Thursday, November 10, 2011

Good Life

We were cruising downriver today with the engine muttering along just above tickover, Mags inside preparing dinner, Meg curled up on the counter, and it crossed my mind just how fortunate I am.

Wide river towards Kegworth SAM_0001 Near Sutton Bonnington
It wasn’t a particularly bright day, but the combination of cooking smells from the cabin, woodsmoke from the chimney and the beautiful scenery made me bless whoever my Fairy Godmother is.

Some fine houses in fine locations overlooking the river…..SAM_0014SAM_0017
But, you know, I’m very happy with what I’ve got.

One of my lasting impressions of The Soar is of the willows lining the banks.
Some are tall and stately…..SAM_0018
Some are short and windblown like a bad hairstyle….SAM_0009  Gnarly tree
And some are just downright gnarly!SAM_0003

A boat had passed us this morning, heading downstream, so we expected the locks to be against us, and weren’t disappointed.
Kegworth Deep Lock was the first, taking a while to fill the 12-foot deep chamber. I calculated that I put 88, 000 gallons of water in there, just so we could float down to the next pound.
There’s an old lock alongside, made redundant when the river levels were adjusted as part of flood control measures. It’s filled in to the old water level for safety, but the gates and ironmongery are still in situ.

Original Kegworth LockSAM_0020 Kegworth Deep

Leaving Kegworth Deep Lock, the spire of St. Andrews, Kegworth rising above the trees. SAM_0023 Kegworth Deep

Kegworth Shallow Lock is only used for flood management, so was open at both ends today.

Straight through Kegworth Shallow LockSAM_0025 Kegworth Shallow

Ratcliffe Lock is next as we drop down the river, another with an old lock chamber alongside.

Ratcliffe Lock, the old lock can be seen on the left.SAM_0029 Ratcliffe Lock

A gentle chug past the moored boats at Red Hill Marina, through the open Redhill Flood Lock, and we moored with a view of the last reach of The Soar before it loses it’s identity in the wider waters of The Trent.

View over the sharp end this afternoon.SAM_0032 Below Redhill Lock

We weren’t intending to move today, but Mags was keen to go a bit further in case there’s rain tomorrow. It doesn’t matter if it’s wet so long as there’re no locks to do. Then it’s only muggins who gets damp…

We passed NB Ardanza moored near The Otter. They gave us a shout a couple of weeks ago at Barrow, but before that we’d crossed paths (wakes?) a few times, on The Weaver and at Sawley.

Jean (centre) Mike (right). Ardanza is just visible on the right.SAM_0012 Ardanza crew

Locks 2, miles 4½

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