Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A good day for a trip downriver.

We had a fairly lazy morning, we didn’t intend to move out from Torksey till noon. That would give us an hour or so punching the tide before slack water, then a faster run down as the tide turned and carried us with it.
I had engine checks to do and sorting out longer ropes for fore and aft in case we needed them when we arrived at Keadby. And Meg needed a good walk as she’d be stuck on board for a few hours. We crossed over the lock and followed the flood bank around a ways.

Torksey Lock has two opposing sets of gates, the inner ones used as normal to pen boats down from the higher level of the Fossdyke, the outer ones used for flood protection.

Teapot collection on the inside of one of the lock gates.IMG_1485

Looking downstream, a beautiful morning.

Typical Trent Path gates.
Two gates opening in opposite directions ensure that stock can’t push them open, and the shape and the sloping hinge post act as a self-closing device.

Some of the overnight boats moved out mid-morning, but it was 12:10 when we untied, chugged gently down the short cut, and turned north.IMG_1492

Torksey doesn’t have a lot, but it does have a castle!
Not strictly a castle, more of a fortified manor house, it was built in the 16th century by the Jermyn family. It fell victim to the destruction wrought during the Civil War, in 1645. It was occupied by Parliamentarian forces, then later burned by the Royalists. The remains, in poor condition have been stabilised by English Heritage, but there is no access to the site for the public.

We weren’t alone on the river, we were following two motor cruisers, and occasionally a boat would come upstream.IMG_1496 
The leader of the two cruisers ahead was lame, having only one of it’s pair of diesels running. This didn’t stop them slowly pulling away from us though. We averaged less than 4mph for the first 1¼ hours, till near Knaith.

Sparkling water…

With a brisk breeze blowing from behind, the tide running from ahead raised a bit of a chop at times.

There was a Roman fortification at Littleborough, protecting the ford here. Made from stone slabs flanked by oak staves, it was removed to improve the depth of the navigation in 1820. A ferry replaced it, but little remains of either crossing now.IMG_1502

On a hillside overlooking the river sits Burton Chateau, built as a folly on the Gate Burton Estate in 1747.
It’s now managed by the Landmark Trust, and is available for holiday let.

The tide is well on the turn as we approach West Burton Power Station, exposing the mud banks on the inside of the bends.IMG_1507
That’s not a shopping trolley, surely? No, just a tangle of branches!

Into Gainsborough and we’re really motoring now as we pass under Gainsborough Bridge.
You can tell the tide and wind are in the same direction now; there’s hardly a ripple on the surface.
Ten miles in and it's taken us two hours and ten minutes. Seventeen to go, but they’ll be a lot quicker!

West Stockwith, with the lock leading up onto the Chesterfield Canal, is about halfway.

West Stockwith

Just around the corner a pair of boats were waiting for the lock, having just missed out as a launch, having overtaken us at a rate of knots, beat them to it as well.

Man on a mission…

…beating these two to the lock
These boats had come down Torksey Lock this morning, and set off about 40 minutes ahead of us. There’s not a lot of point in leaving there too early, it just means you spend longer punching the tide.

The river gets considerably wider now, and much less interesting.

Two pubs in Owston Ferry, the Crooked Billet and The White Hart, can’t get any passing boater’s trade; there’s no-where to moor!IMG_1518

Although I’m guessing that this chap would have had some sort of wharf or staithe at one time.   IMG_1519

Getting wider as we pass South and North Ewster…

The delightfully named Butterwick is the next village, sitting on the west bank.IMG_1524

Opposite are barge lay-over moorings though if you were desperate for a pint at the Dog and Gun on this side of the river they’d do at a pinch…IMG_1525
It’s a long climb up the ladders, though!

Landmarks count down the distance to Keadby now…

A converted windmill, with the M180 bridge in the distance…IMG_1527

…Althorpe Church…

…and the amazing bascule bridge at Gunness.
The right-hand section lifts to allow taller vessels to go further upstream. River water is pumped into the tank on the end till it outweighs the road and rail bridge deck, then up it goes. Simples!

There’s often coasters unloading on Gunness wharfs, but not today.IMG_1532

Keadby Lock entrance isn’t easy to spot, you have to look for the control cabin just past the crane.IMG_1534

I motored just past the entrance, then turned across the stream, angling gently across the flow to ease into the ready-open chamber. I’d already contacted the lock-keeper to advise him of our imminent arrival.

And we’re in!

Bye bye to the tidal Trent for another trip.

With just the centre rope tied off by the lockie, he brought us up gently. Once the lock was full he opened the gates then went to swing the road bridge just above.

Moored just past the bridge.

It’s taken us just under 5 hours from casting off to tying up. Not bad, but that’s long enough. I’m glad it’s been fine, if a little warm. One trip was done in wet, miserable weather, and that was a bit grim!

Not sure what we’re doing tomorrow, might take a day off.

Locks 1, miles 27½


Sue said...

Nice trip Geoff and a good day for it with wind behind.. Brilliant pics when you were out with Meg too.. Love them

Geoff and Mags said...

Hiya Sue. Yes, it was good weather. It's boring but pretty grim in poor weather!