Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Far too exciting for me

Today had far too much excitement for my liking....however I will start with Sunday.
Newark Parish Church is huge, apparently larger than Sheffield Cathedral.  A reasonable sized congregation for the 9.30 Parish Eucharist and a large choir but room for 10+ times as many.  A warm welcome but we didn't stay for coffee as we usually do.  The plot was to come back to town for a Sunday Roast in a pub at the back of the church where Roast Lamb was the roast of the day and serving until 4pm.  We duly presented ourselves at 1.30 to fine that the lamb was off!!!!  A longish walk round the town eventually found us a carvery which was adequate and cheap but not quite like home cooking......

The evening brought Les the Cromwell Lock-keeper knocking on our door and a few glasses of red wine were downed.
I had thought that I would have to visit the dentist yet again and I planned to be on the doorstep on Monday morning of the one I had found who was on Denplan which I needed if I did not want to pay the whole of what was bound to be an astronomical bill. 

I must confess they look lovely but need to be given a wide berth especially when they have cygnets

Monday morning was shopping morning but my tooth had settled down so I decided to fore go the delights of the dentist's chair.  Checking the BW office I found our special delivery from Roadpro had arrived so we had our spare part for the satellite dish.......Geoff is very pleased.    So after coffee we made the short trip down to the moorings at Cromwell lock to be ready for our venture onto the tidal part of the Trent.  We were met there by Les the Lock Keeper(1 of 3) who keeps his boat there.   The weather is getting warmer so we ended up all sitting on the pontoon into the early evening together with Chris & wife from Wee Bluett who had arrived during the afternoon
We went our separate ways at supper time and all invited to Les's boat later.   Well Geoff & I made it but Chris fell asleep after his supper and didn't wake up until 11pm.   It was probably a good thing as he had a bottle of some very lethal looking stuff he was promising us for later on.   As it was I left Les and Geoff to it at about 10 and I think he came aboard about midnight.....well past our normal bedtime on the boat of 9pm!!

Our departure was planned for 0815 on Tuesday but we awoke to a very thick mist which threatened to delay our departure.   The next tidal slot was to leave at 12 noon but in the event at about 0810 the mist suddenly started to clear and we were away. 

 We have a good guide book which tells us which bit of the river to be on at each bend which Geoff was faithfully following.  We were also following Wee Bluett who had done the trip before.  It was a glorious morning one of the warmest we have had.  About 3 miles from our destination of Torksey it all went wrong.   Wee Bluett came to a grinding halt ahead of us so Geoff throttled back and managed to stop us going aground also.   We then made several attempt to tow them off which was not without difficulty and all in vain as he was well and truly stuck.  To crown it all after the first attempt Geoff fell in whilst trying to secure their rope...............he disappeared under the water but reappeared very quickly saying he could stand up!  Luckily Wee Bluett has a plastic boarding ladder which Geoff waded over to fetch and climbed aboard (We shall be buying a similar article at the next chandlers we find!).  Eventually we had to leave them or there would have been two narrow boats aground.   Their plan was to wait for the tide to come in again which would either be in four hours or not until midnight depending on which lock-keeper we believed.
Meanwhile I had a load of wet clothes to contend with....... I was also glad that we were all wearing our lifejackets.....not that Geoff would have drowned in the shallow water but one never knows.   We are now one all as I fell in last year!
Shortly after leaving them we met our first big ship.  He looked as though he was creating a huge wash but surprisingly caused little discomfort.

We tied up to the pontoon moorings at Torksey and I went up to tell the lock keeper what had happened as we knew they were expected as they planned to go through the lock. 
By the time I reached the lock and was explaining,  Wee Bluett appeared.........about 15 minutes after we left them just as Chris was getting ready to wade ashore with their 3 small dogs the boat suddenly floated.......... it was very fortunate for them as the Torksey lock-keeper though they would have to wait until midnight.......
Relief all round.
I trust tomorrow will not be quite so exciting.   It is a longer trip tomorrow so Barney will have to cross his legs!
When planning this trip we thought we might have to contend with too much water in the Trent if there had been a lot of rain, we had not anticipated there being too little!
Just received these two pictures the first as we left Cromwell moorings for the lock with the last of the mist and of our departure from Cromwell Lock.  My thanks to Chris & Denise


Anonymous said...

Yes much to much excitement you can charge for towage !!

Hope geoff has dried out by now.

chris said...

Geoff is my hero diving into the depths of the mighty river Trent to try and rescue our boat what a guy!!!! i have fished this river for over 50 years and i have never set foot in it but after seeing the fun Geoff was having i to went in trying to pass my tow rope to Petroc but alas in vain,we sat on the gravel bar and i changed my wet clothes called up BW at newark to inform them of our dilema and as icame back up on the tiller i noticed the boat was floating quickly i started the engine into gear and we were off ?? the river was running out but the water level was rising??? some river this Trent well just in time as the sight of the massive bow of a gravel barge approching at a far rate of knots focussed my thoughts and gues what the bugger went straight thro where we had been aground?? power can drive its own furrow on the Trent well many thanks to Gill and Geoff hope their tour of my county is a little less exciting and pleasant for you both hope we meet again you are great people.