Saturday, September 28, 2019

Win some, Lose some!

On the Wednesday Al was back on the train down to London and then onto Sevenoaks to meet up with friend Sarah for lunch.. They ended up having a cheap meal in Prezzo's because Al had some Tesco's vouchers to use up.. They had a lovely day catching up and while down Al picked up the post.. Del spent the day clearing out the engine room of stuff as it was looking like a garden shed in places..
On the following day we set off as the weather had a window, but first Al had a surprise as we had won £140.00 on the lottery.
Very happy, we got to Leighton Lock and it was in our favour.
We soon reached Tesco's and Aldi and Al spent an hour going round the shops food shopping.
Jules the coal boat turned up as Al was shopping and we were ready with a big order. We soon spent our £140.00 there. We topped up with 122 litres of diesel, had two bags of coal and needed a gas bottle.
Al turned up with the shopping so we were well out of pocket lol, but with the feeling that we were all sorted for a few months..
More bad news was that the glass on the fire, had, for no apparent reason, cracked, and now required replacing..

We then went under the bridge and topped up with water and got rid of all the rubbish which filled the bin up from shopping..

We were then really set to go, and made our way past all the moored boats along this section..
At Grove lock again the lock was in our favour, another win, and as we went in another boat was waiting to come down..
The wind had really got up and we thought we needed to moor up. We knew we could get a good telly signal here so pulled up in the sunshine in the reeds..

We felt very smug with all our tanks topped up and gas and heating fuel if we need it.. it had felt a long day but in fact we had only gone a few miles and done two locks.. Best not over do it!

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Good Day!, Bad Day!

Well we stayed put over the weekend and watched the football and Grand Prix which you all know we like to do.. Plus to Al's delight Strictly is back! The weather wasn't bad and we managed to survive on solar.

We still haven't had to light the fire even though the roof is full of wood.. We haven't needed to buy any coal either as the weather has still been really mild for the time of year.. We have put the central heating on for an hour for a couple of nights, but this has been mainly to give us hot water as well as warming up Derwent6..

The engine is still making a clonking noise even though the paint mark on the end of the crankshaft hasn't moved.. It has now done nearly 200 hours (since the last new clamp was fitted) and Beta say to check it at now 600 hours. If this noise gets any worse then an investigation will be required and we will be starting at the crankshaft nut.. We have now acquired a spare keyway and a crankshaft nut just in case we are stuck in the middle of nowhere, and then we can still get Derwent6 mobile again to get to a marina.. These hours would have been a lot higher if we didn't have solar.
On the Monday it was tipping it down and we had no solar at all, blimey we might have to run the engine..
They forecast thunder storms, but we just had heavy rain.. It was a very mizzy day and tempting to light the fire, but Al did some cooking which warmed up Derwent6 a treat.  We did run the engine for an hour and a half from 5.30pm to 7.00pm which brought the batteries back to 85%. The weather looks a bit better tomorrow..

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Changing Guard at the Palace

It was up early and Al sorted herself out as she was getting the train down to London today. Del was staying with Derwent6 and just making sure we didn't get hit by the hirer's.
Al met up with Zoe (her school friend) at Victoria and they then walked to Buckingham Palace as they had a tour of the Queen's home..

After the amazing state rooms, they toured the Mews with its splendid carriages.

They had a lovely day with drinks and eats afterwards and Al was back by 7.30pm, meeting Del so we could take back some food shopping together..

Del on the other hand was right to stay on board as he watched two boats collide just up from him.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Waiting for delivery

It was another lovely September day and the solar panels were already topping up the batteries...  Doug, who we saw yesterday, had stayed overnight in his campervan and met up with us at 10.00am for breakfast.
He turned up on his new electric bike and we all had to have a go.

We've got to admit we were really impressed, but to get one it needs to fit in our bike lockers and it was just too big..
We had our bacon butties with Doug and then we went back to his van and said our goodbyes..

For the rest of the day we were waiting for a delivery, but it didn't turn up till late. It was one of those football nights in for us and a early night as Al has a long day tomorrow..

Another friend in a Camper!

It was one of those Autumnal mornings, tranquil, with fog on the water and the sun trying to rise to the occasion.

We set off hoping for a spot at Leighton Buzzard and it was one of those mornings where very slow was the order of the day..
We just watched the wild life and listened to the trickle of the water as the sun peeped through the overhanging trees..
When we looked along the line of boats there was one spot in the sunshine just for us..
We had only cruised for 40 minutes and Del just got us moored up when the boat behind us decided to leave. We pulled back Derwent6 so we weren't under so many trees and then the other boat behind us decided to move. It must be us we thought, but then again we thought it might be that Mr CaRT inspector might be coming round today.. Lets hope so because we want our number taken proving we move and travel the system..
We were meeting a friend today, who most of you who read our blog, will recognise .. It was Doug who used to have n.b. Chance with James, who arrived to find us in his campervan..
It was great to see him and we had loads to catch up on.
Doug being Doug had brought with him a nice bottle of prosecco to start the order of the day. We were soon getting very hungry and walked down to the Globe Inn pub for more drinks and a bite to eat.
Luckily the pub let Doug keep his camper in the car park, and they were also happy with him staying there overnight.. When the sun had gone down and it had turned a bit chilly, we walked back to Derwent6. We just had a good laugh together.. Doug left taking Del's hoodie with him, which looked like a straight jacket on Doug.... it had been a fun day.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Milton Keynes mania

It was another early start for us as we wanted to make our way down the Grand Union while we could. The weather was helping us and it was a lovely day. We crept down to Wolverton going over the Iron aqueduct.
We then followed it past the famous wall by the station..
 Then it was over another aqueduct and it was satisfying seeing all the traffic queuing, maybe we will get there before them..
There is definitely now more boats moored down the Grand Union, and we were on idle, it seemed, for 40% of the way.
Also widebeams are a big feature around Milton Keynes. We saw one coming, so we stopped on a blind bend covered with trees and could only sit there and wait, but they didn't stop, missed the bend, and hit the bank very hard. "That was lucky" they said as they passed us..
They were on one of the widebeam hire boats and didn't have a clue what they were doing, and on checking the bridge we went under a big fresh chunk had been taken out of it..
Anyway moan over. When we went through the busy Campbell Park we were amazed to see two spaces on the 48 hour moorings, just typical as we didn't want to stop yet.

It was then past all the work going on at where the new Milton Keynes to Bedford link has been started.
There is a new Campbell Wharf marina here and the expensive Y bridge is nearly completed.

This will be the start of the Bedford link canal and it will link with the Great Ouse if it happens.
This link has been currently blocked by a new road scheme, which can't find the cost of fitting a tunnel under it, very short sighted when you see so many people getting some tranquillity from our waterways in this hectic world..
If we are honest we preferred the quiet woodlands and walks which were here..
We carried on towards Fenny Stratford with its lock and a bridge in the middle of it.
We were lucky as two boat were coming out and left the gates and the bridge open.
 We then headed to the pretty Stoke Hammond lock and we had no problems here.
After a mile we hit the Soulbury three locks and found three fantastic volunteers who helped us up the flight in no time..

At the top we had two hazards, the first was CaRT doing some sidings.
 Then we had to dodge a fallen tree.
 It had been another long day so we moored in a place we like to chill for the rest of the day.