Monday, August 22, 2016

Breezy old river…

There was no rush to get away this morning, we weren’t planning to drop down Cromwell Lock onto the tideway till half-twelve. But there were so many boats about heading downstream that we thought we’d better get in the queue!

So it was 10:40 when we pulled away from The Kiln mooring pontoon, leaving just two boats still there.

The Kiln moorings in Newark

What’s this, low-rent glamping? IMG_1452
A couple of wooden huts on a bit of scrubby grass wedged between the river and railway, with a portaloo!

We followed a barge in to Nether Lock joining a fat boat already waiting.

Humbrian Sea in Nether Lock

It didn’t take long to drop down the lock, and we were heading off down to Cromwell Lock at 11:00.

The fat boat was a bit slow so I went past, and the barge was gaining fast, too!

Looking back to Newark, the Trent comes in again from the right of the picture.IMG_1455

Under the A1 at Winthorpe Bridge

Humbrian Sea came past us at North Muskham…

…just before a tug came the other way, pushing two pans for the dredger near Nether Lock

We arrived at the moorings above Cromwell Lock with plenty of time in hand. Just as well, Dave and Barbara had driven down from Newark to see us off, so they joined us for a brew before I took the rubbish for disposal and Meg for an empty.
With Meg taking her time I missed the first penning-down, so had to wait for the lockie to refill the chamber. We were Billy-No-Mates in the lock, but at least we had company on the lock-side.

Dave, Barbara and the couple off Humbrian Sea. I gave them copies of the pictures I took of their boat as they passed us heading down.

Then we were out onto the tidal Trent, still pushing against the last of the flood for a short while.

The “new” Besthorpe Jetty was built to load gravel, but sadly all commercial bulk gravel carrying has ceased on the TrentIMG_1467

Wide water, big skies

Fledborough Viaduct used to carry a double-track line from Chesterfield to Lincoln.IMG_1470
The line was closed - “Traffic ended prematurely in 1980 following a derailment at nearby Clifton-on-Trent. Closure was deemed preferable to the necessary repair work.” It didn’t just happen to canals, then!

Going downstream, keep the red markers to the right…IMG_1473
…even if they seem to be in the middle of the river! This is Scotsman’s Corner.
The insides of some of the bends are very shallow.

With a lot of boats about today I was worried that space on the transit moorings below Torksey Lock might be at a premium. So I gave the Torksey lockie a call, he assured me that there was space, but not a lot, so don’t hang about! Our fall-back position was the pontoon just upstream of Dunham Bridges, but that would have added an hour to an already long day tomorrow.

Dunham Bridges, we’ve just passed the moorings.

By this time the tide was well on the ebb and we’d picked up speed, up to 7½ mph at one point.

A small mid-stream island opposite Cottam Power Station is just under 2 miles from Torksey.

A fairly tight S bend, first to the right, then left, brings you to the junction with the cut up to Torksey Lock and the Fossdyke Navigation.IMG_1477

As we turned into the cut the stern, wanting to carry on down towards the Humber, needed a sharp burst of throttle to bring it back into line.
There was space, thankfully, and we turned around below the lock to moor right on the end of the pontoon.IMG_1478

Although the skies have been a bit threatening we’ve stayed dry, apart from a little bit of drizzle just after we stopped. It’s a fine evening now.

Torksey Lock taking boats up onto the Fossdyke Navigation. IMG_1479

The lock-free waterway to Lincoln was dug around 120AD by the Romans, and improved several times since. There’s been a lock here since 1671.

Locks 2, miles 21

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