Wednesday, 20 April 2022

Shakedown Cruise April 2022

 Tuesday April 19, 2022 Clayworth to Retford (5 miles, 2 locks)

Thank you our excellent neighbours Scott and Carrie for taking us to the boat, as our old Volvo is getting renovated and MOTed.

Our new mooring is right next to the RWBC clubhouse at Clayworth 

After winding Annie at our boat club, we left newish steward Sentley at the clubhouse. The plan is to check out Annie, relax together and return in time to enjoy a club event this coming Saturday. Today, we took our time through the quiet countryside, past all our club boats and swans nest to the currently closed Boat Inn at Hayton, where two narrowboats occupied the visitor mooring. We saw lots of dog walkers and cyclists on the towpath. CRT have been busy replacing wooden overflow weir bridges.

Liana spring cleaning 

Through Clarborough, we passed through the last wide lock, Whitsundaypie Lock, before passing the modernised Hop Pole Inn, with its new fancy garden furniture. NB Two Loiners was moored here.

Above the narrow Town Lock, just after the Retford Mariners Boat Club moorings, we moored on the embankment near Retford Asda, and shopped in this pleasant market town. 

Later, John watched Liverpool beat Manchester United 4-0 in the Sun Inn, which must have half a dozen tvs!

Wednesday 20 April Retford to Ranby (5 miles, 5 locks)

From Retford, you pass up Retford West Lock and the four Forest Locks. We used the services above the third Forest Lock.

We passed the crew of the Chesterfield Canal Trust boat Madeline, crewing CCT tripboat Seth Ellis towards Clayworth and Drakeholes, ready for this coming weekend trips.Later, we chatted with Mick Hibbert, who comes all the way from Mablethorpe on the Lincolnshire coast to work on CCT tripboats.

This lovely blue sky day we chatted with walkers, cyclists, and CRT workers mending the Forest locks, 

as we motored to the Chequers pub at Ranby. Their beer and food went down well!

John got so warm that he changed into his shorts and sandals - hoorah!

Thursday April 21 Ranby to Worksop and back (9 miles, 4 locks)

The Chesterfield Canal Trust have done a great job creating moorings for their trip boat Seth Ellis and visiting Narrowboats. This sunny, windy morning, we set off through Ranby, under that bent A1 bridge and past the excellent 2 day visitor moorings with bollards. 

Crows mobbed a red kite, plus grey lag geese were nesting canalside in the bluebell wood.

Through twisty bends we reached Osberton Lock and the Osberton Hall estate, where we saw the stone gazebo in the park, plus lots of lovely horses.

We passed several boats, including the two hire boats based at West Stockwith, Maid Marian and Robin Hood. Fishermen were enjoying the sunshine, too.

We winded just before Bracebridge Lock. It was tightish! John was glad Annie isn’t full length.

After a pleasant walk into town, lunch and a look around the shops, we returned to Annie and set off back to our mooring at the Chequers, Ranby. Osberton Lock has a particularly wide bywash around the lock house, plus pretty forget-me-nots and aubretias.

There, we tested and John enjoyed the evening sun, while Liana avoided the cool breeze inside!

Friday April 22 Ranby to Retford (5 miles, 5 locks)

We are still impressed with the CCT moorings in the Chequers pub orchard. 

Leaving Ranby, we came upon two CRT workers replacing signs. One was our friend Jim, the very experienced West Stockwith lock keeper , fount of wisdom regarding tides on the Trent.

John had his coat on, as it was sunny but very windy. Again, we passed several boats, including NB Two Loiners and blogger NB Huffler at Forest Bottom Lock.

We chatted to various dog owners at the Forest  Locks and at Retford’s West Lock. 

We moored in our usual spot, on the embankment close to the Idle Aqueduct.

Tuesday, 2 November 2021

We do travel at night, sometimes!

 Saturday 30 October RWBC Illuminated Boat Parade (8 miles, 0 locks)

Liana and I were delighted to be able to take part in our club evening event, delayed from September, when we are usually still away boating countrywide. We were all very lucky to hit a window of dry weather, too.

About ten boats travelled the few miles to the lovely moorings by Drakeholes Tunnel on the Chesterfield Canal, where we winded and dressed Annie in Christmas lights and chatted to everyone passing, boaters and gongoozlers alike.

At six o’clock the procession set out back to our clubhouse at Clayworth. John had to concentrate, particularly on the bends and through bridge holes. 

I can’t get the videos to load, for some reason. Hey Ho!

He nearly crashed once, when gongoozlers’ torches were from the offside, not the towpath side! Later we heard that Barry on Lady June and Python had done just the same!

It was a great event, with over a hundred people watching from bridges and walking along the towpath with the boats. We enjoyed a fun chat with fellow members at the clubhouse later, after we had put Annie back to bed.