Sunday, 31 May 2009

I know where I'd rather be....

We have just come back form a 130 mile tour of Derbyshire (Staffordshire and South Yorkshire to be precise) with 20 or so like minded riders from the Honda Deauville owners club.

Below is yours truly next to my P&J

It was a really nice day out covering a route that took us from Cromford to Hartington to Buxton and Glossop, then back via the snake pass Chatsworth and Chesterfield.

It was a great ride through some truly fantastic scenery.

Sitting here with a pint reflecting on the day I fired up Bruce's blog on Sanity and thought whilst today was good I think I'd rather have been on the canals.

Yesterday whilst looking at Coopers Pride I was talking to someone in the office at Mercia marina who I know and he talked about the significant impact on his thinking and his life the purchase of his narrow boat had on him. I know exactly what he was describing and it gave me a lot of comfort that it can be so - canals, boats and the whole pace of life associated with them can change your outlook on life. It reassured me as I'd been thinking (and no doubt blogging) to this end ......

I don't feel guilty I now accept that it is normal to have such a life changing perspective - an Epiphany I think they call it ! - or here.....


Saturday, 30 May 2009


So we are looking at another boat...... clickty

Totally disloyal to Waterlily - but we would like bigger and more able to accommodate visitors. Our parents aren't getting younger and it would be nice to offer them breaks on a bigger boat. Technically it is an eight berth ! I can't see us ever accommodating that many but you never know.

It has a lot going for it - it is the boat I am aiming for in layout and size so it is perfect apart for arriving a little early and also it needs a paint job - I am destined to commission a NB paint job.

I have been on it twice now. The Gardner is very imposing. I think the next stage will be/should be a trip out to get a feel for the way such a boat handles - 62 foot on a speed wheel is something to think on...

Any advice ?


Friday, 29 May 2009

RIP Common sense

Can't detail the reason for the post, but it's my blog and I want to remember this day.

Work at times can be so sh!t it beggars belief !

Interesting canal stuff tomorrow


Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Paying it forward and Kiva

I'm a great believer in 'Paying it forward'

I asked that my help to NB Dobbin be paid forward. I think the world would be a much happier and friendlier place if more people helped without regard of payment and that their efforts are magnified forward by the recipient. Pipe dream I know but it makes my conscience a little clearer if I can help others.

I'd like to plug KIVA as a excellent example of helping others. I like to give gift certificates as presents - when you explain it to people they are all very pleased to have their present paid forward in this way.

Take care


Thursday, 21 May 2009

Serenity prayer

I recently posted about the cost of living aboard.. clickty My post was based around the cost to keep my car on the road for a year. A few days later and my other car (brought for one of my sons) needs a new clutch and some work on the brakes Cher-ching that'll be £400 quid please sir ! He reminded me it was not his car until he passed his test - thanks son.

There is no more obvious cost saving living (and cruising) aboard than loosing a car or cars. Well over a thousand pounds before depreciation kick in.

I really need to stop thinking about these things.....

Got me thinking of the Serenity Prayer,

God grant me the serenity;
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

This is the entire prayer:

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.

Not to sure about the second half but the first seven lines are very applicable to living afloat.

Interesting this prayer was adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous - say it all really, pass the gin please mother !

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

The benefits of BW moorings tenders

There have been a couple of boats moved on from our moorings. It would appear BW are operating a system of natural wastage for linear moorings as the boats have not been replaced (shame for BW as its income lost) The benefit for us is that the remaining boats are spreading out meaning we have more space around us (great for fishing)

Daft thing is is appears BW are offering linear moorings at Willington where the new 500 space marina has been built bit not here. As you might imagine we are not complaining.


Monday, 18 May 2009

Hip Hip Huraay for dredging

On the boat for a relaxing overnight and did a little fishing and caught a great Bream and Chubb. I'm sure now we have got rid of a foot or so of soft mud the fish will feed more on the bottom and therefore the fishing will improve. I still only catch big fish here - no boast just an observation. I have caught next to no small Chubb, Roach or any of the other species that you get regularly on the cut.

The fishing was so tempting I was up at 6.30 today Sunday (this post will appear on Monday) and was rewarded with another great Bream.

If there is downside to the dreadging is the boat moves a lot more when the speed merchants come through. Its raining hard outside at the moment (Sunday) and I think that 'encourages' people to speed.

No big issue I am relaxed........


Sunday, 17 May 2009

3 is crap

Says it all really. I have had a three 3g modem since last october and it has never worked on my mooring - despite my moorings being within the area 3 advertise as having coverage. I have tried it in every position and location and its still crap. It sometimes gives me 3g then as I connect it drops and gives me super slow Orange GPRS.

It is the WORST bit of technology I own. DO NOT BUY A 3 3g MODEM

Phew I feel a little better for that


Oh and another thing - they do not have software for the Mac.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step."--Chinese

Some while ago I posted about decluttering I am pleased to say I have been good.

Over the weekend I filled a skip - mainly garden stuff but there was stuff that went in that I had been 'saving'. My real proud point is I am holding firm on not buying stuff I really don't need. I thought I needed a 22 inch monitor but then would have a spare to get rid of (and 22 inch monitor would be too big for a boat)

I still wake up to my Ikea wind up alarm clock and it still makes me think about clutter every time I turn it off.

I'm being good just need to hold firm...........


Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Dreaming part II - making your boat live-a-boardable

Following on from my posting yesterday I started to ponder the changes I would need (?) to make to turn Waterlily into a live-a-boardable boat.

The reason being I was reading someones blog (sorry can't remember who it was) and they mentioned ironing. Now that's a definite thing we cannot do as our little inverter will only give us 150w . The next thing had to be some form of washing machine - therein would be our problem as we do not have space. Bruce on Sanity seems to wash regularly so it may be there are small or portable devices that we may be able to use - or we might just have to buy Sanity from Bruce when Sanity two is afloat !!

I cannot think of much else we would need, it all depends on what we would need rather what we would want, washing machine being a good point as when I was a kid my mum used the launderette, might be difficult to find but an option - that and hand washing with a mangle or spin dryer.

So its decided then, we'll either buy Sanity or use launderettes !


Tuesday, 12 May 2009

What does it cost to live afloat ?

I know this one must come up a lot but today I pondered this whilst walking the cut at Willington (in my lunch hour) today.

Last week I had a service and MOT on my car plus some other bits and got a whopping bill of just under £600 It got me thinking of how long this sort of sum would last some of you live-a-boards as I presume owning a car is one of the first things that go. In fact come to think of it I have just taxed it and insured it so that is the best part of a thousand pounds before I turn a wheel.

There is one of these for sale........ better still downsize, have no mortgage and give up one of the jobs........I think it may be better to just have a sandwich while at working at my computer rather than walking the canal !

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

RCR Wells style

On the way back from the Ashby we stopped off at Polesworth. The last time we came this way was when we brought Waterlily back after buying her and we saw NB Valerie (note to self add Valerie to my blogroll.

All of the moorings were full - this time we were the only boat.

When we woke up there was another small boat moored away from us. While getting ready to cruise one of the crew approached and asked about battery isolation. It turned out they had brought the boat the previous day from Whittington and were taking it back down south. Problem was their batteries were flat. It seemed the leisure was in series with the starter and had drained overnight. He was running an genny to try and charge the starter.

I said if he could not get it going to haul her up to Waterlily and we'd try a jump start.

Ten minutes later just as I was putting the tiller arm on he asked if he could take our offer up which I was happy to do. It turned out the batteries were both boiled dry, I gave him my distilled water to try and top up the batteries. We checked them with the hygrometer I have and they were in the red.

Much messing about with jump leads educated me to the fact of current drop as the leads were getting hot and the little boat would only slowly turn over and not start.

I bit the bullet and took my starter out and installed that which spun up straight away and started his boat. We disconnected and put on the best of the two batteries and shook hands and wished them the best.

Below is our mooring with our starter ready to go back

Dobbin was the boat name....... neither seems keen top have their photo taken after we had got her started (I hope it wasn't stolen) I have no doubt it was genuine as they were a nice couple.

I suggested joining the proper RCR asap !!

It's good to help, they kindly offered us money for a bottle of wine which we declined asking them to put it to their battery fund and pay forward the favour we had done them.


Monday, 4 May 2009

Quality boat name (bit rude)

I saw this on the way up the Ashby but didn't have my camera (no SD card) so I snapped it on the way back - nice sense of humour I say.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Ashby cruise

Well we did not make the skip a the end of the Ashby but that's a reason to come back to this lovely canal.

Sitting here at my office desk with the rain beating down outside, makes it hard to believe we were lashing on the suntan cream and living the dream just a few days ago.

So to make me feel better and to detail my excellent week aboard some photo's.......

Bridge 1 on the Ashby - new ground to us. For the record we can get to the Ashby with two days cruising with Polsworth being somewhere near the stop off from Hunts lock.
I did say the Ashby was like the Shroppie at the start - see what I mean. It reminded me of some of the cuttings we enjoyed a couple of years ago.
These fellows were on the battlefield moorings and were not at all scared of Leia (who was on a lead just in case)
That sky was with us all week - how lucky were we......
This was a beautifully well kept small marina on the Ashby called 'The Barge'

This made me chuckle - H&S in a field full of sheep !

There was so many of these little fellows about, we never tired of watching them. It is unfortunate that the drakes are still pursuing the females - just out of Atherstone there were 5 males trying to mate with one unfortunate female and she had 14 chicks - it was mayhem.

The weather was the highlight of the week as well as the lack of boats which compared to when we have cruised in the past (school holidays) was a real bonus.
Best part of it we didn't make the end so we have to come back soon !

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Leia update....

I have posted this as I've just read that Bones has a dog.... I've also left the pic at the top of the blog as this seems the only way to enable people to click on them to get a better view (unless you know of a way around this?)

Its getting close to the anniversary of us taking Leia in, so we will have had her just a year. Bones new dog thinks she is a little chubby - I can assure you Bones, you will loose weight and gain a much healthier perspective on life - as well as talking to a whole load of new people..... enjoy your new doggie - they go so well with boats you know

The pic above is me with Leia at the Bosworth Battlefield site on the Ashby, below is how little she was when she first came to us.
I hope Boots gives you as much pleasure and companionship as Leia has for us,

Friday, 1 May 2009

Granny's three ducks

Andrew on Granny Buttons is seeking the holy grail of duck photos - three in a perfect line. I'd like to join in with this very poor effort .

Little or no composition as the boat was on its way down on the Atherstone flight - literally. At least I have a dog included !