Last night we paid a visit to the Great Northern pub right next door to the basin. The food was typical good value pub fare, and we drank a beer brewed by North Star in Ilkeston, the town which accompanies the Erewash Canal for a good proportion of its route.
It rained overnight, and was still pretty damp when we left the Great Northern Basin at just after 8am, waving the Irene on Free Spirit as we did so. Today's journey was yesterday's in reverse, so you could just read yesterday's blog post again, starting at the end. Unlike yesterday, though, Langley Bridge Lock and most of the others were in our favour. For some reason only Gallows Inn Lock was empty when we got to it, and at Pasture Lock we met a boat just coming up.
At the bottom of the lock out of the basin, under the bridge, is the sign which marks the start or end of the Cromford Canal. All that remains of it is the basin, which is unfortunate as its route sounds as though it would have been oth interesting and pretty.
I liked the sign at the Bridge Inn at Cotmanhay, more of less pleading with boaters to stop.
The only sour incident of the day happened at Barker's Lock in Ilkeston. Adrian had walked ahead from the previous lock, and was approached by a young man who was opening sniffing lighter fuel. He didn't make much sense, but was rather intimidating none the less; we kept the boat on the offside of the lock, and got through as quickly as possible. It has to be said that most of the locals seem very pleased to see a boat, and are very cheerful and chatty -- even if many of them do have a can of lager in their hand (or their pocket).
You see different things on the way back. In Sandiacre is what looks like a new build property, apart from a small section of wall and two doors. I wondered if that was all that was left of an original building, and the new bit was an extension.
We continued retracing our steps of yesterday. About half a miles before the end of the canal there's a very substantial set of flood gates, and a bridge which sits on the offside, but can clearly be brought across the canal. It's fairly low, so there's a set of traffic lights too.
Among the houseboats on the approach to Trent Lock there's one which has two storeys.
We tied up in exactly the same place as on Wednesday night (but facing the other way, of course). Whereas the journey up the canal had taken seven and a half hours yesterday, today's journey back had taken just six -- thanks to not having to turn every lock.
We went for a walk around Trent Lock; it was sunny but very windy. A boat was coming up the lock onto the canal and another was waiting below. Out on the Trent, a couple of narrowboats were heading for the Soar, and one was coming the other way, heading for Sawley.
Since then it's continued to be breezy, and the odd shower has blown through. Tomorrow's forecast suggests we're going to get wet.
12 miles, 14 locks. (129 miles, 101 locks)