And rocks, and a bit of sandy stuff. But mainly mud. That’s what you see most of when you cruise the Trent at low tide.
But maybe my opinion is a bit jaundiced after a pretty dismal day’s cruise. I always reckon that the boating life consists only of good days; it’s just that some are better than others. Today definitely counts as a less good one.
It was raining when we got up, raining when I took Meg for a walk, and raining when we untied from the pontoon at Keadby and set off upstream. And it rained for most of the trip, sometimes heavy, sometimes just drizzly, and the wind picked up around mid-day which really put the tin lid on it. It was a shorter day than yesterday, but it felt like forever.
We’d set off with the tide still ebbing, if we’d waited till it turned it would have been late before we arrived at Cromwell Lock and the end of the tidal section of the river. And being as it’s a neap tide, it had very little effect when it finally turned. We only averaged 4¼ mph.
With the water levels low and getting lower I had to take notice of the warning signs.
If we’d run aground we’d have had to wait a while for the flood tide.
After an hour we pulled onto the mooring pontoon just upstream of Dunham Toll Bridge for Meg to have a wee, then pressed on.
Dunham Toll Bridge
Fledborough Railway Viaduct is the next crossing upstream
The impressive structure was opened in 1897 to carry the Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway. Either side of the cast iron river span 59 blue brick arches support the track bed above the wide, shallow valley. The line has been dismantled but the National Cycling Route 647 now crosses the viaduct.
Near the 57 Km marker post (there are markers every kilometre from Trent Bridge in Nottingham to Gainsborough Bridge) there are three derelict barges on the bank.
I’d not spotted them before, but I guess they’d be underwater as we’ve headed downstream.
I don’t think they’re here accidently, it looks like they’ve been left here to rot.
Dodging the mudbanks in the gloom
I spotted this kestrel hovering over the fields, then he obligingly landed on a fence post. But the shot was too long for the conditions.
A little further on I saw an egret paddling about in a shallow tributary…
Oh look, is that the sun?
Why do anglers wear camouflage gear? Can the fish actually see them?
It obviously doesn’t work on the swans…
Just around the corner from these invisible gentlemen we came up to Cromwell Lock, with it’s large weir alongside.
It was a welcome sight.
Rather than get Mags out in the weather I held the boat on a centre line while the lockie obligingly took it slowly filling the lock. Then we were out, off the tideway, and the sun tried to make an appearance.
Discouraged by what it saw, it slunk back behind the clouds again.
Rather than toddle onwards to Newark we called it a day on the mooring pontoon a couple of hundred yards above the lock.
I’d had enough and so had Meg, who, lifejacketed like me, had stayed out on the counter all trip. The first thing she did on being released from her staight-jacket was to have a good roll in the wet leaves up on the bank. Me? No, I had a cup of tea and a bacon butty.
Looking at the forecast we might have been better off staying at Torksey for the day. Tomorrow looks to be chilly but dry and a bit sunny. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. But we’ll toddle down to Newark.
Locks 1, miles 18