We arrived at West Stockwith to prepare Annie for re-entering the water after her blacking. John refitted newly cleaned fenders front and rear. Liana drove to Retford & Worksop Boat Club to leave the car, and returned by bus, just as John finished sorting out Annie and paying for the blacking. We paid £250 for taking Annie out of the water, jetspraying and replacing her in the water; £300 for three coats of bitumen (one coat each day) up to the gunwhale (£75 extra) and in the bowthruster tube. We also paid £160 for four 2.5kg magnesium anodes, placed 1/3 and 2/3 of the way along the hull, just above the base plate. The old anodes at front and rear still had about 1.5kg left after three years, so Annie should be well protected.
|hooked up and about to move|
|on the way to the slipway near the van|
|Annie moored safely in West Stockwith basin|
Our journey through Misterton locks and countryside was cold but pretty in the afternoon sun, but slow, due to shallowness: Back in May, visiting boats had turned back because of this, they had told us. We could see that some work cutting back vegetation had been done by volunteers on Chesterfield Canal Trust (CCT) work boat Python. Annie grounded twice in the middle of the canal, once when trying to enter Gringley Lock.
|leaving West Stockwith basin, past the Waterfront pub|
|Gringley Lock seemed to have a sand bar below it|
|lots of fallen leaves and wood in Gringley Lock|
|nearing sunset at Gringley|
|we grounded here|
It was good to see three boats moored near Drakeholes tunnel: If only the nearby White Swan would reopen! We took 5.5 hours to reach our mooring at Clayworth, a bit longer than usual. The last two miles were completed after dusk, but headlamp and navigation lights helped. John asked Liana to look out front at bridge holes, as it is harder to judge distance at night, especially with a 60 foot narrowboat. We arrived to see the clubhouse and moorings lit up by lamps, very atmospheric. As we shivered at temperatures just above freezing, we were the only folk around on a Monday night, as you might expect. Leaving Annie pretty much winterised, we made our way home.
John sent an email to Enquiries.Northeast@canalrivertrust.org.uk as follows: