Monday, 6 September 2010

Truly back to Canals at last

A few days ago I said we were off the rivers and back to canals but I had forgotten the stretch up from Trent Junction to Derwent Mouth............
We set off from from Pasture Lock at the very gentlemanly hour of 9am.  I am enjoying some morning lie-ins as Epiphany are not such early starters as we are!
The first stop was just below the lock as Epiphany had lost their sat dish and long pole on which it was mounted on the way up, in a sudden large gust of wind.   John was keen to retrieve it...I do so love a fellow optimist......
Despite his strong magnet he was without success so onward we went.

En route we passed the attractive Church of St Giles at Sandiacre.
We also passed a section of closed towpath where they were working.......I use the term working advisedly, as there were 4 men standing chatting!!!!  It was 0945 so to be charitable it may have been coffee break...but there were no cups in evidence.......

Two Cornish Boats together in Long Eaton Lock...note the flags
Just to prove Geoff is still quite athletic!
By the time we reached Trent Lock at about noon, (last or first on the Erewash) the wind was blowing quite well and we were in doubt about the advisability of continuing onto the Trent.  We decided to stop above the lock and have lunch and assess the situation in a couple of hours.  During this time Geoff decided to walk up the river to Sawley Lock and see what conditions were like there.  (Barney was pleased about the extra walk)  He reported.  He reported back that conditions looked OK so at 1.30 we were on the move again.
So it was goodbye Erewash and hello River Trent, albeit briefly.
The Erewash had been a pleasant interlude and well worth the effort.  The low pounds around Long Eaton we had encountered on the way up were much fuller on the trip down and so we did not have any problems.

So we emerged onto a very windy River Trent.  Luckily the wind was behind us so it was in fact quite an exhilarating ride round to Sawley Locks.  Luckily the lock keeper was on duty so the gates were open and we followed Epiphany in.

Approaching Rail Bridge just before Sawley Locks

After the easy ride up (lock keeper in attendance) we continued past the plethora of moored boats and eventually reached the the start of the Trent & Mersey Canal.   Now were truly had left behind all the rivers for the year.
We continued up to Shardlow for the night.  John had earlier maintained that because we were so intrepid as to continue in the strong wind that he thought he and Geoff deserved a pre supper pint, hence the stop at Shardlow.................................
The first mooring place right by the pub did not meet with Barney's approval as it was too close to the road so we continued round the corner and managed to find a more more congenial space.   There is room for quite a few boats but by late afternoon this had all filled up.......we are back in the land of more boats, including hired boats.....
(Thanks to Fi for some of these pictures)

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