Friday, 2 October 2020

Homeward Bound - but locked out!

 Friday 2 October Torksey to West Stockwith and home (15 miles, 1 lock)

We’ve had a great time travelling with Jan and Dave Warsop and NB Delhi. This morning we said au revoir, as they have decided to spend a couple of weeks on the Witham. Misterton Top Lock, on the Chesterfield Canal near West Stockwith, is chained shut pending repairs, so we will not be able to take Annie back to her home moorings. John has arranged with Lock keeper Jim to leave Annie moored safely in the basin.

NB Lady Florence set off with us, but the lady steerer said we should go ahead as she was going slowly. We both hit the last of the flood tide, and Lady Florence dropped far behind. As usual when we were passing through Gainsborough, John rang the West Stockwith lock keeper, Dan, so he knew when to get the lock ready for us. When asked about Lady Florence, John suggested Dan might like to check she was ok. She arrived safely, an hour or so after Annie.

The trip downriver was surprisingly pleasant, given the weather forecast! Cloudy with sunny intervals and mild, for the most part. However, the wind increased steadily until waves were breaking around Annie’s bow as we reached the Gainsborough area, and the ebb tide increased in speed.

 John turned Annie as we passed the lock at West Stockwith, stemmed the tide and moved Annie crab fashion across the river towards the lock. At the last moment he turned towards the lock and gunned the motor to get in as the strong ebb tide pushed us downriver. We got in the lock without a bump, thankfully. 😝 

We have now moored her beside friends Wilf and Debbie’s Dutch barge, at West Stockwith Basin. They blacked Annie’s hull last year. Wilf very kindly drove Liana the six miles to our car at RWBC Clayworth, even though it was rather out of his way to the bank. Mick Ogden filled up our diesel tank and swapped our gas bottle for a new one. We try to support our local small businesses!

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