Saying goodbye to Dennis and Margaret (we will see them at Stafford boat gathering in June) off we poodled through the flood lock and out onto the
Again conditions couldn't have been better and soon we reached
Derwent Mouth and the start of the T&M. I detest the approach to
this lock! The wall understandably is very high (in case of rise in
river levels) but to try and tie up is to damage ones paintwork! So with Ian having to leap for the bank I swung out to await for the lock to be set.
|The stonework overhangs the piling which plays havoc with the gunwhale and cabin sides|
We were very surprised to see Shardlow empty of moored boats. This is one of the hotspots on the start of the T&M. Two pubs, The New Inn and the Old Crown Inn are the main reason but the Heritage Centre is also widely visited.
At Weston Lock a fellow blogger came into view. It was Diane and Ray on Nb Ferndale.
We knew they were heading our way by a comment left yesterday by Diane. I do love meeting what I call 'the blogging community. We all seem to get on so well. Maybe it's because of the trials and tribulations we all seem to go through and that we can all relate to. It was only a quick encounter as we had another boat with us waiting to exit the lock, while Ferndale also had a locking companion waiting to enter The chat with Diane was brief, although Ray would dispute that having had to hover mid stream for us to come out! Lovely meeting you both and I hope you enjoy the Erewash.
On the way to Swarkstone we had a slight delay while a tree gang cleared a load of branches from the offside. They had a unique way of bringing the cut wood across. A long rope tied to the branch and then pulled back. Did the trick nicely though.
|Chainsaw working overtime|
|Man pulling rope!|
|The splash was the rope going back across.|
Stenson lock had the self same problem as we reported a year ago when we got wedged solid.
Both gates still wouldn't open properly so it appears nothing has yet been done! Will it ever I ask myself!
Watched by a few gongoozlers we ascended without making a pigs ear of it and noticed that apart from this cruiser with a C&RT notice on it, all the moorings were free. Again another hotspot because of the Bubble Inn (good food and service). I'm still wondering why!
Passing Mercia Marina the new building now dominates the skyline. Not really sure what to make of it. It could be just a bit OTT. We will see when it's finished.
And another favoured mooring devoid of boats. Right outside Mercy Marina handy for Midland Chandlers. Why why why??? Has C&RT had something to do with it. I would love to know!
|Just the one boat.|
Mind you the one place we had decided to stop for the night was heaving. Willington! Luckily we found the last mooring available right outside the The Dragon. Very handy as we will be meeting Roger and Pat The Cat's Whiskers
tonight for a drink. They have only just returned from their trip to New Zealand so we have a lot of catching up to do.
|Looks to be moorings available but the winding hole gets in the way!|
|Moored outside the pub.|
There is a and finally tonight. As we approached Willington we could see some sort of commotion in the distance. Pity the chap in this dinghy!
|We lost sight of the swan and dinghy when it went round the bend. For all we know he is still being chased!|