Thursday, 30 June 2016

Newark to Holme Lock

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.

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This is the rather attractive new Aqualine wide beam we saw in Kings Marina yesterday

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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.

P1030011By now we had started to appreciate just how much water (fresh) was coming down the river.  Farndon Marina appeared to have some rather expensive looking moored boats.

P1030014On 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.

IMG_0149P1030018Jan noticed a rather interesting looking building at the bottom of a garden.  Was it a summer house or a childs play house?

P1030016I should also mention the small boat we saw on a private mooring at Fiskerton.  The name explains the reason.

IMG_0146The current started to get stronger after Hazelford Lock but we still reached Gunthorpe Lock in 80 minutes where we disposed of our rubbish before continuing.

IMG_0151IMG_0152There were vacant visitor moorings outside the pub (Unicorn Hotel) but we decided to make the most of the weather and continued.

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!

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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.

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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!

2 comments :

SimonG said...

Hi Tom
You're right, that widebeam is new in the water, a month ago it spent 2 or 3 nights sitting on the back of a Polish lorry parked at Clackett Lane Services on the M25.
BTW thoroughly enjoy reading your blog!
Simon

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Simon,

I did mention there appeared to be a huge area to wash and polish when compared to our skinny boat. When he looked at his wife she didn't appear to be willing! :-)