Saturday, October 11, 2014

Swapping rivers.

This morning was bright and clear after a bit of rain last night. I had a bit of shopping to do to top up the larder with fresh food before we got away, but it was still not yet 10:00 when we pulled pins and headed towards the right turn under Chain Bridge.

Leaving Loughborough’s Belton Road moorings.IMG_1858

Under the bridge is a Tee junction, left to Loughborough Wharf, once the site of a woodyard, now mooring pontoons surrounded by student flats.
This is now the Loughborough Canal, built to carry coal from the Nottinghamshire coalfields into the town.

The artificial cut through the town ends below Bishop’s Meadow Lock, from here the navigation runs mainly on the Soar riverbed, apart from the short lock cuts.

Bishop’s Meadow Lock.IMG_1861

Back on the river.

I believe this is the best bit of the Soar Navigation, just take away the power pylons and the adjacent A6 and it’d be perfect.

Oh, I forgot the aircraft coming into East Midlands Airport….IMG_1883
They’d have to go too. 

Parting of the waters geese at NormantonIMG_1867

Below Zouch Lock we had to watch out for rowers out from Loughborough Boat Club, then we got lucky at Kegworth New Lock. If we’d been a couple of minutes later the lock would have been emptied by a lady on a boat below, and we’d have had to wait for them and another boat to come up. As it was she saw us coming, topped up the lock and opened the gate for us.

Leaving Kegworth Lock

We expected to find Kegworth Flood Lock in use as a normal lock, like Pillings this is supposed to be in use from October to March, and left open through the summer. But it was wide open both ends so we cruised straight through. No complaints from here!

Kegworth Flood Lock
This and the flood lock at Redhill always seem a bit superfluous to me. The river backwater around the lock doesn’t carry a weir or sluice, so there’s nothing to stop water from just bypassing if the lock is closed. Or am I missing something?

The backwater returning from it’s short trip around Kegworth Flood LockIMG_1891
I know it’s a navigable route, we’ve been around there!

The weather had turned showery by this time, and a particular heavy one drove me to pull over above Ratcliffe Lock. We took advantage of a half-hour break to grab a bit of lunch before the sky cleared and we pushed on.

Ratcliffe Lock wasn’t kind to us. It was empty so  had to fill it, the offside top gate I tried to open to get Mags in wouldn’t go right back into the recess so I had to walk around and open the other one, then I had the same problem when we came to exit, choosing the wrong gate again. Still, you get a good view of Ratcliffe Power Station while you’re fannying about…IMG_1898

There’s lots of moored boats from here, past Redhill Marina, and down to where the Soar decants into the Trent.

Redhill MarinaIMG_1900

Out onto the TrentIMG_1906
To the right is the navigation through Cranfleet Cut heading north to Nottingham after picking up the river again below Cranfleet Lock. Dead ahead is Trent Lock, the entrance to the Erewash Canal and the source of the coal that was shipped to Loughborough, we swing to the left, upstream towards Sawley Cut and Derwent Mouth, and finally up onto the Trent and Mersey Canal.

Sawley Locks to the left, the backwater and services to the right.IMG_1909

A welcome sight as we approach the paired locks, a lock-keeper opens the left –hand gates.IMG_1910

Ten minutes later we were up on Sawley Cut, passing the Derby Boat Club moorings, and mooring near the entrance to the large Sawley Marina.

Sawley CutIMG_1912

We’re only stopping here one night; tomorrow morning we’ll be across Derwent Mouth, up the lock onto the canal and moored up in time to watch the Russian Grand Prix. I missed the qualifying sessions today, that’s not like me!

It’s been a longer day than we normally have, but after a couple of weeks of just loitering it was good to be on the move again.

Locks 6, miles 11


Jaqueline Biggs said...

Lovely pictures! You are traveling on waters we have never cruised so we are really enjoying your recent posts.
Jaq and LesX

Geoff and Mags said...

Hiya both.
When you've got sorted out you should get up here. It's really very pleasant.

Anonymous said...

Good to see you today, hope I didn't make you miss the grand prix. Fingers crossed we will be heading down the Soar for a few days from Wednesday.