Friday, February 26, 2021

Water Washing, and there's an Echo

So we have been static for two weeks and its time to move for water..

There was still slight patches of ice on the canal, but we took a chance! We knew Brinklow marina had changed hands and was now part of the chain of Castle marina's, but now was the time for us to give it a try as it was just half an hour away and we needed the services. We set off at 8.00am and hit some ice, but it was very thin and didn't do any damage..

It is always nice to be cruising again and just getting the cogs spinning..

We soon pulled into the marina and were greeted by Dave Trivett the Manager and Mark Willmott the Harbour Master.

We were given top service as they did our pump out and explained what was going on here..

We were even loaded up with some wood from all the work going on here.. They were in the process of moving the gate so it was safer to get in and out by car, and all the pontoons were being replaced.. Blimey things were moving fast and if it all happens, or as Mark says "When it happens" it will be amazing here..

Our plan was to have our pump out and then stay for a couple of days to get all our washing up to date.. Mark instructed us to a mooring and we then had to manoeuvre on to it..

Al then arranged a Asda delivery and we set up our new toy..

We have purchased a Amazon Echo Dot, yep we know, Alexa has joined our crew.

It now holds all our music and for £3.99 a month gives you full access to over 70 million songs.. Of course if you have a question just ask Alexa. The great thing is it has a low power mode and only takes 1.2 watts so takes nothing out of the batteries, perfect for boats..

The sound it gives off is fantastic and links in with our phones and other devices.. 

It pays to have a few gifts through this difficult time, just to keep you going. Hopefully we are coming up for our vaccination's soon, so we will hang around and wait for our notification's. 

You know its coming!

So we have been snuggled down here now for over yet another week. This winter seems so weird to us because we haven't got to move unless we need water and services, but secretly we have quite enjoyed it.. We think its because we have been in some good spots during lockdown.


Its really all about planning, and heat is the top priority to worry about!

You need to be warm and that can be difficult living on a boat.

They were saying it would drop to minus 5 and in rural areas lower that that. With Derwent6 having a wood burner, it is very important to keep the coal and wood topped up and then keeping them dry is the other challenge.  If you have diesel heating then keeping the tanks topped up is a necessity. On Derwent6 we have a central heating boiler which runs on diesel, but our cheaper option is the wood burner. Then there is always the bed and a good duvet to snuggle into!..

Our water luckily never freezes, but its something to consider (which could happen) so we carry a container of water and keep it inside just in case.

Then there is being iced in, so planning is involved so you preserve the water you have as its not going to be easy to fill the tank. Things like only splash and dash showers, half a bowl of washing up water and not leaving taps running, will help. We have to consider our battery temperatures as well so the heater goes on when the thermometer drops below five degrees. Anyway enough about that, what have we been up too.

Well taking some scenic walks as at this time of year the countryside looks spectacular.

We also have to walk into the village for food and we build in a walk round that. We also use the post office for picking up deliveries and parcels and of course we have to go by the fish and chip shop to build up the fat to keep us warm.

Al has had her head into her books during lockdown and Del has been gaming and guitaring, but Al wanted a new venture, so Del brought her a piano, yes a piano. Al's old keyboard had given up the ghost, but this is a folding full length keyboard with ivory keys and the sound is amazing.. It folds up to the size of a laptop, but half its width, so its easy to store on Derwent6.

It unfolds and locks tight, and although digital it plays and sounds like a piano, with the advantage of a full size piano keyboard..  Al loves it!

It was minus 8 last night and we are locked in solid with ice, but we are very content to be here for another week.


Monday, February 15, 2021

There and back in Seven hours

 After two weeks we had to move for water, so it was our marathon trip up to Hawkesbury and back. We waited yesterday for Mark on the coal boat to come through for more coal and a top up on our diesel. It always pays to keep the diesel tank filled during the winter months to reduce the amount of condensation you get in the tank itself. We left at 8.00am for the two and a half hours through the countryside and again the canal is very silted.


The land slip here is now getting worse and if we get a lot more rain it will push the wall they built into the canal and close the navigation.

We soon overtook the coal boat and waved to Mark as we passed.

  The swans waved as us as they went past.

It was then on to the section along side the railway which seems to have more goods trains on it these days.

It was then through the golf course and the park and onto Hawkesbury junction, as Al did a couple of loads of washing to completely empty the water tank...

When we arrived we were surprised at how empty it was with boats. We went through the lock and moored right outside the pub again and waited for Asda to arrive. Del tried the manual pump out and it didn't work for some reason.. After a bit of messing about and gentle persuasion it burst into life and our poo tank was empty again.. Asda arrived spot on time and we loaded our shopping on through the side doors..

We then went back through the lock and pulled onto the water point just as the sun tried to come out and the coal boat caught us up..

We know this tap is a bit slow, but it allows us to have warming showers while we waited and finish the washing.. We set off at about 1.30pm and made our way for the two and a half hours back. It is amazing how much rain we have had and the fields are so flooded.

We went through Ansty and again it was quiet and passed the golf course again.

The trains were the only noise we had to deal with. 

With the sun trying to come out it was good to get our vitamin D as we kept warm in the cold winter air. We got back to our mooring at about 4.00pm but our mooring that we had left this morning was taken. We managed to moor just in front of the boat on it. We had passed this boat on the way to Hawkesbury and it was a boat called "Tickin Along" built by Swan Boats.  We had a chat with Colin and this boat also has Lithium batteries, and loads of other add on's, and will feature on the Channel 4 programme "My Floating Homes" shortly.

As for us, we are settled again for a bit longer and lets hope we are called for our Jabs in the not too distant future.

Thursday, February 04, 2021

Snow update

 We haven't had many updates on what is going on with Derwent6 because like everyone we haven't done a lot, but one thing for sure we haven't been bored..

  We were iced in for the early part of the week, but then it did turn slushy and it wasn't long before a boat passed us as some were desperate for water or other services.  On the Sunday they said we were going to get snow and Al was very excited as it gives you a lovely feeling of a proper winter.. In the morning the black clouds closed in around us and solar dropped to zero as did the temperature.

We then got our first sprinkle and things turned white as it turned to heavy snow.

This lasted about an hour then turned to light snow for another two hours.

We have to admit we are in the right place and the scenery was fantastic..

We don't even need to go for a walk as we only have to look out of the portholes.. 

For two nights on the trot we have had minus six and the canal has frozen with snow on top of it..

It has been a bit of a challenge to keep the batteries warm for charging, but we seem to have it sussed now with the little 40 watt heater we brought. 

On the Monday we had lovely sunshine. The canal was a picture and it was a reminder why we like winters on the cut.. The logs were going on the fire and we kept nice and snug. As the snow melted Del wiped down Derwent6 and did the brasses getting a bit of vitamin D.

   Notice it hasn't stopped the moles doing there business, but Tooty is grateful for an outdoor litter tray..