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Archive for August 17th, 2011

The Odyssey 2011: Day 34

Posted by indigodream on 17 August, 2011

Thursday 28th July

Newark to Nottingham (Castle Park)

Trent views (1)...

We woke up early, having realised last night that our water tank was probably getting low and we had a multitude of visitors joining us later on. We decided to move early and go back the short distance to Kings Marina, fill up with water and do a pumpout. This had the added benefit of allowing us to walk the dogs there, saving Lou the leap over the wall.

The plan almost worked perfectly – water and pump-out – not problem; Lou not leaping – well, she managed to slip off the pontoon and got a back leg stuck between the pontoon and the boat – fortunately no damage done apart from a little scrape – it could have been much worse! I took the hounds for a walk round the marina while Richard saw to the domestics – we have found this marina to be really friendly and we were glad of their services today. The pump-out is excellent, if you need a pump out near Newark then Kings Marina is worth a visit. To get to the service pontoon, drive down the middle of the pontoons and it is the last pontoon on the left )makes sense when you see it).

We got back to the wall in Newark just as our first guests arrived – Paul and John together with John’s wife and daughter. We picked them up quickly and headed for Town Lock, we had heard on the VHF that there were some issues at the lock, starting with the lock keeper getting confused – we were downstream and he wanted to fill the lock for us first! There was an engineering team working on one of the gates who actually wanted the lock filled so it all worked out well once we asked the lock keeper not to fill the lock till we got there. The flotilla from Leicester did not fare so well as they started a little after us and got mixed up with other boats.

Our guests are local so they know the river well, nonetheless they were impressed by the view from a fully equipped narrowboat – everything looks better when you have proper coffee in hand! John’s wife is a beekeeper and brought us a jar of her honey – it’s delicious!

Our guests stayed on as far as Fiskerton, where they’d left one car. The pub mooring was empty so we stopped off to say goodby to them. I also had the chance to take the dogs for a good walk and let Lou have a big splosh in the river. She loves to paddle and was grinning from ear to ear when I got back to the boat ready to greet Kym and Nick again. Kym says it’s the happiest she’s seen Lou – that made me happy. Only Kym would join us today – poor Nick had work to do.

Hope you had a good time - thanks for all the help!

We met with a dutch barge at the locks, they had spent 10 hours aground on the previous day on the tidal  Trent – a cautionary tale.

We had a wonderful afternoon – the stretch upriver of Fiskerton is one of my favourite waterway spots – effortlessly beautiful with all the natural virtues of a river at rest. Even the outskirts of Nottingham were interesting, including the legions of rowers on the approach to Trent Bridge. It would have been very interesting to thread our way through them to the County Hall moorings, but we were heading for the Castle Park moorings along the Nottingham and Beeston canal.

It was getting late by now and although the afternoon had been a perfect mix of warm sunshine and cooling breezes, it had been a relentlessly sunny morning and I was coming down with another migraine – I really must wear more of my sun hat – even if people do make fun of it!

So it was that the Nottingham and Beeston canal failed to delight – it seemed very dreary after the river and the small drama of some kindly passersby pulling a dead dog out of the water above Castle lock did nothing to lighten my mood. Nonetheless, there are signs that Nottingham is turning its face to the canal and the stretch after Poplar Arms corner (a right angle bend – do a better job of it than I did!!) perks up considerably. We got to Castle Park – the moorings were quite busy (always a good sign) but with plenty of space by Tinkers Lane footbridge. There were a few spaces a little further along by Sainsbury’s, but a boat’s cat had taken possession of the towpath so we thought it better to moor further away!

Nick came to pick Kym up at 6pm and they drove us to see their house – they’ve been restoring this most amazing property since 1987 – Nick is a total perfectionist and parts of the building dating back to the 1500’s have been lovingly crafted back to life. But it’s far from habitable yet – Nick was teased relentlessly, but having resisted finishing the project for so many years he’s not going to be shifted by a few gentle taunts. They then took us to the best chinese restaurant in Belper – coincidentally the village where Matthew and Daniel, last weekend’s guests, come from.

Belper was delightful and the chinese was delectable, but I’d reached the end of my tether by now and was grateful to get back to the boat and fall into bed, accompanied by my headache. which ambushed me on the walk from the car to the boat. It had been a busy day….

Photoblog:

Trent views (2)...

The pub moorings at Fiskerton ....

Kym has really taken to boating...

Waiting for Hazelford lock - we brested up to this fine old steam tug - a real labour of love for the restorers....

Plenty of room - Hazelford lock...

Aground? No, just fishing...

Trent views (3)....

Trent views (4)...

These herons look like they're up to something....

Swans enjoying the fresh food being brought down by the outfall...

I think this is an egret...

Trent views (5)...

Reflections.....

Watch out, there's a Lynx about...and he loves ice cream - better eat that quick Kym!

The old ammunition wharf....

The flow into the Trent locks is quite fierce but the boat was very steady...

The flows generate impressive amounts of foam...

Now that's a fine mooring...

Moody shot of Trent bridge (ahead) and the turn into the lock leading to the Nottingham Canal...

Leaving the river at Meadow Lane lock...

The canal is quite enclosed from the roads so Lou and Lynx could have a little rummage...

Informative....

Busy road or quiet canal - where would you rather be?

This industrial plant looks incongruous amidst the gentrification of the surrounding canalside properties...

Fine old buildings - I was fascinated by the chimneys - imagine the network of fireplaces that they connect to inside...

Thriving waterfront....

Window cleaning with a difference....

Nottingham is turning its face to the canal....

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