Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Before we got off today I hung upside down in the engine room again, and rechecked the engine alignment. No problems, so I fitted the old coupling to see if it made a difference.
Of course it didn’t, but through today’s travels I found that it is a lot quieter with a load of weed and baler twine around the prop. Problem is it’s difficult to go anywhere or even steer properly in this condition! It could be the prop, but I’m reluctant to spend over £200 to replace it on the offchance.

Anyway, we got away just after 11:00, and arrived at the first of the 4 Forest Locks soon after. These are delightfully placed, out in the country and well maintained.

Forest Middle Bottom Lock
At the 3rd one (Forest Middle Top Lock) we met a BW chap who’d just spent the morning at Retford Town Lock extracting an Asda trolley from beneath a narrowboat. This is where we rescued one yesterday. He was saying that they recently had to fish 18 of Aldi’s carts from the cut near their store. They were still linked together, so the only way they could retrieve them was to separate each one in turn using a pound coin. It seems that trolley dunking is a local sport in Retford and Worksop.

Under grey skies and through the occasional light shower we continued on to and through Osberton Lock, another tidy lock.

Osberton Lock
We moored up about ¼ mile further on.

There’s a lot of BW dredging equipment knocking about, usually tied up on lock landings. I hope they plan to make use of it soon. Although shallow the canal is very pretty, lots of wildlife, and clumps of daffodils growing alongside.

We may have to review our plans for going to the terminus. I spoke to a boater who’d just come back from Worksop, and who had to call BW out to assist him through Worksop Town Lock. One of the gates is dragging on the cill, and the chamber contains rubbish and rubble. Apparently it’s not considered justifiable to empty the lock and sort out the problems. There were only 50 boats up to the end last year, and resources could be better used on busier waterways. There are no permanent staff on this canal any more, they all work out of Newark.

Locks 5, miles 5½

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