Saturday, 10 September 2016

East Mids Exploration: Day 10

It was very rainy this morning, so we were slow to get going. I continued writing my boat test, and Adrian also had work to do. I also phoned my father, as it's his birthday today. The forecast kept giving rain for longer and longer, so we knew we were almost certain to get wet today at some point. At about 10.30, when the rain seemed to have eased a bit, we moved up to the water point, and started a wash load. A big Dutch barge which had been using the services yesterday was still there, but had pulled forward just enough to leave most of the moorings clear. When the tank was full, we went into Trent Lock, went down, and then pulled out onto the Trent. By now the rain was pretty heavy again.

We turned left onto the Cranfleet Cut, more new territory for us. As we approached, we could see activity at the lock at the far end, which turned out to be volunteer lock keepers -- so the gates opened for us, and the volunteers worked us down.

The lock is deep, particularly at the moment because water levels on the Trent are low. At the bottom of Cranfleet Lock, there's a level gauge -- and the river is about a foot below the start of the green section. It didn't rain much for the hour or so we were on the river. There's not much to look at, though. When we got to the entrance to the Nottingham Beeston Canal, Adrian went to work out what was what at the lock. The drop from the river to the canal was six inches at the most; it didn't take long to get through. Immediately after the lock, some people dressed in period garb were leading a horse down the road. I've no idea why.

There was a beautiful boat moored at Trevethick's boat yard.

As we reached Nottingham Marina, the tow path began to be full of moored boats. A boat travelling in front of us slotted into one space, and one which had come out of the marina claimed another. I was beginning to wonder if we'd find a spot. We saw a space and decided it was big enough; it turned out to be right behind Matty on Old Friends, who's familiar from the Canal World forum even though I've never met him before. We had a chat as he's going the same way as us -- in fact, he was just getting ready to leave. It turned out we were moored right by the path to Sainsbury's, and there are hundreds of metres of available moorings ahead.

The rain had stopped so we walked into town, up past the castle and the oldest pub in England (allegedly; I'm sure there are several claimants). We saw the Robin Hood statue, thought the Old Market Square with the Council House and a very large fountain was rather impressive, and liked the feel of the city centre. We walked through some of the old lanes, and worked our way back to the canal, where we found a nice coffee shop not far from the old warehouse with British Waterways on it.

We walked back along the tow path, and when we were back at the boat we make a shopping expedition to Sainsbury's; it's so close it would have been daft not to. Tomorrow is meant to be much better weather, and we'll be going out onto the Trent again.

10 miles, 3 locks. (139 miles, 104 locks)


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