Tuesday 31 May 2022

Summer Cruise from Chesterfield Canal to Nottingham

 Monday 16 May Clayworth to West Stockwith (4 locks, 11miles)

After noting the electricity meter reading (00789.59), we set off on our summer travels! Hoorah! We have a week before we return Fo John’s Lion commitments and The Queen’s Jubilee celebrations. These include bell ringing and gardeners Fayre. Kind neighbour Scott dropped us off at1015, and we were off by 1130.

Lianas put thing away inside while John steered slowly along this shallow canal, avoiding floating weed islands. At Drakeholes he cleared weed from the prop shaft and changed the air filter, which was black. When revving the engine, the black smoke suggested expensive unburnt diesel due to lack of air. Annie hit a sunken tree near Wiseton as shallows kept her travelling in the same direction!

At Misterton, the excellent butchers were closed, it being Monday, and Coop prices were high.

Reaching West Stockwith, we saw three club boats, Graham’s NB Lion King, NB Mary Hayes and Barry’s NB Lady June, where we had a nice chat and drink with him, once moored in the basin.

We tried the White Swan and had a reasonable meal for a reasonable price, before setting the alarm for the 0732 flood tide next day.

Tuesday 17 May Up the Tidal Trent from West Stockwith to Dunham (20 miles, 1 lock)

Oops! The alarm didn’t go off and we awoke at 0745. The first two boats, Lady Jane and Mary Hayes, were in the lock, so John quickly sorted Annie and moved her across the basin in time to descend. Lockie Ian was training a new volunteer. No ropes as we were descending, and we soon turned onto the fast-flowing River Trent, making the boat heel over.

We had a lovely morning tootling up the Trent (cold, though), and moored on the excellent visitor mooring pontoon above Dunham Bridge. Friends Jan and Dave had recommended both this and the village pub, the White Swan, so we headed over the toll bridge (free to pedestrians) for a pint in the sun, before eating chicken and chorizo kebabs with rice back on Annie.

Nothing on, so John listened to Liverpool FC v Southampton (1-2) on radio 5 live, while Liana phoned her mum.

Happy Birthday, daughter Jo!

Wednesday 18 May Dunham to Newark (15 miles, 2 locks)

Cromwell Lock had suggested we set off on the flood tide about 1030. John awoke early and made tea, luana tidied up after breakfast while John sorted Annie and watched Poldark on Netflix.

NB Comfortably Numb and cruiser Wye appeared behind us as we set off, and we all ascended Cromwell Lock together, after enjoying another lovely but cool morning in the sun.

Leaving the other boats mooring, we continued to Newark through Nether Lock. The CRT pontoons were full, as usual, so we moored on the quay walk opposite, close by the castle and Pizza Express. After Liana had had a walk around the town and bought bread and milk, we ate there in the circular restaurant overlooking the waterside.

Thursday 19 May Newark to Holme Pierrepoint (20 miles, 5 locks)

We waited until 1000 before ringing Town Lock, so the lockie could operate it for us (we operate them ourselves after hours). They pass on our departure to the next lock upstream, so it is often ready for us when we ring when about a mile below it. Another glorious sunny but cool day saw us enjoying this beautiful twenty mile stretch of river. Several locks had only one paddle working, which slows operation.

At Stoke Bardolph Lock, it was like the Mary Celeste! Green light, open gates, we motored in but no one appeared! Honked horn , no joy, so waited tdd we n minutes. Rang lock, no answer, rang Holme Lock, who said they’d ring too. Waited, honked horn one long blast, and at last an apologetic lady appeared to see us up.

We moored by the white water course at Holme Pierrepoint, as usual, had a walk and coffee in the cafe, then watched GB  kayakers and others enjoying the slalom course in the sun.

Friday 20 May Holme Pierrepoint to Nottingham canal by Sainsbury’s (4 miles, 2 locks)

We left about 1000 and couldn’t believe the amount of building on the north bank, between the sea cadets base and Trent Bridge. The bijou new apartment blocks must have a great river view, but we have lost much of the old riverside atmosphere.

Meadow Lane lock had only one top paddle working. CRT need to sort the Trent locks. We used the services just above, then motored beside the London Road to the sharp left turn at Jury’s Inn, where a large Indian restaurant is being built beside the canal. Passing all the new buildings near the law courts, we shared Castle Lock with a young couple of lives boards, who were moving their boat to get the bull blacked.

We moored beside Sainsbury’s, close to the marina. Our lovely niece Jo Jackson joined us on Annie for a vegetarian tapas lunch. After a good meal and great catch-up, we walked Jo back to her office.

Saturday 21 May at Nottingham 

We remained on the Sainsbury moorings and visited Liana’s dad Eddie’s grave on his birthday, with mum Flo and sister Ali. Later, we visited garden centres and Morrison’s for flowers etc. We had an ok meal together locally before spending the evening together.

Sunday 22 May at Nottingham 

Liana and I returned to the boat on the bus. Getting off at the train station by the canal, it was an 800m trek to the boat along the towpath, past the Law Courts and Castle Lock. 

John moved Annie a short distance to 14 day moorings while Luana bought roast chicken for Sunday lunch at Flo’s with all our three daughters and granddaughter Hope.

Taxis were unavailable (4 hour wait!!) so we trekked back to the bus stop, hauling boat stuff plus dinner - hard graft! We had just missed the bus, so had a Costa in the station.

Roast chicken followed byFlo’s strawberry tarts went down well, and we had family time together before Sarah and Rachel had to leave at 1930 for work tomorrow. 

Monday 23 May Homewards

The boat stays here until Friday while we go home.