Saturday, 30 September 2017
We were just getting ready to leave our mooring at 09.10 from Torksey when Carolyn spotted this bird on the opposite bank . In fact there were 4 or 5 of them but I only managed to get a picture of this one which we think is a Partridge .
Cruising down the Fossdyke navigation and its just big long straights with high banks which is very similar to Roman roads and it seems that around 120 AD, the Romans built the Fossdyke to connect the River Witham to the River Trent. This canal therefore has a longer history than most others. After the departure of the Roman army the works decayed until the channel was scoured out in 1121, in the reign of Henry I. During the next few centuries it silted up several times, becoming almost unusable until cleansed again. It was not until 1744 that a reliable channel was created and maintained.The canal was leased to the Great Northern Railway in 1846. Competition led to commercial decline, but agricultural produce was still being routinely carried by sailing keels and barges from the River Trent right up to the 1970s.
After a very short cruise of only one and a half hours we ended up mooring in Saxilby which is a large village in the West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire, about 6 miles north-west from Lincoln . It is part of the civil parish of Saxilby and Ingleby, which includes the village of Ingleby. We were surprised to find the moorings empty as we had been told that this was a popular place to stop.
We do struggle to find good quality Fish and chips and were told by several boaters on the way here that this was a good chippie and well worth a visit. Unfortunately it didn't live up to all the recommendations and not a chippie I would ever use again. There is a Chinese takeaway just up the road which we will try when we head back through this way hopefully that will be a lot better.
A good view of last nights moon the picture was taken with my new camera which is a canon SX730HS with 40x optical zoom . But the best thing about it is that the viewing screen tilts and lifts up so you can use it for taking the perfect selfie something I will be using a lot knowing me.
Our next port of call will be Lincoln which is a place we have really been looking forward to visiting .
Thursday, 28 September 2017
Wednesday, 27 September 2017
At 08.30 the lockie from Cromwell lock was up at our mooring telling us he was ready for us to enter the lock for our cruise down the tidal Trent to Torksey. There would be 5 boats making the trip and as Carolyn is a bit nervous about tidal rivers we had arranged to follow an experienced boater who had done this trip before.
Leaving the lock and looking back at the weir I was reminded of a tragedy that I had read about while planning this trip.
Some Royal Engineers regiment sappers, of Grangemouth, Falkirk, were on night-time exercise when the vessel capsized at Cromwell Weir, on the River Trent. One man survived, in what remains the 131 Independent Parachute Squadron's largest peacetime tragedy.
The sappers were taking part in the Trent Chase, an 80-mile night exercise from Stoke to Hull, on 28 September 1975.
They unwittingly went over the weir, known locally as the Devil's Cauldron, when conditions were also worsened by a high tide.
The only survivor, Sapper Pat Harkin, was a "strong swimmer" who managed to hold on to the upturned boat.
A retired police officer, who did not want to be named, arrived at the scene after electricity board staff, who were fixing navigation lights on the weir, raised the alarm.
By the time he arrived, the officer said it was pitch black and he could hear just one man shouting from the water.
The officer, then aged 20, along with another member of the force, managed to save him after they rowed out in a small boat.
You have to remember that this is a working river and this is where the 600 ton Barges come to load with stone . We were advised to use our VHF radio on the channel that they use just in case we were to meet up with one on a bend.
On a cracking morning with Geese flying overhead we follow the experienced boater down the river . One thing we were told was not to cut corners and adhere to the chart which we had bought at Cromwell lock . So I couldn't understand why the boat we were following was cutting every corner he came to.
Would you believe it ,he cut one corner too many and ended up hard aground.
There was no way we could get anywhere near to him without going aground ourselves although Dave went in and had a go in his shallow drafted boat. In the end it was no good as they were stuck fast. With an incoming tide they sat it out until they floated off a couple of hours later.
A fine looking beast .
Eventually after three and a half hours we arrived at Torksey and after mooring on the pontoons below we walked up to see the duty Lockie.
Another first for us as we have never seen paddle gear like this before . Luckily for Carolyn the Lockie does all the hard work .
After reading the notice Carolyn and Carmel sit down chill out and relax next to the water.
With the tide still up we decided to move from our mooring below the lock and lock up onto the Fossdyke Navigation. After saying our goodbyes to Dave and Carmel we picked up this visitor mooring which will do us until we move on towards Lincoln.
Monday, 25 September 2017
With only one lock and just over one and a half hours cruising to do we left Newark at midmorning and had a leisurely trip in the gorgeous Autumn sun. There's nothing better than a wide flowing river on a day like this.
Followed closely by Dave and Carmel on their boat Dragon which is also their home.
We were lucky not to get hit by this low flying Swan. Anyway if it had hit us we would never have got it in the oven.
Arriving at Cromwell lock we booked in for our passage which was to be the following morning at 09.00.We need to be there at that time so that when we get down the river to Torksey the incoming tide should be high enough for us to get in to the lock.
Cromwell is a large navigation lock on the River Trent in Nottinghamshire, England. The first lock to be built on the site was constructed by the Trent Navigation Company, having been authorised by an Act of Parliament obtained in 1906. Construction began in late 1908, as soon as the Company had raised sufficient capital. The lock was extended in 1935, when an extra pair of gates were added downstream of the main lock, effectively forming a second lock.The lock was further improved in 1960, when the two locks were made into one, capable of holding eight standard Trent barges.
The site is defined by the Ordnance Survey as the nearest tidal location to Coton in the Elms in Derbyshire, which is the furthest point from the sea in Great Britain, 72 kilometres (45 mi) away.
To round the day off Me and Dave decided to do a bit of night Barbel fishing . We had watched the guy on the boat next to us catch a 9lb one and thought we would have a go. Unfortunately we didn't catch one although Dave did catch a very good size Bream which wriggled back in to the water before I had time to take a picture ,honestly that's what happened.
Friday, 22 September 2017
From our mooring we can see the back of this lovely old building and wondered what it was.It turned out that it was the old Corn Exchange which dates from 1848 when it was a corn exchange for merchants and farmers.It was a bingo hall from 1971 to 1993 and a nightclub from 1994 to 2011 but unfortunately now is empty, unused and up for sale.
You don't see many of these going along the main street any more . Although its a lovely sight to see he was holding up the traffic and there were some very irate motorist queued up behind him.
In to the main square in Newark and we came across this market . Now Carolyn is in her element as she
drags takes me around all the stalls.
“Not another bloody Weatherspoon's said Carolyn. But it would be rude not to have a breakfast says me . We did and it went down a treat.
We then went and had a look around The Church of St Mary Magdalene which has been a place of worship for the townspeople of Newark on Trent for over 800 years.
It is notable for the tower and the octagonal spire (236 feet (72 m) high), the highest in Nottinghamshire and reputed to be the fifth tallest in the UK. The central piers remain from the previous church, dating from the 11th or 12th century. The upper parts of the tower and spire were completed about 1350; the nave dates from between 1384 and 1393, and the chancel from 1489. Its well worth a visit if you are in Newark.
It was then to Newark Castle which overlooks our mooring on the river Trent .The castle in Newark, in the English county of Nottinghamshire was founded in the mid 12th century by Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln. Originally a timber castle, it was rebuilt in stone towards the end of the century. Dismantled in the 17th century after the English Civil War, the castle was restored in the 19th century, first by Anthony Salvin in the 1840s and then by the corporation of Newark who bought the site in 1889. The Gilstrap Heritage Centre is a free-admission museum in the castle grounds about the history of the town of Newark. I just love the word free and this is another must place to visit when in Newark
When we got back to Inca we were surprised to get a knock on the side of the boat . When we went out we saw our friend Dave from cruiser Dragon who along with Carmel were above the lock and looking for a mooring in the town. We went straight up and locked them down and then they moored in front of us. We have not seen them for a long time so it was good to catch up and as they are heading the same way as us we have decided to cruise together for the next few days.
This is the gardens next to Town lock which are Canal and River Trusts. It just shows what the Trust can do although it seems to do more up North than it does down South which is something I just don't understand
Just love this sign . Not sure if it works as we still see dog Poo and bags full of it all over the towpath .
Tomorrow with Dave and Carmel we will head down to Cromwell lock where we will have to book in for our passage on the tidal Trent down to Torksey.
Thursday, 21 September 2017
We pulled ropes from cleats at 09.30 from our mooring above Gunthorpe lock and were soon through and heading downstream towards Hazelford Lock.
We noticed these funny looking sheep on the way down. Not sure if they have had some sort of an orange rinse or if they are naturally this colour.
Just before going onto the Newark branch of the river Trent we passed this impressive looking power station at Staythorpe .
Staythorpe is a gas-fired power station that began full commercial operation in November 2010. Staythorpe, located in Nottinghamshire, can generate 1,650MW of electricity, which is enough to power around 2.8 million homes.
Staythorpe has been designed using state of the art equipment and will reduce average annual CO2 emissions by up to 7.5 million tonnes compared to an existing coal-fired power station producing the same amount of electricity.
Staythorpe previously housed two coal-fired power stations. Construction of the new gas-fired power station began in 1998, but was put on hold two years later as there was already sufficient generating capacity in the UK at that time. In 2007, work once again began on the station.
The plant is also one of the most flexible plants in the UK with the ability to support balancing the energy network with National Grid and has a long-term commitment to Staythorpe and the surrounding area.
Arriving at Town lock in Newark and what an amazing view of the castle . The lights were on red and after calling the Lockie on our VHF radio he told us to wait for ten minutes while he locked two boats up.
The view from our home for the next couple of days.
Just below the lock we picked up this mooring which was right next to the canoe portage point which was ideal for us as we didn't have to carry Hamish up a ladder every time he wanted to get ashore. You can see how high the bank is with the roof of Inca being level with it. Carolyn went and asked the Lockie if we would be OK to moor here for a couple of days and he said it would be fine.
We had great fun watching this trip boat mooring up and he reminded us of the one in Stratford upon Avon . With a good current flowing down the river he got his mooring spot on every time,I'm not sure that I could do as well as he did.
Tomorrow we will be off to have a look around the town of Newark and I have my eye on a new camera as my current one has a small scratch on the lens but don't mention it to Carolyn.
Thursday, 14 September 2017
After a sort of good 2 weeks in Nottingham it was time to move on downstream on The River Trent .Going with the flow as we pass the city ground which is home to Nottingham Forest we are only just above tick over on the engine and going at about 4 miles an hour which for us is fast.
Arriving at Holme lock we went onto the water point and started filling with water . I had read before we got here that the National water sports centre was next to the lock . With a very slow filling tap and with our tank being empty it gave us plenty of time to watch the Kayaks coming down the course.
The white water course is 700m long and a s well as canoes you can tackle the rapids in an exclusively chartered raft as a group of friends (6 - 8 people), or as an individual to be part of an 8 man team. Not only is the White Water Course amazingly fun, it is also environmentally friendly as it is a man made course powered by a natural river. Just a shame we didn't have enough time to stop and have a go . I'm sure I could have handled those rapids with no problems.
The water sports centre is part of the The Holme Pierrepont Country Park which underwent significant improvements in 2014 designed to enhance the facilities across the 270 acre site including the construction of a new Family Fun Park which consists of the exciting new Sky Trail, High Rope course, Mini Golf course, Cycle and Segway hire and a Country Park Café. Looks like a good day out if you are ever in the area.
We are now in Holme lock which is a little on the large size and because the water can get a bit turbulent we have to attach ourselves to the blue wires which you can see on the lock wall opposite. There is a Lockkeeper on duty for all these locks from 09.30 to 18.00 in the summer although they can be in self service where we would have to operate them ourselves.
As we exit the lock we get hit by the current from the water coming over the weir on the left in the picture. We had to give the old engine a bit of welly to stop us being pushed in to the nearside bank .
After a good cruise we arrived above Gunthorpe lock and were surprised to see that the visitor pontoon was empty . We had been told that it is usually very busy here and we would be lucky to get on it. The problem we have is that being a river most of the moorings are very high and sometimes it means you have to climb a ladder to get up . That's where we would struggle as Hamish is not that happy about being lifted up great heights.
We will now have a day or two here before cruising further down stream and hopefully we will be able to pick up a suitable mooring in Newark a town we have heard so much about and one we cant wait to visit.