Friday, 29 June 2012

Thunder storms at Zouch cut.

After I had finished last Saturdays blog, Marlene and I walked up the river to Barrow on Soar. At the lock the green light was on and the sign read Soar open. So,we walked back down river and fetched the boat up to Barrow. Saturday night was good for me I got six numbers on the lottery plus five,unfortunately I had three on two separate days so it only paid a fiver. On Sunday morning we went up the hill to the village to collect my winnings. The road to the village is up hill and this caused me some pain in my leg where I hurt it when I fell in at Sawley. We returned to the boat via the Navigation Inn, where we had a lunch time drink on the sun terrace over looking the river, for once the sun was shining. Going up river on Monday we turned round and made our way back to Loughborough. After lunch we went to the NHS walk in centre to have my leg checked as it was still quite painful. I was cheered no end at being told I had soft tissue damage and it can take from six days to six month to heal. Tuesday was a quiet day with nothing much happening,Marlene did the washing while I exercised the leg with a walk to B&Q and Go Outdoors. Leaving Loughborough on Wednesday we cruised steadily down river to Zouch lock where we moored in the cut. We stayed Thursday through heavy rain and two thunder storms,we'll be glad to see the back of flaming June. As I write this we are still at Zouch cut as the Soar has once again gone into flood. I went to the lock at the end of the cut this morning to find it well into the red on the marker board,looks like another day here at least.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

An interesting year.

We were stuck at Sawley until Tuesday when we dropped down Sawley Lock with a hire boat. The boat was hired by a group from Gem106 radio, they were broadcasting from different pubs on the midlands waterways. After the short run down to the junction we turned right onto the river Soar. The broadcasters were heading to Normanton on Soar for that nights broadcast. At Kegworth shallow lock they were met by a man from the hire company who had come to help them through Kegworth deep lock. He told me he wouldn't have bothered if he had known they were travelling with another boat. At the top of the deep lock we moored for the night. It was an interesting mooring under the flight path for East Midlands airport. Wednesday was a wash day, while Marlene washed I took the boat down river to Zouch where we moored to dry the washing. It was a nice day(one of the few)so every thing dried well. Later that afternoon we carried on to Loughborough and moored at Loughborough Wharf. The wharf is very close to town so Marlene managed a vist to the hair dressers. The next day after doing some shopping we moved round the corner as the Wharf was a 24hr mooring. Friday was a wash out again so we stayed where we were and did some reading and tried to finish the jigsaw we are doing. Today we left Loughborough heading for Barrow on Soar. Unfortunately on arriving at Pillings flood lock the river was in the red again. As I am writing this we are trying to decide whether to turn round and go back or wait to see if the river drops, as it is only just in the red and some people are risking going though. The section through Loughborough to Pilling's lock is canal as the Soar wanders off away from the town. Ah well it's an interesting year.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Back to Sawley .

Well, a lot has happened since my last blog. On Monday we managed to get out for a walk round Attenborough Nature Reserve,in between showers. On Tuesday the river had dropped to Amber(proceed with caution)so a group of us cleared away some of the junk that had washed down river and accumulated at the lock gates. This done three boats entered the lock. When the gates were opened on to the river we towed them out of the lock with their engines off so their propellers did not get fouled. On e clear of the junk two of the boats set of up river. The third started his engine a bit too soon and got a piece of wood jammed in his propeller. Once we had cleared that he went up river. Denise,his wife phoned later to say they had arrived at Sawley safe and sound(she had been a bit nervous). Before lunch we helped another boat through and they went up river. In the afternoon I decided we would go back to Sawley instead of carrying on to Newark. Marlene wasn't very happy with my decision,however with more rain forecast I did not want to get stuck on the river. We moored in Cranfleet cut on Tuesday night. Before going up to Sawley on Wednesday morning. On arrival I went to check the buses into Nottingham in the afternoon. On my return I missed my footing getting on the back of the boat and ended up waist deep in the canal. I stopped myself going any deeper with one arm on the bank and the other on the boat. In doing so I grazed my elbow and my right shin. That evening we went into Nottingham on the Skylink bus. After a meal we went to the Playhouse Theatre to see Buddy Holly and the Crickiters. I must say for a man who died in 1959 he put on a great performance. We returned to the boat on the Skylink bus. This bus runs all night as it is the East Midlands Airport bus,there is also one that runs to Derby through Shardlow. Thursday we went to check moorings in Sawley Marina as we are thinking of having a permanent mooring so we can come and go when we please. On Friday morning we went shopping in Long Eaton. The town was bigger than we thought and had a good range of shops. That afternoon we went back to the Marina and agreed to a mooring from the first of July. Our plan for this morning was to go down the river Soar for a couple of weeks before going into our mooring. As I looked out first thing a man from British Waterways past and said"I hope you were not planning to go any where today"when said what our plan had been his reply was"not this weekend the river is thirteen inches into the red. OH well here we go again.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Going nowhere again.

Around lunch time on Thursday the rain cleared,I walked to Trent lock to see what the water levels were like. We were good to go the marker boards were at green. Entering the lock we were joined by another boat from Lyons boat yard on the north Stratford. As I got talking to him it turned out he new Mike and Nicola on Molly Rose. Leaving them after the lock we turned left into Cranfleet Cut,while they went right to Sawley. Leaving Cranfleet Lock at quarter to one we headed down the River Trent. Three quarters of am hour later we entered Beeston lock. It was just starting to rain again,so we moored up. It is now Sunday lunch time and we are still moored in the same place. The Trent is in flood yet again, it does not look as if we will be moving any time soon,unles it is just into Nottingham. Having just just returned from the lock to check the hieght of the river I can honestly say it is higher now than yesterday. It seems we picked the wrong year to go down the Trent to Newark. On the bright side the sun is out and it is warm,however more rain is forecast for next week.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Watching river levels.

The rain on Sunday kept us in doors, it hardly stopped all day. On the bright side we watched the river pageant on tele, unlike those poor people who had camped all night for a good view from a London bridge. Blue sky greeted us Monday morning and the forecast was good. Around nine thirty we left Langley Mill on our return journey. As we entered the lock a boat that had moored below the lock left just ahead of us. At the second lock they were just leaving,so we refilled the lock and followed them. This would be a long day if we didn't catch them,our luck was in they had seen us at the second lock and waited for us. The boat was Sun Mist,the couple Clare and Graham. We did eleven locks with them down to Sandiacre. It was a good morning,it's always nice to have company on large locks and swap stories of life on the canal. We stayed the night at Sandiacre while Clare and Graham continued their journey to Trent Lock as they had to be back at Stenson Marina on Tuesday,that's the problem when you have to work. Tuesday we returned to Trent Lock and moored, our excursion up the Erewash complete. In the afternoon we walked along Cranfield Cut to Cranfield lock, where we will join the Trent to Beeston lock. The water level at the lock was on the line between Green and Amber, not a good sign. Where you join a river section the water level is shown on a scale from green through Amber to red. If red you should stay put until it drops, at Amber you can proceed with caution,although I wouldn't go until green. More rain on Tuesday evening didn't look good for river levels. We decided to have a night out on Wednesday then move Thursday morning. Walking into the first pub we were told there was a power cut so none of the pumps were working,we walked to the next pub on the way we met more people who said the power cut was all over the area,we were just about to return to the boat when we noticed the lights had come back on. In the end we had a nice night out visiting both pubs. This morning it was raining again so we look like staying put,unless it clears,watch this space.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

End of Navigation.

Leaving Sawley on Tuesday morning we went down Sawley lock on to the River Trent. The lock is operated by electric and has a lock keeper at times,however,on Tuesday I had to operate it myself. After a short cruise down the Trent we turned left and into Trent lock. As look would have it a boat was leaving the lock as we turned in. Having raised our selves up the lock we moored at the visitor moorings. We were finally on the Erewash canal. As we were sat out in the sun we had a conversation with a man who had been a lock keeper at Cranfleet lock and was now retired and living on his boat at the start of the Erewash. First thing Wednesday morning we left our mooring and headed up the canal. We had a good morning as we were helped through the first two locks by two British Waterways workers, then arriving at the third lock we found it set ready for us. We moored for the night at Sandiacre at a nicely landscaped mooring,it's only fault was it was right next to a rather busy road. Dispite that we had a good nights sleep. Leaving Sandiacre on Thursday morning we did another three locks,the locks on the Erewash are double locks with very heavy gates each one had to be emptied as we came to it and to make matters worse we had to unlock and relock the paddles with our anti vandal key. Our second day took us to the edge of Ilkeston where we moored next to the cricket pitch for the night. Friday was a long day by comparison to the first two with eight locks in five mile which took us to Langley Mill the end of the Navigation. We turned and moored at the visitor moorings in the Great Northen Basin. There are two supermarkets close by so we shopped for the weekend food. Today we took the bus into Nottingham for a look round,very busy but a good modern centre complete with a modern tram system.