Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Trent goes down, we go up….

Up around 70 feet in fact.
After a steady few days, watching the flood level markers on the locksides barely moving, the last 36 hours saw the river drop 2½ feet. This morning the flood lock indicator was just on amber, “navigable with care”, so that’s just what we did.
But first we had to wait while the BW crew, who’d been busy over last weekend finishing Derwent Mouth Lock, unloaded some of the plant they’d floated down to the cut yesterday afternoon.

Unloading generator sets and the like at Sawley.
Then it was across to the marina ourselves to fill up with diesel. We had a “negotiation” over the declaration of my usage splits, which ended up with me getting the decision I wanted, albeit with separate invoices for propulsion and domestic fuel. Then, with the roof also topped up with smokeless fuel, we went the short distance through the flood lock, which took us up onto the Trent. We didn’t need to close up after us, instead leaving the lock ready for Graham and Jennifer the couple on NB Best O Mates, heading down from Shardlow. We met them yesterday, having cycled down to have a look at water levels at Sawley.

Onto the Trent
And across Derwent Mouth. A lot calmer than recently….
Derwent Mouth Lock is the first on the Trent and Mersey Canal, sporting it’s brand new bottom gates!
Through Shardlow and out into the country, following the Trent valley, we rose through the remaining 5 locks to Stenson.

Aston LockSphinx Impressions....

The locks get progressively deeper as the canal heads west, the last broad lock being Stenson Lock, with a rise of over 12 feet.

Stenson Lock
We’d intended to share these locks with No Problem, but with the flooded river scuppering the timetable, we’d left them at Sawley.
We stopped just above the lock at Stenson, and will finish the trip to Willington in the morning. We’ve got the boat booked in to Mercia Marina for the Christmas period, to give us a secure base from which to do the obligatory visits.

Moored opposite Stenson Marina.

It’s been a fair day, overcast but not too cold. We’ve had no rain on route, but the forecasted showers have started now. I bet the flood indicators at Sawley are heading back into the red!

Locks 7, miles 11

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