Tuesday, 19 September 2017


Naughty-Cal is now safely chocked ashore for a couple of weeks. So tonight we will head across to the marina and start a few jobs on the stern drive. The most important job is draining the drive oil and bringing the bottom end home to fit some new oil seals. These were damaged on the first day of the fishing season this year by a careless fisherman on the Trent!

As we potentially only have the one weekend to work on the boat, Cal won;t be getting her usual full fettle this year, more of a quick service then anything else. But we can do a lot of the jobs we have planned for this winter whilst the boat is in the water, which is a good job really as we don't want to be taking her out again if we can help it.

Monday, 18 September 2017


Yesterday proved to be a very changeable day, one minute the sun was shining and it was too hot under the canvas, the next it was raining heavily and it was chilly so we would put on the heating only to be turning it off half an hour later when the sun came out again.

With this in mind we decided to head back to the marina during one of the sunny spells, but not before we had been for a circuit walk of Lincoln just to stretch the legs and to walk off the eggs benedict we had for breakfast. Fortunately the weather stayed dry for this little wander and was still sunny and warm when we arrived back at the boat. So we rolled up some canvas to let some air through the boat and pootled back to the marina.

No sooner had we got the ropes on with the engine still running the heavens opened, so we hurriedly got the covers back down and the orange mooring rope plugged back in before settling down to watch the last of the F1 with the brisket bubbling away in the slow cooker with some Adnams Ghost Ship, onions and mushrooms and the thunder rumbling away over head.

We foolishly decided against leaving the heating on the timer, deciding it would be warm enough when we got up this morning to head to work. How wrong were we? It was a decidedly chilly ten degrees in the cabin this morning at 5.45am!

Sunday, 17 September 2017

No Gincidents

The gin tasting was a very civilised affair. I did manage to find a couple that I really enjoyed.  My favourite being a ginger gin from Spain.

After the gin festival we had a few beers in town followed by a curry before retiring back to the boat to listen to some music with a few beers and the heating on.

A very nice way to round off a very nice day.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

A Hearty Start

A hearty breakfast to start the weekend with turkey sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes, scrambled eggs and hash browns. We have a busy day today so a nice breakfast should see us through.

We will shortly be heading to Lincoln to the gin festival.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Staying In

We are planning another lazy night in tonight. We have a busy day planned for tomorrow so time to just chill out and unwind this evening with a few beers and a nice meal later of loch trout and stir fried vegetables. With a distinct chill in the air this morning I also get the feeling that it might be time to get the heating put on the timer as well. I don't like being cold!

Tomorrow we have a gin tasting event to attend at the Lincoln Gin Festival in the Drill Hall. Now gin isn't my favourite tipple I will admit but Liam loves it and I am determined to find one that I like. So an event with over 50 gins to sample should make the perfect chance to find that special one for me. 

Thursday, 14 September 2017

A Late Night

We had a late night last night as we had to go and collect a purchase we had made on Ebay earlier in the week. I'm not sure when they said local collection they assumed we would travel from Sheffield to Kettering one evening during the week, a journey that should take a couple of hours each way but in the end took us nearer to three on the way back due to roadworks on the M1.

So tonight Liam has the job of wiring this little lot together and dismantling the existing set up. I suspect much swearing coming from the living room this evening!

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Sealed with a Kiss

The last of the parts arrived for Naughty-Cal's mid season spruce up yesterday. The stern drive shaft oil seals arrived just a day after ordering so we were well pleased with the service we have received from Key Part as usual. A very pleasant company to deal with.

So this time next week Cal will be chocked ashore and we will be heading down one evening in the week to remove the props and drain the leg oil before removing the bottom end for Liam to take to work and refit the new seals.

By doing it this way and having one evening working on the boat it means that we can have everything built back up over the weekend so that we won't be holding up the relaunch should they finish early the following week.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Picture Perfect

Today I have a selection of pictures for you taken on our walk in and around Lincoln on Sunday morning.

Monday, 11 September 2017

A Short Walk?

We were expecting to have a quiet day yesterday after a lazy breakfast and few cups of coffee in The Square Sail, we set out on what was going to be a short walk up Steep Hill and around the top end of Lincoln. Well a little over two hours later we eventually made it back to Naughty-Cal. We had walked a bit further then expected, a good 7.5 miles in fact as we walk at a very brisk pace.

A little weary we untied and set off back for our home berth. We knew that the wind was due to pick up later in the afternoon and it is no fun being blown around when trying to moor up a light boat so we made a break for it while the wind was not too bad.

Settled onto our mooring I fired up the slow cooker and set the steak and ale casserole off cooking, filling the boat with a lovely smell all afternoon and into the early evening. With the boat being blown around, the rain pattering on the canopies and the heating ticking away we settled in with a few beers and a few tunes until the casserole and dumplings were ready to eat.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

A Little Soggy

It was a little bit soggy yesterday in Lincoln but we didn't let that put us off as we dodged the showers between pubs and the curry house.

Today we will spend a few hours in town before heading back to the marina to watch the end if the Scampton air show.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Here For The Weekend

We have Naughty-Cal installed in her usual spot in Lincoln . So now we can have a day of chilling out and relaxing in the many pubs and bars.

Next choice is where to have lunch.

Friday, 8 September 2017

A Spare Weekend

In the run up to our busy period we have rather unusually this weekend got a spare weekend with nothing planned and nothing to do. So we fully plan to make the most of the time relaxing and chilling out aboard.

Tonight we are having a night in with a few beers, a film and later on a nice home cooked turkey madras which I rustled up in the week so just needs warming through and serving with some wholegrain basmati rice and a vegetable bahji.

As the weather looks set to be quite hit and miss with sunshine and heavy showers in the forecast we are not heading far tomorrow and will just head into Lincoln and have a mooch around, have a few drinks on board, have a few drinks in town and at some point decide on what we want to eat. We still don't know if we will eat on board or eat out tomorrow. We will see where our fancy takes us.

And as Sunday looks set to be another day of sunshine and showers we will have a steady morning in town before heading back to the marina and our berth. We have got all of the ingredients together to make a slow cooked steak and ale casserole with dumplings for Sunday evening which seemed quite apt with the downturn in the weather and the drawing in of the evenings. And with the forecast temperatures for the weekend we may even be turning the heating on properly for the first time this autumn.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Spring Into Action

We are now deciding which jobs we are going to do whilst Naughty-Cal is out of the water in a couple of weeks. We will only have time to do a few bits and bobs as all being well she will only be out of the water for a couple of weeks and just one weekend.

The obvious jobs to do are on the sterndrive. We already know that the oil seals have been damaged due to fishing line, this happened on the first day of the fishing season on the Trent, so a seal change and oil change are in order. We also know that we have a leaky drive ram and this is causing the leg to droop at slow speeds which isn't ideal. So we have ordered a pair of new ram inserts and seals. Our current shafts are a bit worn and we believe this is why the seals are becoming prone to failing. Hopefully the new inserts should solve this problem and we won't have to touch them again for a while.

If the weather is fair we may as well give the hull another coat or two of wax to keep it shiny next year. We hopefully won't be coming out of the water again until we are pulled out onto the trailer next summer for our trip to the Thames, so we need to keep her looking good for that trip.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Busy Times Ahead

We have a run of busy weeks ahead with Naughty-Cal what with one thing and another planned for the up coming weekends and an unplanned short period ashore for some minor repairs to some damage we picked up while we were away on holiday in Scotland.

Whilst unplanned, the period ashore will give us the chance to service the drive again and do a few other odd jobs which will then save us having to pull the boat out of the water again over the winter months. So we can have our first winter in a while afloat on our berth. We have not done any winter cruising in a fair few years now so we are both looking forward to the chance to cruise at this time of year again.

And then with the boat back in the water, hopefully by the end of the month, we can then look forward to our weeks holiday on the Norfolk Broads on hire boat Viscount next month. Busy times ahead this month but it will save us much time over the winter months so will be well worth the extra effort now.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

With Friends Old and New

Isn't the boating community a funny old thing?

You meet people time and again who become firm friends, you might not see them for months or even years on end but when you do meet up again it is as though you have never been apart.

Then you have the friends who you see on a more regular basis. In our case the same people who we see most weekends. 

And then there are the new friends who you make. A chance encounter, a lock shared, waiting for the tide together or just being in the same village at the same time. You might never see them again, but at the same time they may also become one of your long term friends or a friend you see on a regular basis.

We may be relative new comers to the boating community at only nine years in. But we have already made very many friends and hope to make very many more as we continue on our travels.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Drawing In

There was a certain more autumnal feel to the weather this weekend. Whilst it was pleasantly warm during the day the temperature quickly fell away during the evening and the light faded much more quickly. 

It is the start of the autumn boating season. A time we both love on the water as the summer boaters start to lock up for the winter and the waterways become just that bit quieter.

The slow cooker was brought back into use yesterday which filled the boat with the smell of a lovely pork loin joint cooking away with some home grown new potatoes throughout the day. As the night closed in and the rain pattered on the canopies we enjoyed our first slow cooked meal onboard of this autumn and looked forward to the weeks ahead.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Funds Raised

It was a brilliant night in the White Swan at the annual charity event. The final figures are not yet in but I'm sure a decent amount was raised.

Well done to the team.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Brightening Up

After a misty and murky start it has brightened up no end in Lincoln. It promises to be a warm and sunny day.

We have done a few bits of shopping, had breakfast, been for our hair doing and had a brisk walk up Steep Hill and back to walk off a few calories.

Soon we will set off for Torksey and the fund raising event at The White Swan.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Back to Torksey

This weekend we are heading back to Torksey for the annual fund raising event at The White Swan. The regular readers amongst you may well remember that the last time we went I ended up getting roped into taking part in the fire walking!! There will be none of that this year.

But before we head to Torksey we are tonight heading into Lincoln for a few quiet drinks and a bite to eat. I am booked in for my hair cutting in town tomorrow morning at 9am so it makes sense for us to stay the evening down there and grab a bite to eat in the morning before heading back the other way down the full length of the Fossdyke to tomorrow evenings destination. 

It should make for a nice easy weekend with no rushing around. We have plenty of time to enjoy Lincoln and also plenty of time to spend in Torksey.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Water Temperature

We were surprised at the weekend to see that even the water temperature on the tidal Trent had responded to the warmer weather and was sitting at around the 20 degrees mark. The shallower waters of the Fossdyke were well over 20 degrees, in some parts closer to 25 degrees, no wonder the weed grows so well on there!

In stark contrast on the salty waters of the Atlantic we rarely saw over 10 degrees. Even on one of the only sunny and warm days we encountered at Seil the water temperature was still below 10 degrees. A shame as we had really fancied a dip in the sea and a swim in the anchorage but alas at these temperatures it was just not an option. Liam had trouble just cleaning the weed from the sterndrive. It was too cold to even keep your hands in there for more then a few seconds at a time.

As the days now steadily grow shorter and the weather starts to turn cooler the temperature of the water on the Trent and Fossdyke will steadily drop. But even in the depths of winter the Fossdyke is often warmer then the summer sea temperatures we encountered in the West coast of Scotland. I wonder just how cold those waters get during the winter months?

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Back to Work

We have had a great four day break on Naughty-Cal. It was over far too soon but now we are back to work. Never mind though it is a short week this week. We will be back onboard before we know what has happened.

Here are a selection of pictures from our break.

Heading to Torksey

Waiting for the lock

Lovely morning on the Trent

Cobwebs blown away.

Sunny West Stockwith

Not our usual mooring spot but a nice one all the same.

Sunday lunch in the Haxey Gate was really very nice.

Basking in the sunshine

Shopping stop at Gainsborough.

Heading upstream

A nice evening at High Marnham

A cloudy day after so much sunshine

The Brownlow Arms. We always have a lovely meal in here when we can and it was spot on again this time.

Creeping back downstream at low water.

Easy to see the banks today.

Plenty of mud showing.

The sunken island is showing today.

Back on the ditch.

Beer stop in Saxilby.

And finally back home to Burton Waters where we enjoyed a lovely meal in The Woodcocks. The food in here has improved no end of late.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Flying By

Yesterday we had a cracking day on the tidal Trent helped no end by the brilliant weather.

We left West Stockwith at 11.15am and had a quick pit stop at Gainsborough to do some shopping before heading to Dunham Bridge for a few hours and then onto High Marnham ski club for a nice meal in the Brownlow Arms.

The lads from the ski club very kindly took us out in a couple of their boats. They are frighteningly quick.

Today it is time to head back to Burton Waters. This few day break has really flown by.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Moving On

Sadly we have to leave beautiful West Stockwith today. Our batteries are ready for a bit of a charge and we have had our alloted 48 hours.

This afternoon we will move onto Dunham Bridge before later in the evening heading to High Marnham to visit the Brownlow Arms for dinner.

It promises to be yet another hot day.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Another Fine Day

We had a great day at Neil and Linda's wedding yesterday. Congratulations to the happy couple.

The yacht club at West Stockwith proved to be a great location for the evening reception.

A great day was had by all.

Today we will be walking hang overs off as we go for a walk to the Haxey Gate for Sunday lunch before walking back to the boat through Misterton and along the canal.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Lovely Day

Well what a lovely day for a run down the Trent. Blue skies and light winds the whole way.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Escaping the Ditch

This long bank holiday weekend we will be escaping the ditch for the first time in what feels like a long time. After several weekends of just plodding into Lincoln and back it will be nice to get out onto deeper water and give Naughty-Cal the chance to stretch her legs again.

We are heading to West Stockwith for the first couple of days, a friend of ours who keeps their boat there is getting married tomorrow so the festivities will take place in the West Stockwith Yacht Club. An ideal place if ever there was one for a boaty wedding.

So tonight we will be heading to Torksey. Hard to believe this will be the furthest we have traveled by boat this month!

Thursday, 24 August 2017

In the Beginning

Back to the planning for our Thames trip next summer and time to figure out where we will be starting from. The beginning is always the best place to start from I suppose and in this case we will be using the beginning of the navigable non tidal Thames at Lechlade.

The chap who will be delivering us and Naughty-Cal again knows a slipway at Lechlade that he can use so this seems as sensible a place as any to begin our discovery of the river. Starting in the far most upper reaches also means that we will be very much on a one way trip, not doubling back on ourselves and we will be tackling all of the locks going down hill. Much easier for us.

The upper reaches of the river look more meandering and windy then the lower reaches so should provide a nice contrast and a nice relaxing start to the holiday.