A rather long day for us and we didn’t reach our destination. With a poor weather forecast for the next few days we decided to move to Nottingham. The assumption was the Trent would rise very quickly and we might get marooned in Newark.
This is the rather attractive new Aqualine wide beam we saw in Kings Marina yesterday
I’m starting to get rather blasé about castles and cathedrals. I didn’t think it would happen… but it has!
The lock keeper at Newark Town Lock cautioned me about shallow water on the inside of the wide bend beyond ‘the power station’. The power station was quite visible on the skyline but before we reached it another hazard appeared. I’d anticipated water flowing into the Trent and hadn’t appreciated the reverse would occur at Newark Dyke.
On one particularly tight bend the flow of water really slowed us down resulting in Waiouru slowly inching forward until wider water was reached. We arrived at Hazelford Lock behind schedule and once penned up through the lock we temporarily moored to fill the water tank. I also decided to cease being lazy and went down the weed hatch. A large lump of weed around the shaft was removed and this subsequently improved our speed.
We made good time to the next lock (Gunthorpe) passing three narrowboats going downstream. They appeared to be racing along with the strong current.
Gunthorpe Road Bridge is rather impressive and Jan thought it might be the end of the working day wilh all the traffic. However it was just after 4pm, so perhaps unlikely!
The stretch between Gunthorpe and Stoke Locks went OK and we arrived slightly early. The lock was manned by two volunteer lockies who worked us up and informed me it would be approximately 60 minutes to the next lock and we would find it on self-service because the lock keeper goes off duty at 5.30pm. That didn’t concern us and we pressed on.
We found the current much stronger above the lock and our speed dropped accordingly. The current looked and acted far more aggressively. Jan noticed a bird of prey hovering over a field beside the river. Obviously it had dinner on its mind. I managed to take a long range photo.
We made very slow progress to Holme Lock pushing against the flow. As expected, the lock was on self-service and I walked forward to set it. After reading the instructions telling the operator to ensure all gates and paddles were closed on leaving, I attempted to empty the lock. The lower gate paddles raised but the lock wasn’t emptying. That’s when I realised the paddles on the upper gates were open. I was then unable to close the paddles so I assume the departing lock keeper had somehow locked them open. Perhaps because he/she was concerned about the condition of the river. Consequentially we are now moored on a floating pontoon below the lock. The lock keeper returns at 9.30am tomorrow and I’ll ask him if it is permissible to cruise the 4 kilometres to Nottingham where we will be off the river. It may be a wet day for us tomorrow!