Saturday 2nd May 2015
We make our escape from the pull of that Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station, sneaking through the open Ratcliffe flood lock and heading for the River Soar’s junction with the Erewash Canal & the River Trent.
Due to conflicting information about the draft of the Erewash Canal decision made to leave that one for now. Clarification req’d. So Bart steers right, heading towards the River Trent & ‘ta’ North via the open Trent flood lock & along Cranfleet cut, to where we descend Cranfleet lock onto the River Trent. BIG Wide water. Bart is not scared !!! !!! (crew might be slightly concerned) Onto Beeston we cruise, leaving the Trent for a while, via Beeston lock to traverse the Beeston & Nottingham Canal, finally mooring before Castle lock, other side of canal from Nottingham Castle. 3.30pm Lovely. Unfortunately, very loud ‘music’ (boom !! boom!!) soon started in some local bar/club. At 5.30pm we decided we couldn’t put up with that all evening (Grandparents you know) so slipped Bart’s lines again, descending Castle & Meadow Lane locks, rejoining our old friend the Trent again. Heading South towards the unnavigable section (only briefly though), winding Bart round, no problem on this ‘narrow’ stretch of water & now moored in front of County Hall. Lovely position. Bart is now ‘pointing’ in the correct, Northerly direction req’d to proceed. For another day. To be continued… … …
Sunday 3rd May Rest day No.2 for our Bart since the start of ‘Bart World’ Summer 2015. Bart’s previous custodians Paul & Sharron stopped by for a drink. We walked to the ‘Stratford Haven’ (10/10) a community pub since 1999 that used to be a pet shop. Dogs still welcome. Roxy enjoyed her plenty of admirers, as usual. Bart’s crew stayed for a second drink & roast beef with cheese cake for pud. Naughty but nice. Good price & Very Tasty. First treat of ‘Bart World’15
Monday 4th May Left our mooring in front of County Hall this morning, to cruise on that Big Beautiful River Trent. Fabulous cruise today. Munched our way through 24 miles & descended 5 BIG Locks. All powered and controlled by Fantastic lock keepers. Each asking where you are going, if & where you plan to stop and if you are cruising onto the next lock. They call the next lock to let that keeper know to expect you. If you do not arrive they know sumit is wrong. Simple. Great idea. We made every lock without incident. Averham Weir by Staythorpe power station looks ‘interesting’ as you pass on by, on the final approaches to our ‘red flag’ for today. The Trent is leaving us here for a time as the murky blue we remain on becomes the River Trent Newark Branch. Much more canal like, just for a little while.
Plenty of water rushing over the very long Averham Weir. Only a short boom across the protruding ‘front’ section, then No boom or barrier. What Fun !! ‘Keep Right’. Stay well away. Don’t worry. All OK. Arrived, destination, Newark-on-Trent is, simply put, Lovely. Grand looking place. Catching sights & sounds of Bank holiday, historical reinactments with medieval soldiers, guns firing, explosions. Fab !!!
Cruising the canals is always a little slower in Bart, compared to most others. Same goes for the rivers although today, for our Bart, we made very good progress.
24 miles in 6 hours, including 5 locks and a stop for water tank refill.
Top Marks All Round
Thanks Bart !!! Thanks crew !!! Impressed.
Tuesday 5th May Extremely Windy today. We is NOT going anywhere with NB: Black Bart today. Tomorrow is looking as good.
Wednesday 6th May As expected, those strong winds held firm & them water drops keep trying to fall. We don’t care though, had a lovely day with visits to the park for Roxy to practice her ball skills and a successful ‘trawl’ of the Newark charity shop scene. We’re almost re-kittted out for the summer now. Weather forecast is looking good for tomorrow. Tidal River Trent – Here we come… …
Thursday 7th May Lister (Black Bart’s engine) is started just after 7.00am. Very unusual. We off soon after, relocating temporarily to Newark Nether lock. No lock keeper. Too early. Descended big lock with crew in control and we are now cruising for the Biggy. We phone the Cromwell lock keeper to let him know we are about an hour away. Arrival at Cromwell moorings proves (the nice way of saying it) difficult. The weir is
strong, even on (at least for now) what is a lovely day. Bart ends up facing the wrong way, but at least we is tied up safe. Had to re-secure the bow ‘button’ fender. The bow took several heavy impacts. That good feeling has been bashed a bit too. ‘Our’ borrowed (thanks two you k’now who) anchor is readied, just in case. Cromwell lock is opened by the lock keeper as scheduled and we steer Bart’s nose out into the flow, ‘about-turn’ and Bart becomes one of five narrowboats in the lock ‘ready’ for the Tidal Trent. It was
great talking to the lock keeper when we had ‘arrived’ earlier, adding to the information on the Trent Tidal charts we bought at Newark CRT office. All Very Handy.
The extended to
rrential downpour (
incl. sleet) didn’t dampen the spirits. Just everything else.
Over 3 hours after leaving Cromwell lock, traversing the very winding River Trent, we turn East, departing the tidal blue with the stern being pushed enthusiastically across the junction by the ebb (& flow, as they say), but no problem this time. Control maintained as we depart the River Trent, onto the Fossdyke, and gently glide upto Torksey lock floating pontoon. We Made It !!!
Through the lock and a very relaxed
along our new waterway the Fossdyke Navigation.
Nine hours after originally
slipping those Newark
lines we moor ‘in’ the lovely village of Saxilby.
Black Bart has cruised 55 miles of the Fantastic (if slightly daunting) River Trent
travelling through 12 BIG locks + Torksey lock onto the Fossdyke.