Monday, 1 September 2014

Rough water at Holme Pierrepont

We wanted to crack on today, so we left Gunthorpe, Notts at 0830 to continue our journey up the Trent. The river so far has been very kind to us: not too much water and not too little. There's been no flooding and we haven't hit any shallows.

Bridges are rare over the lower Trent owing to the river's width and its propensity to flood. The railway viaduct at Radcliffe has a large number of arches carrying the tracks over the flood plain.

Holme Lock was probably the most violent large Trent lock we have encountered. Even with the paddles raised just a little the water - and the boat - bounced around.

It wasn't as choppy as the water beside the lock, though. The National Watersports Centre takes advantage of the Trent needing to drop 12 feet or so, and we saw canoeists tackle the slalom course.

Not far beyond this we came to Nottingham, and the first lock where I could actually wind paddle gear. Until now the windlasses have been used as paperweights on the slide. Bridge 1 on the Nottingham and Beeston Canal looked like - and was/is - a normal canal bridge of normal canal proportions. Hooray!

We stopped in Nottingham to have a look round the city which was full of people. As you'd expect, really. We found the "oldest pub in England", Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, where we had a cup of tea (it was that time of day).

And Jan successfully prevented Robin Hood loosing off his arrow.

After some kerfuffle at Cranfleet Lock, where two smallish cruisers waved us and another narrowboat into the lock before attempting to join us (one failed as it was just too wide) we sailed off into the setting sun towards Sawley Cut.

Heading west, as we were, the low sun was right in my eyes until we changed direction slightly. Steering towards a low sun is tricky as you have the double whammy of the direct sun and its reflection in the water.

Less than half a mile of river to go now; then it's back on the Trent and Mersey as we head to The Taft just beyond Rugeley for a Boaters' Christian Fellowship weekend event. Now, what have we got to bring ...?

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