Sunday, 24 May 2015

Friday May 22 Braving the River Trent: Saxilby to West Stockwith

Leaving Yarwood and Seyella at Saxilby, after a pleasant morning chat we arrived at Torksey, where I checked my vhf radio was working with the lock keeper.
He suggested we contact the lock keeper at West Stockwith from Gainsborough to ensure the lock would be ready for us.

Our good friend and keen boater Angela Palmer joined us today.

Followed by narrowboat OurOne, we set off at 1200, before high tide, stemming the tide.

Annie at Gainsborough. Moor against the current!

Reaching Gainsborough, the tide was ebbing quite strongly, so I turned Annie carefully and moored on the excellent floating visitors pontoon just after the road bridge, on the Lincolnshire side.

Our good friend Norman Palmer
By the time our friend Norman Palmer joined us, the ebb was flowing strongly, so he steered us under lowering skies (is this a Lincolnshire term?) as we flew down the last few miles to West Stockwith.

Having read all the advice from Trent navigators like John Lower, CRT and the Boating Association Tidal Trent booklet, I contacted the lock keeper, turned against the strong current (3 knots, I guess) and edged up towards the lock, keeping revs up, watching the lock keeper for directions. Finally, when I was nearly level with the lock, he signalled and I revved harder and with tiller hard across zoomed into the lock nearer to the upstream side. Once out of the current, I throttled down, applied reverse and managed to stop before I hit anything. Hoorah! I even got praise from the lock keeper, so that made my day. I think it helped having negotiated river locks at Gloucester, Worcester and Stourport before. OurOne  had arrived and occupied the visitor mooring in front of the Waterside pub, but the lock keeper pointed out two other stern first visitor moorings.
Turn right out of the lock, reverse in and the pub is behind you!
We used two rings aft, plus a ring on the pole for the centre rope, as it was breezy.

Guess who forgot that Norman's bike was in the front ..... sorry, Norman!
Angela and Norman Palmer solving the bike problem!
He kindly biked back to his car and helped us bring our car to the boat. A decent meal at the waterside completed an exciting day.

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