Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Out and then back in again

Monday 5th May to Wednesday 7th May 2014

Bank Holiday Monday - traditionally at least one of the three days on a long weekend is dismal - mmm, no traditions this time around - whilst it wasn't brilliant sunny cloudless skies, this was an OK sort of day.

We had a spot in mind to moor at - beside the playing fields at Trowell - they moorings along here looked like a nice unobtrusive place to spend a night - it wasn't on the list of suitable places given to us by Irene and Ian, but we felt sure this was not the full list anyway.

Diane gave a few of the locks her efforts - the ones that she did do all seemed to be in our favour (so simply open the top gates) and there weren't any of the anti-vandal locks - too easy.

As  soon as we swapped, the locks were only half full and the anti-vandal key was in and out of my pocket endlessly - she does know how to pick them.

Anyway, our night there was uneventful - probably made more so by the evening and overnight rain. It was nice and quiet as well - add this one to the list.

these guys (above and below) were just sitting around with not
a lot to do

Our goal for today was to get as close to Sheetstores Basin, which meant finding a mooring in the more urbanised areas of the canal - most of the stretches of canal didn't offer a place to pull in - those that did were either next to a busy road or less desirable.

These two were a bit more restless than usual - the reason....

...the cygnets were starting to hatch - look at the right hand side
of the eggs and you can see the first one out
We did find a place below Long Eaton Lock which was reasonably open and just before a busy road - seemed pretty good.

Why close to Sheetstores Basin? We were due to get them to look at the tiller/rudder -  it has been quite heavy and difficult to swing over on the turn - Paul had said Wednesday morning would be suitable.

I called to make sure that we were still OK for the morning - as luck would have it he had a chance to look at it that afternoon - be there after 2.

Diane decided that the milk situation was drastic - less than 10 gallons in the fridge, so a trip to Tesco would be worthwhile - the shop was a short walk from where we were, so she would shop, I would cruise down to the basin and she could walk the extra couple of kilometres and meet me there.

I couldn't believe it - cruised down and got in the entrance - there were boats simply everywhere - no way did I think we could get around to where we needed to go - but with the help of Barry it was a breeze.

The real amazement was the whole thing.

In 2 hours flat, Ferndale was taken out of the water, tiller off, bearing off (longest part of this was a 30 minute wait while a set of Allen keys were purchased to fit the grub screw), rudder off, rudder heated and straightened, all reassembled, back in the water, reversed out and on our way.

look closely at the top part of the exposed shaft and you can
see where the bend starts.

the prop is all OK

she made it back OK after shopping
Of course in with that we had the huge sum of ₤40 to part with - they were absolutely fantastic. Our thanks to Paul, Barry and Dave.

If you need any help whenever you are in this area seek them out.

All of this allowed us to amble down and moor up just above Trent Lock.

We strolled off in search of the rubbish disposal point but a heavy shower made us retreat back to the boat and as we found out in the morning, we missed out on a lovely cafe and an equally nice pub just at the junction.

Wednesday, now was all about getting to Shardlow for our next appointment - on Thursday - along the way we needed use of the services - water, elsan and rubbish point - which was taken care of at Sawley.

Coming out onto the River Trent from the Erewash was much easier than I expected; turning to go upstream was less difficult and most of this I have to put down to the rudder work from the day before - Ferndale is handling much better.

Just at Trent Lock - power station in the background

The entrance to the Erewash is at the left where the brickwork
can be seen; straight ahead for Nottingham and right to Leicester
Upstream we made good time without having to push the engine.

quite liked the look of this wide beam at Sawley
The remaining 2 locks to Shardlow were no problem and we moored up about where we wanted to be.

Spoke to Tim Davies at Onboard Solar and we are all set for Thursday.

The only problem that we had was the fickle weather and the washing being put out, then brought in, then out again, in again, out again and finally in for good as we had a number of passing heavy showers.

she does like her washing days

14 Miles, 17 Locks

Totals: 2417 Miles, 1745  Locks, 77 Tunnels, 32 Lift Bridges, 147 Swing Bridges


  1. Bent Rudder... Woman Driver??...

    1. Hi Ray.
      Of course the easy thing to say would be yes, but I have to admit to the blame.
      It was during the early days when I was a single hander; the rudder was only just caught on the cill but the damage was done.
      The tiller was always heavy after that, but it is a lot better now.