This will be a blog in two halves. I will post the second part later but be warned if you are arachnophobia do not click on that blog!
We awoke to the sound of planes roaring overhead. It was 4.30am! As the crow flies we were now only a few miles away from East Midland airport so we expect to have a few more early mornings as we travel further along. With our worries over the river levels, Ian had a look on waterscape to see if the flood locks had opened. Nothing appeared on the web about the Trent so, with us still not sure whether to leave for Shardlow, he felt a phone call to C&RT was needed. After being pushed from one person to another he finally got an answer. The Trent was no longer on red boards. Thats all we needed to know and after a hasty breakfast we were soon on our way. On route we met C&RT working on the offside with what looked like a shredder machine on their butty. They were busy removing the overgrowth and shredding it in the process. It's great to see something finally being done but oh!.....all that wood left on the side! Not accesable from the canal by boat as its too shallow so will probably be left there to tantalise us boaters. I did cheekily ask the guys if they could stack it on the towpath for us but they declined with a cheery smile and a shake of there heads.
At Aston we were visited twice. First by a load of walkers watching us descend and then by a cheeky Robin checking out our wood for insects.
|Moored at Shardlow|
Arriving at at Shardlow we moored up and walked to Derwent mouth lock to see if we could get onto the river. The board was in the amber giving us the green light, so to speak, so with a brisk walk back to the boat and after a spot of lunch, we set off to tackle the river.
|I don't usually bother with a life jacket but with the amount of wood on the roof making the boat rock more, I was taking no chances!|
|No boats moored along the approach. Amazing because its usually full of continuous moorers.|
|Looking back from the lock|
The river was fine although flowing fast but the section by the cross flow from the Derwent and Trent was a bit hairy. With us flying along with the currant we soon arrived at Sawley flood lock. This lock gates were closed but the actual difference in water levels were minimal, just a couple of feet but enough to protect Sawley and the marina.
|Cormorant on the river weir barrior|
|Sawley flood lock|
|Again hardly any boats moored in Sawley|
Sawley lock is no longer manned and needs a BW key to operate. We shared the lock with Nb Victoria and watching him leave for the main flow of the river was interesting to say the least. He ended up going sideways so with this in mind, and having picked up Ian from the ladder rather then the steps (which were under water), I put on the power big time. Then the dreaded turn into the Erewash. With a gentle flowing river there is no problem but, fully aware of our loaded roof, I decided to head into slack water on the Cranfleet cut, wind, and then come back on myself and into the Erewash junction. With Ian steadying the boat with his weight the best he could, there was only one heart stopping moment when the river grabbed our stern and spun me round rocking the boat violently, but we made it safely onto the Erewash in one piece and with our wood still on board. The level boards at this end showed the river to be lower then at Derwent which could be a bit dicey if one was expecting a slower flow nearer the top end.
|Well into the Amber at Trent lock|