Saturday, 26 May 2018

Midlands Cruise 2018: May 15-18 Chesterfield Canal to Lincoln

Tuesday May 15 2018 Setting out from Clayworth to West Stockwith

We have been very busy redecorating bedrooms, gardening, sewing and erecting a garden shed, plus clearing and sorting out our Summer House. John has worked on the boat, fitting new batteries, painting and buying bits for a Solar Panel kit to fit soon. Liana has made loads of doctor's scrub hats and dolls clothes, too. Church, bell ringing, Lions Club activities, embroidering have kept us busy, too. Liana has worked hard to give John lovely 65th Birthday celebrations with a holiday for us both in Stratford, where we saw Macbeth and had a river cruise (of course!). We had a great day with family at Anne Arden's House. At home, we had a meal for 14(!!) which Liana cooked for brother Phil & Jackie and some of our dearest friends. We had more friends round for tea before we all managed to win second prize in this month's Lions Quiz. Retirement? Love it!!
Hardly surprising, then, that this morning saw us packing for the boat, shopping and buying red diesel for Annie before we set off, finally, exhausted, at 2pm! Shorts, sandals and T shirt weather. Liana sat in the sun enjoying the lovely scenery, spotting loads of fish. John saw a huge Pike near Wiseton, where the canal is rather overgrown and shallow. Don't expect to speed on the Chesterfield: Plan for 2.5 mph, relax and enjoy the trip. The pretty moorings before Drakeholes Tunnel were empty. On such a warm, sunny day we saw no boats, just dog walkers. Hawthorn May Blossom was exuberant, while the bright yellow, strongly scented Oil Seed Rape flowers covered so many fields in the valley of the Idle.

The wide Gringley and Shaw locks were heavy and stiff: One Shaw lock bottom gate wouldn't open, so we used the other. Finally, we met a narrowboat moored at Misterton: John had a chat and a rest, while Liana popped for an extra pint of milk from the coop here (there is an excellent butcher opposite it). Both Misterton locks worked ok: I guess our muscles are out of practice. Mooring in West Stockwith basin near the trip boats Robin Hood and Maid Marian, John greased the stern gland, as usual, while Liana prepared Fajitas for tea. We had an early night, setting the alarm for an early start tomorrow.

Wednesday May 16 2018 Up the Trent to Torksey

Liana slept not too well: surely one small wine glass shouldn't make John snore THAT loud? A 6.30am alarm saw John checking the oil and water. Skies are lowering, as we say in Lincolnshire – cloudy and thinking of rain. A strong, cold wind made John wear yellow waterproof trousers and jacket under his life jacket – a good move, keeping warm, even though rain kept off, thankfully.
The Boating Association guide to the Tidal Trent is excellent help, as is our friend and fellow Retford & Worksop Boat Club member John Lower's book “Narrowboat on the Trent”, with his 40 years experience on the Trent, published by the Chesterfield Canal Trust.
passing the Gainsborough Visitors pontoon. Turn to face current to moor. CRT key needed

Gainsborough bridge

Liana with Annie, waiting to go up Torksey Lock
John did a VHF radio check with Jim, the West Stockwith lock keeper, and used it to contact Torksey lock. Unusually, we had to wait on the pontoon while FOUR boats came down the lock. To our surprise, two boats appeared from the river to moor with us, having come upstream from Keadby, on their way to Nottingham.
Locking up, we were advised to moor by the tearoom (open 11-4pm except Mon & Fri), where we filled up with water, dumped rubbish and had delicious sausage rolls and beetroot and chocolate cake (it's tasty!) with decent coffee.
Annie moored by the services at Torksey, on the Foss Dyke

looking towards Torksey Lock

While Liana took the bus to retrieve our car, John did a few jobs and admired the RN engine of NB Emerelda, who locked down so she could leave early tomorrow. After a short walk and the second half of the Fajitas, it was TV and an early night again: all that fresh air tires you out!

Thursday 17 May A Social Day on the Fossdyke

Cool but sunny, Saxilby was inviting. We spotted The Tea Room opposite our moorings, over the footbridge, so rang sister Dianne to pop over for a light lunch together, and to view the boat.
Annie at Torksey

Saxilby's decent visitor moorings are beyond this railway bridge, on the right

we walked to visit our friend Andy Onion's grave at Saxilby Church

Liana with my sister Dianne

Dianne meeting Annie :)
We toured the village to visit our friend Andy Onion's grave at the church. Villagers were friendly and the flower folk decorating the church were doing an impressive job.
Lunch at The Tea Room with Dianne was really good: creamy celery and stilton soup, superb French onion soup with that bread with cheese floating on top, tasty Quiche, salmon and cream cheese sandwiches, etc – excellent quality for a reasonable price: We will come again!
Onward to the Pyewipe Inn by the Lincoln ring road, where we picked up Liana's friend Liz Boucher for a short leisurely cruise in the sun to Lincoln Brayford Pool and back, while they caught up with each other's news. We passed the Brayford Belle trip boat, hooting happily. The visitor moorings by the CRT services, just before the Brayford, were full of what looked like residential boats, as we had been warned by a boater at Torksey. Why CRT and Lincoln Council have not sorted out secure visitor moorings in the main Brayford Pool, after their publicised wish to attract visitors down the Trent, is beyond me.
After a quiet afternoon, we tried the modernised Pyewipe Inn with friends Helen & Kevin plus Karen & Nick, having a cheery evening as we enjoyed the meal. The diet starts tomorrow ….

Friday 18 May on the Fossdyke

We were woken by a plastic boat speeding past with white water waves rocking Annie! Before friends Amanda, Dean and boys arrive later, we decided to visit Burton Waters Marina to fill up with Diesel and turn round, so we can repeat our little trip to the Brayford if they wish. Woodcocks restaurant/pub, close by the marina, is child friendly. Brayford trip with Amanda and boys, picking up Dean and returning to Woodcocks for play and food was fun together.
Alby with dinosaur

Amanda and Sullivan

entering Brayford Pool under the newish road bridge

Amanda, Alby, Dean and Sullivan on Annie at Brayford Pool

hard to recognise: Brayford Pool looking west

ongoing work by the marina offices in front of Lincoln University

looking back at the Brayford

back up the Foss Dyke

at Woodcocks near Burton Marina: Food and Fun for Families!

No comments:

Post a Comment