Monday, September 02, 2013

A very social weekend, and swapping the cut for the river.

Our visitors arrived on Saturday morning, Simon, who travelled up to meet me at Stone last November to help move the boat down to our winter mooring was first, with his children Alice and Henry.
They’d been up in the Peak District for a week, and were on their way back home to Kent.

Then, not long later, Carol and Ellie arrived. Carol has a boat in Shardlow Marina (her third there!) but at the moment they’re up at Ellie’s house, as both water and electricity supplies at the marina were disrupted during a boat salvage operation.

Simon brought a bottle of wine, Ellie brought a cake, so all were very welcome!

Bit of a boat full, Simon with Alice and Henry at the back, Mags with Carol and Ellie at the front.SAM_6278
It was good to see you all.

Yesterday it was a family day, brother Andy picked us up at lunchtime and we joined the throng at Dad’s in Sileby. Sister Sue and her hubby Trev are across from New Zealand, so we had a bit of a gathering. There’ll be a few more of those in the next couple of weeks…

Last night, after being returned to Shardlow, we moved out of the town to moor above Derwent Mouth Lock, the last on the Trent and Mersey. It’s a lot quieter here, although occasionally a little whiffy from the adjacent sewage works…

It was a bit grey and cool when we dropped down the lock this morning, passing a couple of boats waiting below…

….and out onto the River TrentSAM_6280
It’s a bit of a crossroads here. We’re just leaving the short cut to Derwent Mouth Lock, the Trent comes in from the right and the Derwent joins from the left. Hence the name of the lock…

The Derwent is not navigable, but the Trent to the right (upstream) can be navigated past Shardlow Marina up to Cavendish Bridge.

Looking upstream, the new Long Horse Bridge connects Derbyshire with LeicestershireSAM_6282

Going downstream under the M1 bridge the river veers off over Sawley Weir but the navigation carries on through Sawley Flood Lock onto Sawley Cut.

Sawley Weir…..

…and Sawley CutSAM_6285

The flood lock at one end and the pair of mechanised locks at the other protect the marina and moorings on the cut from the somewhat temperamental Trent.

Sawley Cut, the marina and Derby Motor Boat Club on the right, Ratcliffe Power Station gently steaming dead ahead.SAM_6287

It was just along here that a plastic cruiser reversed out from the right across our bow. A toot and a blast of reverse woke up the skipper, who was very apologetic when we met at the lock. I pointed out that his boat would have come off worse if I had T-boned him, but it might have scratched our new paint…

We picked up a locking partner at the locks, NB Lock and Roll was going our way, but first we had to swing around into the backwater below the lock for water and the “other services”.

Down Sawley LocksSAM_6289

Back on the river there’s just under a mile to go before we left the Trent for the Soar at Trent Junction.
The Erewash Canal goes off under the stone bridge on the left, Cranfleet Cut takes the Trent navigation off on the left in front of the yacht club buildings, the river continues on to the right, dropping over Thrumpton Weir as the Soar emerges to join the fray.

Thrumpton Weir, under the railway, as we swing right to join the Soar.SAM_6297

The name Ratcliffe is derived from Red Cliff, from the red sandy hill rising to the left of the river. There’s some fancy properties along here.

Red HillSAM_6299

There’s a flood lock, usually open, and another marina just upstream from the junction.

Redhill Marina
The marina comprises several independent businesses, we had our cratch board and cover made here in autumn 2006.
The board has been replaced, but the cover, although modified and mended, is essentially the same.

The two blue boats in the picture above were built here, Cygnet class by Standard Narrowboats.
Standard also build the Swan class, but I don’t think this is an example…SAM_6304

Ratcliffe Lock is the first “proper” lock going upstream, and our previous locking partners had picked up a new playmate here, so we came up this one solo.

Ratcliffe LockSAM_6309

NB Aegis, who’d shared Ratcliffe Lock, pulled over at Kegworth Shallow Lock, so we were back to sharing with Lock and Roll for the deep one.

Kegworth Shallow Lock…

…and Kegworth Deep LockSAM_6312

During flood protection works the river level was reduced between the two locks, leaving the lower one redundant during the summer, but the upper one considerably deeper. A new lock chamber was built here, the old one alongside filled in with gates and gear still in place.

Kegworth old lock

Weirs above Kegworth Deep LockSAM_6314

We moored about 1½ miles further on, at Devil’s Elbow. There are plenty of opportunities to pull in along here, but further downstream can be a little noisy, it’s under the flight path to East Midlands Airport. Mags refuses point-blank to stay there!

Moored at Devil’s Elbow.SAM_6317

I do like this river….

Locks 4, miles 8¼ 

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