Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Today has been the first day we’ve travelled any distance since Friday. The windy weather has put us off, so, apart from a short trip to Sawley and back, we stayed put at Derwent Mouth.

We’d arranged to meet brother Andy and family and Saturday, so to make it easier to find us we moved down through Derwent Mouth Lock, across the Trent junction and moored opposite Sawley Marina.
In the event, Andy was poorly with ‘flu, but Nyree and the 2 children came for a late lunch and a pleasant afternoon chatting.
By the time they were ready to leave, the wind was starting to get up so we decided to go back up to above Derwent Mouth, where we would be a bit more sheltered. We did the short trip escorting a novice crew on a Canaltime boat from the marina. They’d been advised to wait till the morning, but really wanted to be in Shardlow first thing on Sunday. So we told them to follow us across the exposed and windy junction, into the shelter of the canal, and then they had a lesson in locking through Derwent Mouth Lock before carrying on up into the village. We pulled up on our usual mooring above the lock.

Sunday was spent walking the dog, and then giving her an overdue grooming. I got enough dead hair off her to knit a smaller version! I’m sure she feels better for it, she certainly looks better.

Walking the Dog
Three Coots and a Grebe on the Trent.
Yesterday I went off with Carol to the bank, and to the chandlers in Shardlow for some odds and ends. It was supposed to be wet and windy all day, we had the wind but it wasn’t too bad for rain. But there was enough to raise the water level on the river by a foot overnight.

Today was forecast to be a lull in the windy weather, at least until later, so we set off on the first leg of our journey north.

Down from the Trent and Mersey Canal onto the Trent, through Sawley Flood Lock (shut as a precaution) and the main Sawley Locks, and then a U turn on to the backwater against the flow to the Sanitary Station.

Shakespeare Line hire boat HENRY IV crossing Derwent Mouth
CORBIERE out on the Trent
Sawley Flood Lock
Crossing the crossroads of the Trent, Soar and Erewash Canal we entered Cranfleet Cut and went through the lock back out onto the river.

Leaving Cranfleet Lock. Look at those clouds!
With the flow and the wind behind us, we made good time to Beeston. Here I’d arranged for the engineer at Beeston Marina to have a look at the prop shaft and stern tube. The noise I’ve mentioned before is now getting harder to ignore. A half hour and £20 lighter and I’m not much further forward; yes we have a problem, no we’re not sure what it is without dry-docking the boat and stripping down the shaft, and no, we can’t do anything for a week or so anyway. But at least now I know it’s not in imminent danger of failure.
It was certainly interesting manouevring in the strong wind and current just above a very large weir carrying an awful lot of water….

Riverside Des Res under construction near Beeston.

Today’s SBDA winner

We had intended spending the night on the floating pontoon just below the lock, but, with the wind now getting pretty fierce, decided to go up into the comparative calm of the Beeston Cut. We moored on the visitor moorings just short of the turn-over bridge just before the rain came.

For a while this large dragonfly took quite an interest in us... Whether we move on or not tomorrow depends on the weather. The forecast is pretty bad.

Locks 5, miles 7½.

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