Sunday, October 23, 2011

Downstream and upstream

Down the Trent, then up the Soar, of course.
We had a lazy day yesterday. Well, I say lazy…. after a seven mile run, Meg’s walk, a trip to the shop up in Sawley, then engine checks, battery topping up and emptying the stern tube drip tray I was ready to put my feet up!

NB True heading towards Derwent Mouth yesterday morning
SAM_0012 Trent Morning

Closer shot of the new Long Horse Bridge. It’s certainly an elegant span…
SAM_0013 New Long Horse Bridge

Carol left us to it later in the afternoon, cruising down to Redhill for the night. Her space was soon occupied by a returning Canaltime boat. There’s a continuous stream of these hire boats arriving at or leaving from Sawley Marina.
After a mild night I was up for my long run, a planned ten miler turning into eleven as the access to Attenborough Nature Reserve I’d intended to take was closed off, necessitating a diversion further north. Then a quick walk for Meg, another trip up to the Co-op and we were ready for the off.

Stranded trees on Sawley Weir.
SAM_0033 Sawley Weir (1) 
On Sawley Cut heading for the locks, Ratcliffe Power Station dominating the horizon.
SAM_0034 Sawley Cut

Sawley Locks
SAM_0035 Sawley Locks

There are two lock chambers here, side by side and power operated. No heaving on balance beams or winding paddles on these! In fact it was even better than that. We had a BW lock keeper looking after them today, so I didn’t even have to push a button.
Below the locks we turned sharp left back under the railway bridge to visit the service wharf, then turned around again and headed down to the junction with the River Soar.

Leaving Sawley. The service wharf is under the bridge to the right, the locks to the left.
SAM_0037 Railway Br at Sawley

It’s less than a mile to the junction, which can be a little daunting if you don’t know where you’re going. Straight on takes you on to Cranfleet Cut and points north via Nottingham, left up Trent Lock is the Erewash Canal, 12 miles and 15 locks up to the terminus at Langley Mill. Our route onto the Soar is to the right, then keeping right to avoid the large Thrumpton Weir.

Approaching Soar Junction
SAM_0038 Trent Lock

The Trent Valley Sailing Club sits on the junction.
SAM_0043 Sailing Club

Now heading against the current coming down the Soar, we passed the fine riverside houses tucked up under the red clay and sandstone hill which gives Redhill it’s name.

I fancy one of these. You can see the “Red Hill” behind the properties.
SAM_0045 Redhill

We passed Carol just the other side of the flood lock, giving a toot and a wave, then chugged slowly  past the long line of moored craft to Ratcliffe Lock. There are some good views of the eight cooling towers at the power station along this stretch.

Ratcliffe Power Station from above Ratcliffe Lock
SAM_0049  Ratcliffe PS

This lock was handily empty for us, and I closed up and started to fill just as another boat came around the corner below. There was only about a foot of water in the lock so I closed the top paddles and emptied it again, inviting them in.

NBs Seyella and Phantom in Ratcliffe Lock
SAM_0050  Ratcliffe Lock
Phantom is a 36 year old Springer. These boats were certainly built to last; there’re a fair few of them still around.

Spying a blown-down tree branch close by, we paused in the lock to retrieve it, Dave off Phantom giving me a hand. All securely on the roof, we set off again, around 2 miles to Kegworth.

Cruising on the Soar near Kegworth.
SAM_0051 Soar Cruising

Kegworth Shallow Lock, now flood control only, so normally open both ends.SAM_0053 Kegworth Narrow Lock

We had to wait for a boat going up and another coming down before our turn in the deep Kegworth Deep Lock.

Coming up Kegworth Deep. You wouldn’t want to open all the paddles with a full length boat in there.
SAM_0054 Kegworth Deep Lock
We pulled in around the corner, just past the large house sitting alongside the weir stream. The water is maybe a couple of inches below what you’d normally expect, we ran onto the bottom as we tried to come in. Shuffling back gave us enough depth to get in, though.

Looking across the roof (and the wood) from our mooring.
SAM_0055 Moored Nr Kegworth

The wind has been annoying today, not particularly difficult to handle, but at least it’s been mild. More of the same tomorrow, apparently.

Locks 3, miles 5

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