Saturday, 22 July 2017

Home Safe

We are now home safe and sound with a big thank you to Tony Tugboat for getting us back in one piece. Very professional as always.

Naughty-Cal is now tucked up safe and sound on her own mooring.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Come To An End

All good thinks must come to an end and today we must head for home. We are being picked up at 2pm close to where we are currently moored in Oban Marina on the island of Kerrera.

We have loved our time here in Scotland but will be glad to get Naughty-Cal back into home waters again.

It will be a long drive home.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Mill Pond

What a difference a day makes.  It is like a mill pond this morning.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Weather Bound

It was a bit lumpy on the berths last night to say the least. We had very little sleep and we were up in the night to check the ropes.

It is still very choppy so we have caught the ferry across to Oban for the day.

On arriving in Oban the bay is flat calm and in complete contrast to the other side. According to the locals the wind will change direction later and calm down so we should get a bit more sleep .

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Beautiful Day

We look set to have the best day weatherwise of the holiday so far today. So the plan is to head to Seil for a spot of lunch before coming back to Oban Bay and doing a spot of fishing.

Monday, 17 July 2017

We Are Off

Finally after three days stranded in Banavie we have made it from the East coast to the west coast of Scotland.

We are now moored in Oban Marina which we will use as our base for the next few days. We will have day trips out from here as and when the weather allows!

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Another Day

It is another windy day here in Banavie so no trip to Sea for us today, which we knew anyway. At least it isn't due to rain all day today.

So it is another evening in Banavie for us today. Our third on this lock landing pontoon which would be frowned upon anywhere else but is common place here on the Caledonian Canal.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Lucked Out

We have lucked out with the weather today. We should have been heading out to sea and on to Kentallen this morning but visibility is very poor and sea conditions too lumpy to make any serious progress.

So we are having a days shore break to Fort William today and Liams mum is coming to visit in the morning.

So this pontoon at the foot of Neptunes Staircase looks set to be home for the next couple of days until conditions improve on Monday.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Down The Stair

We have this afternoon come down the Neptunes Staircase . As wonderful a piece of engineering it is, we would not wish to do it again!

To The Stair

Today is our last full day on the Caledonian Canal. We are currently cruising along Loch Lochy heading for Gairlochy and on towards Banavie and Neptunes Staircase.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Loch Oich

We spent last night moored on the very pretty Loch Oich. Today we are heading back up the loch to visit Invergarry Castle before coming back through Laggan and further towards the coast.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

On the Up

Today we are heading up the flight of locks at Fort Augustus and are heading to the summit of the canal on Loch Oich.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Moving On

Today we will move on and leave Loch Ness. We are heading on to Fort Augustus and will leave the loch to head south on the canal.

Monday, 10 July 2017

To The Falls

We have had a trip across the loch this morning to Foyers Pier from which we walked up to the Falls of Foyer. The Falls are pretty spectacular.

Now we are on our way back to Urquhart Harbour from where we will walk into town for the day.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

The Loch

We have arrived on the lovely Loch Ness.

We met Liams mum and husband at the very nice Dores Inn for dinner and have now moved on for the evening to find a nice sheltered BBQ spot.

Heading Higher

Today we will be heading higher up the canal as we leave our berth in Seaport Marina and head towards Loch Ness . Our intended destination Dores.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

On The Canal

We are now on the Caledonian Canal and moored up in Seaport Marina.  We have called it a day here as the wind is howling through. The staff all seem very friendly and helpful.

Dolphin Watching

After a days break in Inverness yesterday we decided to have a quick run out in the Moray Firth. We had not even left the marina when we spotted the first dolphin.

Today we are heading onto the Caledonian Canal. High water is at about 1pm so we will aim to be at the sea lock for then.

Friday, 7 July 2017

A Day Off

We are having a day off boating today to explore the lovely city of Inverness.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

The Final Day

It is our final day at work today. A day of tying up loose ends and leaving everything as sorted as it can be before we head over to the marina this evening.

We don't plan to do a lot this evening, just dump some gear on the boat, grab a quick shower and then head across to Harbour Lights for a bite to eat before retiring early to bed as we have a 3am start in the morning.

3am! It has been a long time since we had to get up at that time and I think the last time was boat related as well when we had to catch an early tide from Grimsby.

We have stocked up this morning on sweets and water for the journey. Hopefully a bit of sugar will keep us alert during the early hours. No doubt as we get closer to Inverness the excitement will kick in and wake us both up fully despite the early start.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

A Fine Weekend

It wasn't all work and no play over the weekend. We also had a great weekend celebrating our friends first wedding anniversary at Southrey, the village where they got married. A great weekend was had by all with much laughing and merriment along the way.

Heading out of the marina

Through Lincoln

Jack having a wash after rolling in something stinky.

The fleet

Busy moorings

The taxi too the White Horse

Ferrying passengers

The fleet from the White Horse, Dunsten Fen.

Heading back to Southrey.

The boys coming back.

Liam and Abbie climbing trees in the Riverside beer garden.

The chapel at Southrey where we enjoyed a great service on Sunday morning.

Checking out the new loo facilities.

Heading back home.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Ready and Waiting

Naughty-Cal is now sat ready and waiting for he big adventure later this week. She is now as ready as she will ever be.

Liam and I have just three days left at work and then we will head down to the marina on Wednesday evening after work ready for the off at 3.30am on Thursday morning.

It will be an early start but this should see us in Inverness in plenty of time to get craned off the trailer and back into the water before the yard shuts for the day.

Now all we need to do is pray for some decent weather.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Riverside

I think a great evening was had by all. A big thank you to The Riverside at Southery for accommodating us all and making sure we were all fed and watered well.

We will be back.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Low Clearance

Last night we had a nice run down to Fiskerton.  We got one lock out of the way and made for a nice easy run today with one lock and only a few miles to go to Southery.

The willow trees in Lincoln didn't make life easy. 9'2" clearance I think not!

Friday, 30 June 2017

Another Busy Weekend

It was this time last year that our friends got married at the pretty little chapel at Southrey and to celebrate we have a bunch of boaters heading back down to Southrey this weekend as a celebration of the year just past.

This evening we will make it part way down but we have no rush to get all the way. Tomorrow we have a day of celebrations planned which will see us in the Riverside Inn for a hearty meal later in the evening. And then on Sunday morning we will all head to the service in the chapel.

This is where we will have to leave everyone as we have to get back to the marina and get the boat ready to go away next Thursday morning. It shouldn't take us too long but we also have to nip into Lincoln on the way back through to pick up a few last bits and pieces as well. 

We also have a couple of hours free on Wednesday evening if we need to do any very last minute jobs, although we are hoping that these few hours won't be needed as we are rather hoping that we will get chance to have a bite to eat in Harbour Lights before hitting the sack early.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

This Time Next Week

This time next week we should be just about crossing over the border into Scotland.

We spoke to the chap who is taking us up last night to decide how we are going to tackle the massive drive up there.

We eventually all decided that the best option is to have an early start.

So come 3am next Thursday morning our alarm will be chiming away to wake us up and signal the start of a long day. We hope that by 4am the boat will be strapped down on the trailer and we will be hitting the road.

With a bit of luck, some light traffic and couple of pit stops we are hoping that we will be in Inverness Marina by about 2pm, which will give us plenty of time to get the boat off loaded and back into the water where she belongs, get things sorted out again inside and give her a good scrub before we hit the town later on in the evening for a curry and a few beers.

Exciting times ahead.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Tying Up Loose Ends

With this weekend being our last on the boat before we head off to Scotland we will be tying up a few loose ends before the off. 

Most of the little bits and bobs of jobs have now been completed. We just have the shower room tap heads to replace but we are leaving these until the very last minute. The originals are horrible little plastic jobbies that are really not up to the job. They wear away far too easily which means they never work properly for long. So sensibly we have bought a new pair but will wait until Sunday evening to fit them. They will definitely work all through the holiday then!

Our very last job on Sunday evening will be fitting the tonneau cover ready for road transport on Thursday morning. This will make sleeping on the boat a bit awkward on Sunday evening and Wednesday evening but it will save us a job for the early hours of Thursday morning, which lets be honest we wouldn't be in the mood to do at that point. 

Other than these few loose ends I believe we are there.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

All The Essentials

After the other weekends break down and our quick and inexpensive fix for it, it was essential that we had a decent run out at the weekend just gone to check that the fault has now gone away.

The half hour run into Lincoln on Friday night wasn't really a thorough test but the over two hour run to Torksey on Saturday was better. Everything worked as it should and the leg behaved itself. We have another run out planned for this coming weekend so fingers crossed it will behave itself again.

Tonight we are off to Liam's sisters to pick up more essentials for the trip. This time it is a couple of bottles of Avon's Skin So Soft to hopefully keep the midges and bitey insects at bay whilst we are in Scotland!

Monday, 26 June 2017

Almost Ready

After a lovely evening in Torksey lock cut on Saturday we had a busy day yesterday. We were back through the lock by 9.15am and on our way back to the marina. We had a late breakfast/brunch of gammon and mushroom omelette at 11.30am when we arrived back before setting about our jobs for the day.

Liam's task was scrubbing the dinghy from top to bottom which was no mean feat. The bottom was filthy but with the aid of some magic sponge and some Boat Bottom Cleaner it was after a couple of hours looking as good as new again.

My job whilst Liam was busy scrubbing was to empty out all of the cupboards and remove anything that we didn't need to take to Scotland with us. It is amazing what clutter we manage to collect in such a short space of time. With the cupboards stripped back and three black bags of rubbish and two bags to take home the boat is now much lighter.

After the cupboards were sorted I turned my attention to the anchor locker. The spare fenders were treated to some new fender ropes and fender clips. A now redundant set of spare ropes was removed and everything was generally tidied up a little.

We are to all intents and purposes pretty much ready to go now.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

In The Cut

We had a nice day in the Torksey Lock cut moorings yesterday with drinks on the pontoon followed by drinks in the pub and then back to the pontoon for a BBQ.

This morning we will lock back through onto the Fossdyke and then head back to the marina to clean the dinghy and sort out some of the cupboards on the boat.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Heavy

What was supposed to be a quiet few drinks turned into a bit of a session last night when we met up with some old friends.

Needless to say we are both feeling the effects this morning but we will survive.

Time for breakfast now followed by a spit of shopping then the trip to Torksey for a BBQ later on.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Work and Pleasure

This weekend will be a mixture of work and pleasure. Starting with the pleasure of course.

Tonight we plan to head into Lincoln for a night out on the town with a few beers and a bite to eat later on. This means that we will be in town in the morning to pick up some shopping from the markets for tomorrow evenings planned BBQ at Torksey. We have friends coming up from West Stockwith to see us so Torksey is the ideal meeting place.

It will be on Sunday that the work takes place. Liam is going to set about scrubbing the dinghy and whilst he is busy with this dirty task I am going to delve into Naughty-Cal's cupboards and clear out anything that we do not need to take to Scotland with us. This in itself is going to be a big job but one which needs doing as we need to shed any extra ounce of weight that we can to make towing just that bit easier.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Scare Over, For Now

Now what with last weekends little scare hopefully over and done with we can continue with the onward planning of our trip to Scotland in a couple of weeks.

This time in a couple of weeks we should be cruising up the motorway towards Inverness Marina with the aim of getting there before the last lift in at about 4pm. It will make for a long and labourious drive in one day but the sooner it is over and the boat is back where she belongs in the water, the better.

Plans are coming along nicely. We will have a couple of nights in Inverness Marina to give us time to explore the city and also to relax a little before we hit the canal and enter hire boat territory once more. It seems most of our summer holidays entail hire boats in one way, shape or form. This year is will be large cruisers and yachts as well as a good mixture of commercial vessels thrown in for good measure. This year as an added bonus we will also have locks to contend with, with the hire boats. It should all make for an interesting mix!

Our plans for our seven days on the Caledonian are also taking shape. Our first day will be the short hop from Inverness Marina up the Moray Firth to Clachnaharry Sea Lock. Once through the lock we will purchase our very expensive visitors licence, £140 for seven days, more if your are a larger boat! Relieved of some cash we will head the short distance to Seaport Marina where we will spend our first evening ready to hit our first flight of locks the next day.