Well, after all the concern about cruising down the tidal Trent, it turned out to be a bit of an anticlimax. On the Cromwell lock-keepers advice, we assembled in the lock ready to go down at 09:00. There were 3 cruisers and 4 narrowboats to go, all to Torksey for the night, or to lock through to go to Lincoln on the Fossdyke.
As Mags was preparing to catch the slip ropes on the lockside at the bow, she leaned out too far, lost her balance and fell overboard. She was wearing her lifejacket, and popped up immediately. A rescue operation was quickly organised, with me and a chap from one of the cruisers (Creole Jazz) on the bow, another chap on the tiller to manoeuvre the boat and the lockie on the lockside co-ordinating events. We rapidly had her hauled back inboard, and she dashed inside to get dried and changed while we proceeded through the lock. She was none the worse for the dip, in fact she took it all remarkably calmly, just floating alongside the boat with me holding her hand till we had assistance. It would have been a different story, though had she not been wearing her lifejacket, and if we’d been alone. Still, she’s fine, just a few bruises on her arms where we lifted her out. If any of the “team” get to read this, many thanks. I didn’t get to personally thank you all for your efforts.
Leaving Cromwell Lock, Mags’ “swimming hole”
In convoy, High Marnham Power Station in background, day 1
Gravel Carrier “Fossdale”, day 1
And “Farndale” on day 2
Leaving Torksey Cut, early day 2
Gainsborough Arches, day 2
Mag’s bath turned out to be the most exciting event in the whole 2 days. It was actually quite boring, with the high flood banks obscuring a lot of the surrounding countryside. Yesterday we did the 15 miles to Torksey by 11:15, and moored on the floating pontoon outside the lock. Then today we were off at just after 07:00, to catch the ebb tide to carry us down to Keadby Lock, where we turned onto the Stainforth and Keadby Canal.
Approaching the M180 and journey’s end
Coasters on Keadby Wharf
A final incident was Dave and Barbara on NB LIBERTY BELL stuck on the mud bank across the entrance to the lock. Apparently the recent flooding had deposited quite a bit of silt across the mouth of the lock which BW hadn’t had a chance to dredge. Even the lock-keeper at Keadby didn’t know about it; he certainly does now!
Dave and Barbara stuck on the mud at Keadby lock
We had to wait for the flood tide to give Dave enough water to get in; we were hanging on a 20 foot high wharf wall for about 30 minutes.
After all the excitement we called it a day just above the lock on the visitor moorings. We’d covered 42 miles in under 7 hours running over 2 the days, averaging better than 6 MPH.
Locks 2, miles 42 (in 2 days)