Friday, 14 April 2017

It’s all new to us

Monday 3rd April to Friday 7th April 2017

It was a wonderful morning to say farewell to Sawly and we moved off through the Lock and down onto the Trent – we had been along here before, but before the day was out we would have had new water under the base plate.

Reaching TrentLock – we had previously been right twice before – that went down through Leicester; we had been left and explored the delights of the Erewash; this time it straight ahead and through the flood lock and onto the waters into Nottingham.
We hadn't been past here before - onward to Nottingham..
Having already explored the city just a few days before, we knew where we would be mooring up; the trip itself was without any problems, although we managed to pick up a winter load of wood around the bow as we cruised – we dispensed with that and found that we moved a bit more freely and easier – what a shock!!

Unlike many other cities that we have been into during our journeys, we did not have the usual rubbish around – and it was a great delight as well.

We moored up just up from Castle Lock and spent a couple of very quiet and very peaceful nights there – no noise and no trouble at all; in fact, we saw nothing at all that would suggest that we would not recommend it to anyone wanting to come this way.
A fairly standard photo for everyone to have - the one on the
right reputedly received from the rich and passed it onto the poor;
the one on the left removes my hard-earned and keeps it.

Just part of the streetscape

We did our usual exploration tour of the city – I do love the guided tours that I am able to be privileged to have available to me and I thoroughly enjoyed this one as well.

We see a good array of historical areas and also new developments as well – and I can highly recommend these tours to anyone – only problem is that you need to travel and moor with us.
St Mary's in Nottingham

This caught our eye - an early form of "auto"-correct...

...look closely at the A and the O

After a couple of days it was time to move on and this meant onto the River Trent (again) – and the wider section of the river, so after watering up at Meadows Lock we went through and out into the current, which fortunately was not that strong.
Before heading downstream we veered right from the lock outlet and then under Trent Bridge and did a bit of a cruise up to the next bridge before winding and going with the flow.
Coming out of Meadow Lock we turned right - this is the famous Trent Bridge

Further down the memorial to fallen services people

and then the other side of Trent Bridge - mooring on the right hand side

Thanks to an App that Diane had installed on her phone we could measure the speed and we were doing between 9 and 10 kmh without any trouble at all.

There were only two locks that we needed to get through on the river and these were no bother; we only managed to do a lazy 12 miles in total, before mooring up at Gunthorpe where we had expected to be able to use the services – sadly the elsan was non-existant, but this was not a real problem as we still had more cassettes.

Spied our first lamb of the season

A short wander around the village gave us a count of at least 6 eateries – quite a lot we thought for such a small locality, but they all seemed to be doing quite well. We popped into the pub for a coffee before heading back.
That afternoon/evening we sat down and looked seriously at our planned itinerary for the year – just to make sure in our own minds that it was all feasible. Well we ended it feeling quite a bit happier knowing that it will easily be done and we now have a preliminary schedule which will enable us to stay on track, but also allow us time to explore all of the new places that we plan to see.

In the end we were just outright lucky to get a mooring

Mist covering Gunthorpe Bridge

The view back from the Gunthorpe Lock entrance

These km markings are all the way along the river and marked in the Charts as well
so that we could easily keep track of our location.

After the early morning mist burnt away it was a glorious day

The weir was largely unprotected but the signage further back gave clear
warnings of it

would not like to get stuck over that lot
The following morning we headed off, not too early, as it is definitely easier with the lockies being present – today would be another three locks, but we would end up in Newark.

It worked out to be another 12 miles, again with the river flow behind us we cruised at about the same speed as the previous day.

This part of the river is not really a problem as the locks maintain a good depth all the way – our concerns will start later on when we are on the tidal part.

We made it to Newark about midday; moored up below the lock and right opposite the castle; then set about doing a bit of exploration in the town itself – found the market square and other parts of interest.

One view from the boat ...

This was down river from us but essentially right along-side (this photo is
taken from the road bridge further along)

And our mooring - as usual with all of our friends

Newark Market square

Later on we went out for another walk – once it had become a lot quieter – early evening time when it is still quite light – the castle was at it’s best at this time.

..and Newark Castle which was besieged three times during the Civil War...

...looking through the inner gateway into the Castle grounds and...

above the gateway... this occurred

with the setting sun

I had earlier rang through to Cromwell Lock to enquire about a passage time to Torksey – they like about 48 hours notice – it seems that 8am on Saturday would be the time to lock down. This meant that we would need to cruise up to there on Friday afternoon – not any concern as it was just 5 miles and 1 lock, but it did mean that we would finish up in Newark about midday – and that seemed to be about perfect timing for us – we had seen everything that we wanted to – even the National Civil War Trail, which uses a phone App.

If you are in Newark, look out for the App and follow the trail

History of the various areas of England has been an interest for both of us during our whole time here and it has been a real eye-opener for us in so many ways,

But time to push on and we made it to Cromwell Lock in just one and a half hours; moored up on the pontoons; went to see the lockkeepers who were very helpful – the bollards on the pontoon had electricity available and using a card we could get access – they of course had them on sale; we still had some older partially used BW cards (we have had them for a while) – surprisingly, the BW card that we first tried worked a treat – virtually free electricity for us – so on power for the night. Oh, and there was a water tap right there as well.

First objective achieved

The battery charger went on; the washing machine went on; the vacuum cleaner was out; and Diane polished one side of the boat with the electric polisher (easy as bro’).

There was time for some much needed polishing -
and with power available on the pontoon bollard, it would be a shame not to use

...I like to think that supervision is the key and one must show
some leadership in this crucial area

Gee, we wanted to stay a bit longer and make full use of it, but would need to move on.
On top of all of that the sun was out shining brightly away as well, so after emptying the bottle of red and enjoying the lovely sunshine we were back inside – a boat full of washing but a shiny boat on the outside.

This has been a glorious week; all of the new places and to top it off, power on the bollards with water on the pontoon – just all new to us.

NB: There are special thanks due to the crew of both WB No Problem XL (Sue and Vic) and NB Ewn Ha Cul (Dot and Gordon) who have lent to us copies of the Trent Charts which showed the correct lines to take in navigating the river - so far we have not gone astray, but the actual Tidal part of the Trent is beckoning to us (tomorrow)!!

40 Miles, 13 Locks
YTD:  215 miles (346 km), 148 Locks, 13 Tunnels, 3 Lift Bridges, 3 Swing Bridges
Total: 4847 Miles (7800 km), 3299 Locks, 137 Tunnels, 69 Lift Bridges, 175 Swing Bridges


  1. You had the same mooring in Newark as we did two years ago - a gem of a mooring. My blog hopping is not that regular, so I think I must have missed something regarding Ray's knee? I guess you are doing all the physical stuff, Diane which is a 'snap' with me as Chris had an op on his bunion 4 weeks ago. He should be rid of the boot to stop him weight bearing on his toes on 27th April and I hope normal service (ie some dog walking, driving and a share of the chores!) will resume shortly afterwards! Enjoy your trip down the Trent - where are you heading for? Jennie & Chris nb Tentatrice

    1. Jennie

      nothing serious with the knee, although with the heel problem and now some knee twinges I just decided to have the heavier brace on for a few days - combination of age and some heavy lock gates is the problem - bound to get better soon


  2. Erm..... Your spell checker could with a tune up as well...... What did you do in the pub? :-)

    1. Thanks Don,
      Diane had told me about it and I forgot to fix it - all done now


  3. Gosh you are brave! We were talking about the Trent recently discussing when/if we take SR out of the water and transport her north. We've got used to the River Thames and wonder how different the River Trent would be. No decision has been made ... yet! Stay safe you two. xx

    1. Carol

      I couldn't say for sure how it really is - we have mainly done the canalised part and you will see in the next blog that the first tidal part that we have completed was fairly placid - that was to do with a neap tide. We really enjoy the rivers now as they are much wider and more water under the base plate - Ferndale simply loves that extra water and she just zooms along with the current.


  4. This morning our port side windows are looking out to where you sat on the pontoon at Cromwell on Friday. Talk of just missing you. We set off from Keadby yesterday morning at 7.30 and we passed by Torksey junction at 11.30. We didn't see any narrowboats on the pontoons so you must have penned up. I'd wondered if we'd cross bows on the Trent. Enjoy the Fossdyke and Witham. Woodhall Spa Kinema is a must visit if you manage to cope with the flood banks long enough. Pip

    1. Hi Pip

      only just missed up - we locked up at 10:35am but it was a week earlier - Saturday the 8th - sorry to have missed you

  5. Spotted my mistake the other day, oops! Enjoy the Trent, are you going to go up the Chesterfield, some lovely stretches up there. Enjoy

    1. Yep we will be doing the Chesterfield as well and after that will turn off at Keadby and then off to Sheffield as well