Friday, August 30, 2013

Down the broad locks

This end of the Trent and Mersey is unusual in that it changes from narrow to broad locks east of Burton on Trent.

The first is at Stenson, and comes as a bit of a culture shock for boaters used to the easy, narrow locks further up. This one is a monster, 12¼ feet deep and with ferocious paddles to catch out the unwary. In fact all of these broad locks need to be treated with respect, a premature raising of a gate paddle when going up could lead to disaster.

Dropping down Stenson Lock, sharing with NB WaterhomeSAM_6257
We were lucky here, they were just closing the gates as we came around the corner, so opened up again to let us in too.

We shared Swarkestone Lock as well, then followed them to Weston where we pulled in above the lock and they picked up another boat to join them as they carried on.

One man Two men went to mow…

Swarkestone Lock and the junction with the Derby CanalSAM_6259
The Derby Canal was completed in 1796, it’s primary cargo being coal, carried to the canal from pits at Denby by tramway. It ran for 5½ miles to Derby, then a branch connected with the Erewash Canal at Sandiacre. An active restoration society intends to re-open the canal, although Swarkestone Junction will be resited to below the lock.

After a quiet night at Weston we were just getting ready to move out when NB Snowdrop came into view, and became our locking partner for the morning.

Weston Lock with NB Snowdrop
Notice I’ve done a bit more work on the bow flare design?

Down the Trent ValleySAM_6265

Just a short run today, 3 miles to Shardlow, with just Weston, Aston and Shardlow locks to negotiate.

Mags carefully lines up for Shardlow LockSAM_6267
Meg is keeping an eye on her from the towpath….

Topping up with water below the lock.
The Clock Warehouse in the background is one of several surviving canal-related buildings constructed when the village was transformed from a small rural community to a thriving inland port with the arrival of the canal.

We moored in the village, unusual for us, we normally carry on through to moor above the last lock at Derwent Mouth. But we’ve got visitors tomorrow…

This afternoon I’ve run the comms cable for the remote from the new inverter to the galley. We had one here for the old unit, it’s handy for turning it on and off without going through to the engine room. It’s a shame that the cable for the Mastervolt was wired differently, but it made a useful pull-through for the new one through the awkward bits in the roof space!
Of course, the new remote is a different size and shape to the old one, so I’ve got to make a blanking/mounting plate to cover the old hole in the galley cabinet.

Locks, 2 yesterday, 3 today, miles 6 yesterday, 3 today.

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