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Sunday, 9 September 2007

On to Newark & Lincoln

Our trip to Newark was lovely on a very warm day, so warm I had to cover my shoulders to stop them burning. Going down the river Trent from Nottingham the river is very windy and twists and turns through lovely countryside. The locks are all very large and are operated by lock-keepers, making for lazy cruising because the river has been used for commercial carrying until recently, and even today large boats carrying fairly large cargoes occasionally use the river. We saw none on our trip which was uneventful and we saw very few other boats moving, though I suppose Thursday afternoons in September are likely to be quiet.

We got good moorings on a floating pontoon outside the British Waterways offices in Newark, though Carol had a big problem turning into the river flow, our bow thruster was struggling to make progress. Carol's back was giving her a lot of trouble after the walking around Nottingham yesterday but she loves this mooring in Newark (53deg 04'47.25N 0deg 48'39.03W) as it is very close to a large branch of Waitrose! She suffered this time though as I bought some special Spanish style pitted (ie no stone in them ) olives which we nibbled before our meal and on the first olive she bit into a stone and chipped a tooth. I returned the stone and the chipping and await their response, the acting manager was suitably upset.

We decided that as we have to be around home next weekend we have decided to leave Lily in Newark as this mooring is right by the train station and there is a marina nearby. Better still the train from Newark at around 10am runs through to Loughborough. I booked a slot at £8 per night at the marina from Thursday night on.

So at around 11 on Saturday we moved off, through Newark Nether lock and on to North Muskham where we moored outside the Muskham Ferry pub whilst we watched qualifying for the Italian GP, and I enjoyed a very pleasant pint of Pedigree. This over we set off downstream to Cromwell lock which is a very large structure and is at the limit of the tidal river Trent where we moored up alongside a concrete wall around 12 feet high. Carol asked around the other boaters and found none was going downstream that tide so she spoke to the lock-keeper who said he would let us through shortly as soon as he had completed locking 'up' a narrowboat. We duly entered this cavernous structure and left around 15.45 on the tidal stretch with 17 miles to Torksey where we were to turn off the river. We set our engine revs to around 1800 and at just about 18.15 we turned into Torksey and moored up at a floating pontoon mooring. We could have ' locked up' off the river that night but the mooring was good and quiet and mooring space at the top of the lock was crowded. During the next 90 minutes or so many other boats turned in to moor to the pontoons as the tide was by then getting very low. Torksey is at 53deg 17'35.67 N 0deg 44'46.20 W.

The weather had been not as good as forecast as the clouds hardly broke at all. I stayed in tee shirt and shorts but Carol needed a sweater & jeans. At least the wind was mild and the trip was twisty. We bought a navigation guide to help us avoid the gravel shoals, very important on a falling tide. Other boaters, don't be put off going along this tidal stretch, just take sensible precautions and be guided by the lock keepers.

Sunday dawned bright and at around 9.30 we locked up and attended to domestic tasks before cruising to Stalham. This is along the Fossedyke which was originally dug by the Romans and is pretty straight, wide and deep with no locks from Torksey to Lincoln. We reached Stalham just before 12 in time to set up the TV and watch the GP which was interesting, but unfortunately there are political/spying turmoils that have got in the way of the racing somewhat. Whilst at Stalham I managed to buy my weekly fix of Sunday Times which I have read nearly every week since around 1960!

Anyhow, GP over we set off at a steady pace to Lincoln and it warmed up no end. There were not many boats moving and we entered the wide basin at Lincoln at around 16.30 and had expected to moor in this area, as we did in 2005 but the mooring arms have been removed. We didn't fancy mooring alongside the all with several bars and restaurants alongside, so we carried on through The Glory Hole and moored just above the lock. Good mooring but right along a road and opposite the City Council works depot. Dustcarts start early in the morning! The road alongside started to get busy before dawn, so we both had a somewhat disturbed night. Our location is 53 deg 13'41.59 N 0deg 31'51.87 W.

I'll report on Lincoln later, but as it is a big hike up to the Cathedral and as we spent much of a day there 2005, with Carol's back iffy we will avoid this.

This is our mooring

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