Sunday, May 31, 2020

Birthday Girl and friends

Well we have given things a break for a bit as we are still static ... But a lot has happened!!
First we had a Birthday, and Al was just a little bit older..
It was difficult to have a birthday in lockdown but we made the most of it. We were also lucky with the weather, which has been amazing, and it gave us the excuse to open a big bottle of prosecco and some nibbles to get us started..
Al opened all her cards in the morning and she had a couple of presents, one of them being chocolate..
In the afternoon we were visited by Del's Mum and Keith and the chairs were spread across the grass.
They had brought along some lovely cupcakes and they went down well with a coffee to sober up a bit..
 They left after a couple of hours in the sun. As the weather was so good we decided to keep the momentum going so we lit the BBQ and got back on the drinks..

A big thank you for all of Al's cards and to Hannah for posting them up to us..

So we have been out for a nice walk and had visitors we didn't expect..
Kev (who with Ann used to have n.b Rock and Roll) , had biked down from Yorkshire and found us. We had a good catch up about everything.
  We have really been watching our own wild life programme, and have a pair of swans and their cygnets on our port side, and blue tits nesting on our starboard side, we are so lucky here..

It has been amazing here as we have made friends with the male swan and he has now made friends with Tooty the cat. They do keep social distancing and have an agreement that they just don't bother each other.. We think Tooty protects them from the birds and foxes which might threaten the cygnets,  and Tooty doesn't get hissed at or bothered when he goes out at night.. Here the Dad is showing the babies how and where to get out of the water..

Del has been building and watching the full size gliders in the engine room, and now can't wait to fly when we get into the middle of nowhere, which will be soon.


Saturday, May 16, 2020

Lockdown and Crankshaft check

So good news! We have been told by CRT that from the 23rd of May we should be able to move more freely BUT! not through locks unless it is essential to do so for water, diesel or pump out..  From this date we are allowed to stay on our lockdown moorings for another 14 days to avoid the rush and let CRT get their staffing levels back to normal.. The whole canal system will be open from the 1st June when we can again move where we want, and what we would class as back to normal cruising.. This is a relief for everyone here, as we all do this to travel and have some adventure in our lives.. We have been out walking and trying to stretch our legs a bit..

Del used the time to check out the engine again, even though we are not doing the engine hours like we used too.. We have to check the engine every 600 hours according to Beta Marine because of this modification clamp we have had to have fitted on the crankshaft end..  Yes we have only done 622 hours since we have had the solar panels and batteries fitted last April 2019. It has been such a saving on diesel and engine wear and tear..  We looked at the year before and we had done 933 hours April 2018/19 so a saving of over 300 hours on the engine, this is idle and propulsion hours.
Checking the engine is a bit of a saga on Derwent6 because of the acoustic box the engine is in, and how tight it is to get to things.
It was a nice surprise to see that the pulley paint mark hadn't moved and the pulley didn't need to come off..
The belts were all removed and then play in the pulley could be checked for side to side and up and down movement.. The belts were then fitted back on and left a little on the loose side so as to not put too much pressure on the pulley, and also allow for expansion when the pulleys get hot..
Let hope we are good for another 600 hours, fingers crossed..

Waiting to spread our wings

Well its been a pretty static week, and we have kept ourselves busy as always.. It has been very quiet most of the time around here at Welford and only a couple of days over the bank holiday did it seem busy, if only we could spread our wings?
The wildlife are loving it and even a swan has taken over on Tooty's patch, which he doesn't seem too happy about, but they have to work together on this one..
We have seen bats flying during daytime and one even hit the side of Derwent6 and Del had to pick it up to safety..

We have only had to run the engine five times since the Lockdown on the 23rd March as the solar has been so good, and the lighter evenings are now helping..
  Mark on the coal boat turned up again and we needed another gas bottle as Al has been doing a lot of cooking and baking.
Its weird but there are loads of jobs we could do, but we really are finding it hard to do any of them in this glorious weather..  Oh well there's always tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Lockdown in this lovely weather

Well we have been sitting tight in a place where we are content.. We are now a bit itchy to move, as we're sure everyone is, as that is why we do this, but we could be in a worse place.. The weather has been amazing and to be honest it has been reasonably quiet round here.. We have had loads of wildlife with the ducklings sprouting out in the non human world at the moment..

We have had to keep our eye on the cat as he has a eye on the ducklings.. We have a swan who sits next to us every day but he knows how to handle Tooty..
Oh the BBQ has been out a few times now and saving us on the gas bottle..
It is also nice for Al as Del does the cooking when we have a BBQ..
We have still been good and not hit the wine or beer hard, but we do have a little binge occasionally.
We didn't get a reply from CRT regarding the grass cutting, but it did get a mention in the latest news letter, so fair play something did get done about it.. Here is what they put in the News letter:

"Keeping the canal side safe

Some people have expressed concern that we have carried on grass cutting and other vegetation maintenance on some parts of the network.  We want to reassure you that wherever possible we have stopped these works and large tranches of our programme are on hold including the general suspension of mainline grass cutting.  However, there are some instances where we believe that it is essential that we should continue on safety grounds. These include:
  • Lock sides, where people may still need to navigate and there is equipment that if hidden can become a danger
  • Landings and mooring for the same reasons
  • Maintaining accesses to towpath moorings
  • To make sure that we can still carry out our essential safety inspections on key assets – embankments, reservoirs and the like"

We have now been given a month extension on our licences, which is better than nothing..  Del even cut the grass close to us, well it is our garden at the moment.
We are still managing to get our shopping for us and Del's Mum.
Del went out on his bike and did 15 miles to pick up a prescription from the nearest pharmacy, and Al has read another two books..
  Oh and Del cleaned the oven lol....

Monday, May 04, 2020

Idiots over the weekend

So it has been another warm weekend and we have noticed it was more busy as the patience of people in lockdown starts to run out.. There were a few families bringing their car down to where we are and then going for a long walk for most of the day along the towpath..
We have also had some idiots who think its ok to go canoeing.
Not only did they think it was alright to put the canoe in the water right next to Derwent6, but they just turned there heads when we asked them not to be so close. CRT were informed and we did get a reply.
 One guy thought he would do some fishing in his canoe as well, but Al tactfully pointed out that canoeing has been suspended on the waterways for the time being..
He had driven from Northampton and thought it was ok to enjoy his hobby as it was exercise. He packed his canoe back into his car with his tail between his legs...

On a good note we have been keeping in touch with friends via the internet and Tanya (our goddaughter) has been arranging a quiz night once a week to kick things off..
 It has been great fun and lovely to catch up with everyone...
We are still enjoying lockdown and keeping ourselves to ourselves as much as we can.. This is going to be a very slow process so we must all get used to it.. Please everyone, please stay at home and save lives, Tooty seems to manage it!!