We were up fairly early this morning, and set off a little before 8am. There's not really much to say about the retracement of our steps along the Nottingham Beeston Canal. At Beeston Lock, the rise up to the River Trent was again just a few inches. Along the next stretch of the Trent, there are some quite nice looking houses, all of which seem to have a boat outside as well. You can seen how much the river floods, as the houses are up on stilts.
As we approached Cranfleet Lock, there were again volunteer lock keepers on duty, who prepared the lock for us, gave us a green flag, took our ropes when we were in, and worked the paddles. It's quite a deep lock.
The Cranfleet Cut is a little over half a mile of straightness, which ends at the big junction with the Trent, the Soar, and the Erewash Canal. It's a week since we were last here; then we were going from the Erewash to Cranfleet Cut, this time is was Cranfleet to the Trent. We're now on waters we last did three years ago, although in the opposite direction. On one side of the river there's a Scout adventure centre, with lots of tents and lots of kids (and quite a few adults) in lots of boats.
At Sawley, we decided we'd take the right hand channel where there's a full range of services. So we were able to fill with water, get rid of rubbish (there are even recycling bins), and I did an empty of the composting loo. I'm getting good at this now, so it didn't take too long.
We were stopped for half an hour or so. We needed to turn around, then go back through the railway bridge, then turn again to get into Sawley Lock. A couple of boats had not long come down, and there was a volunteer lock keeper on duty, so we could go straight in. We made a further brief stop outside Sawley Marina, as we need diesel. But if you don't want to use the automated system (which does a 60/40 split on propulsion/domestic), their attitude seems to be that it's really too much bother. So we decided to go elsewhere. We'll stop at Mercia Marina tomorrow instead.
The next stretch is back on the Trent again, going under the M1 and then a much more impressive water pipe.
Derwent Mouth Lock takes you up onto the Trent and Mersey Canal, and we had to queue for a lock for the first time since Foxton (and I don't really count queues at Foxton and Watford, because the staircases mean there's nearly always a queue). Next comes Shardlow, with some attractive buildings.
We shared Shardlow Lock with a Kate hire boat from Warwick doing the Leicester Ring. We told them we did that ring on a Kate Boat ten years ago. By Bridge 7a there's a tree down, giving just enough room to get through. It looked like a crack willow -- and I thought they were supposed to have been dealt with, following an incident a few years ago when a boater was swept off her boat by a willow which happened to crack and come down as she passed underneath.
One of the following bridges has suffered quite a lot of damage, with half the parapets gone, and big cracks elsewhere. The farmer or someone has decided to prevent further damage by installing barriers on the bridge.
There's a nice looking church near Weston, and before Swarkestone you can see the Swarkestone Hall Pavilion, or The Stand, which is available for holidays.
We carried on through the deep locks at Weston and Swarkestone, and moored above Swarkestone -- where we moored three years ago. It's been a funny sort of day weatherwise -- dull, not very warm, and with brightness always just on the horizon, but never getting any closer.
Once I'd written this blog, the engine was cool enough but still warm enough, so I did an oil change which was a few hours overdue.
19 miles, 8 locks. (275 miles, 132 locks)