cratch dripping wet, shaking with the cold..
Out came the towels and it was a complete rub down with a two hour licking session till he was dry again....

Meeting more friends on their lovely new boat

After a bit of a lay in after the night before, Mark set off in front of us to get water and we left half an hour behind him to catch up with him.
We then cruised for an hour to Crick where we moored up and found friends Clive and Jackie on their new narrowboat with its three cylinder Lister engine and traditional boat cabin. It looked lovely and when they have made a few adjustments it will be a lovely home for them both.. We were made a nice cup of tea and had a good catch up, we also planned the evening and booked a table at the Red  Lion pub for 7.00pm.
In the afternoon Del went gliding with Mark, who had his drone, and we played with the thermals in the heat.
It was then a quick shower on our return and we all met in the pub. We had a fantastic meal in there and a few beers (obviously). We then finished in the working mans club and left in the early hours.. Yep another late night.. Sorry guys we never took any pics of us all! but thanks for a great time..

gate crashing Yelvertoft

We waited for another Tesco's delivery and it arrived at 9.00am. So filled with water and food we left Welford for the final time for a while.
We pulled out of the arm and met up with Mark on n.b Mochyn Du and then we both took a slow cruise to Yelvertoft.
We both got a mooring just by bridge 20 and decided we would have something to eat and then try the pub in Yelvertoft..
It was about a mile walk and the pub didn't look too inviting when we arrived, and not great beers either, but when we got talking to the locals things turned around.. We even ended up doing the pub quiz and left there at 11.00pm a little worse for wear, hence we came last in the pub quiz and won a packet of Monster Munch crisps.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Just like old times

We pulled Derwent6 back to the end of the arm at Welford and then turned using the wind to go back into the village.
As we pulled into the basin there was Mark on the coal boat with his fresh delivery and he loaded on our one bag of coal we were owed.
We then picked up Del's Mum and Keith as we had planned a trip for them.
The weather was stunning; a warm 74 degrees, blues skies and not that busy on the canals.
They got themselves comfortable and we set off through the lock and back out to the end of the arm.
We then turned right and headed towards Foxton. It was good to see North Kilworth marina with three boats in and nearly finished.
We then entered Bosworth Tunnel and after a three hour cruise reached the top of Foxton Locks.. We turned and moored up..
 We got as close to the locks as we could and then walked down to the Foxton Locks Inn in glorious sunshine and found a lovely table outside.
We had a few drinks and a bite to eat but got very comfortable and didn't leave till 3.00pm. We took a slow walk back to the boat and on the way Keith very kindly brought us all an Ice Cream.
We left at 4.00pm for our journey back and the weather was holding out for us. It was great to be cruising in the sun again, but with the trickle of the water and the sun in your face it was hard to keep your eyes open..
It was a good job we had the tunnel to wake us all back up and prepare us for going back up the arm and then the lock.
We turned at the end again and then got out the wine and a few nibbles before we said our goodbyes.
It was a lovely day and another memory. We use to be taken out on this very trip on n.b Thema, and it was nice now to return the compliment and give us all a trip down memory lane with the roles reversed.

The best a man can do!

We have been enjoying being on our own at the end of the arm here at Welford and used the time wisely. Del has constantly been working on the outside of the boat with brasses, polishing, painting the plank and pole, engine belts checking and central heating service, plus adding a few new bits like ropes and fenders..

Yes after ten years, three months, and eleven days, Derwent6 is looking like new again. This is the best Del could get Derwent6 to look, and she looks fab..
Al on the other hand did the same inside and with the smell of some home cooking, Derwent6 really is home..
To top things off Mark on the coal boat pulled up along side us with a new crew member.
Meet three year old Oscar, the rescued dog, and what a very happy little dog he is..
He has fell on his feet with Mark and a very good companion on those long winter days. Oscar has already fallen in three times so he is learning fast what boating is all about, and that he can't chase ducks when they are swimming.
We topped up with diesel and grabbed a bag of coal, only the fifth bag we have brought this winter as there has been so much wood..
So Derwent6 is ready for the off and a cruise could be on the cards for tomorrow.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Peace and quiet

We had a bit of a lay in this morning and thought we would move around 10.00am. It was lovely to see some sunshine for the first time in ages and it actually felt warm, a good cruising day.
We said our goodbyes to Sian on the boat next to us and then set off nice and slowly to the lock. It was against us but Al soon had it filled and we were on our way.
 We just wanted to move out of Welford and have some peace and quiet at the end of the arm.
It can get a bit shallow along this stretch but with all the water we had had it was fine. At the end of the arm there were loads of moorings and we got in prime position for more polishing..

Del likes it here as he can watch the full size gliders being towed up and then looking for thermals to stay up..

Tooty the cat was also pleased to be out in the country again, doing what he does best, catching mice!
We also had the cratch cover open in the sunshine, and a glass of wine was in order, lets just hope the weather has now changed for the better!