Sunday, 29 August 2010

Nottingham and Back on air!!!!

Away at the gentle hour of 0845 on Wednesday and we were waved off by Les from Country Rose one of the lock keepers at Cromwell.  We had socialised on our way through in May and managed a couple of glasses of wine this time also.  Lurking behind his legs is his friend Gyp.
No more tides we thought, great!  However there was quite a lot of water coming down the Trent  and it was against us so despite having reasonably high revs we could not make more than about 3-3.5 mph. However we did not have far to go as we planned to moor below Nether Lock just before Newark.  We had heard that the pontoon moorings were very full and they are really the only suitable place for us as all the wall moorings are too high for Barney to get off.
after 1 1/2 hours and 4miles we reached Nether lock and moored against the wall which is quite high but, we judged, just about OK for Barney.   Unfortunately as we came alongside we came very close to the wall as there is a slight lip under which the gunnels went so I dragged one of the fenders off thereby putting a scratch in the upper paintwork and also lost my mobile broadband dongle into the water!!!  It was dangling through the rear porthole, somewhere it very rarely is.  I had not been able to get a good signal at Cromwell in my normal position in the rear so I had hung it through the window and forgotten to take it in!!  What a lulu.........
That explains the gap in the blog..........
Later in the morning daughter Boe arrived for a few days.
Thursday morning dawned wet and miserable but we did not want to leave before about 11 as we hoped that someone would have moved off the pontoons by the BW office by then.  In the event it was a dull trip up into town, but relatively dry by then.  There was still no room on the pontoons but we able to breast up with another narrow boat on the end.  The original intention had been to continue after shopping as we had explored Newark on the way through, but the rain came back and we decided to stay.
Friday we hung on until 12 noon as I was hoping my new sim card for the dongle would arrive at the BW office but no such luck.  When I rang them to ascertain it's whereabouts I was told I could get a replacement in any 3 shop for £5!!!!  Why they couldn't have told me that in the first place I don't know, I had already been into the shop to purchase a new dongle.   Geoff by now was champing at the bit to be off as the forecast was rain later so we set off as I knew there was a 3 shop in Nottingham.
We were delayed at Town Lock as a big boat with no engine was coming through and it took a bit of manoeuvring.  
A pleasant trip up this part of the river, still with a lot of water against us.   We decided to call it quits at Hazelford Lock.  There is room on the lower part of the wall for about 3 narrowboats and it was quite congenial and plenty of places to walk Barney.
Saturday we set off just before 7 as we wanted to reach Nottingham at a reasonable hour.   The first two locks were unmanned as the lock keepers don't start until 0930 but at least they are all electric.   The most difficult bit is mooring up to let Geoff ashore as there is quite a strong flow of water on some of the waiting pontoons adjacent to the weirs.
Some intrepid fishermen obviously don't mind the flow!

Halfway between Stoke Lock and Holme Lock the railway crosses the river

And so to our last big river lock
Luckily Holme Lock was manned so we were able to have fore and aft lines.  The rise is 12 feet here and the water comes in with some force.   We had to wait on the pontoons here as there was someone coming down, however Barney was very pleased as we had been unable to get him off at the last 3 locks as the walls were all too high.  This was our last big river lock.  The next lock at meadow lane takes is manual and takes us off the mighty Trent and onto the canalised section around Nottingham........nice calm waters..........we have both had enough rivers for this year.  Just one more lock took us to a mooring outside Sainsburys.  Not quite where we wanted to be as we were in the trees.  However by the time we came back from church on Sunday morning someone had moved and we could move up into the sun (yes it was shining for a while) and more importantly we could get a satellite TV signal!
We shall stay here another day as PC World is right on our doorstep and I am looking for a Netbook.

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