Summer Cruise#1 – Days 29-35


We hung around Newark for some post to be forwarded, visited the Blue Monkey brewery pub, the Organ Grinder and also the Just Beer place (again) as well as several trips to Waitrose, darling. We left on Friday and sailed against the flow of the mighty Trent (all of a 1 knot flow I reckon), through town lock, Hazleford lock and made Gunthorpe lock just before the lockie clocked off at 1730. Back to the lovely visitor moorings, almost to ourselves. Here for a few days R&R then on to Nottingham, to begin the last segment of the Leicester Ring.

Here’s crewman, quartermaster, lock wheeler .. . .  . Viv at the helm – with a big following wind causing quite large and scary waves. Engine revs were increased to counteract the “uphill” journey.  Engine temp increased but became steady.

Hazleford lock keeper said we were spot on time, as each lock radios ahead to tell them who’s coming up.  Our  SOG (speed over ground) was 4 mph. The boat did well (Isuzu 42 and Axiom prop).

Back to the Gunthorpe moorings and the next morning, wall to wall blue skies and sunshine. Dog liked it too.

The mighty Trent – a lot calmer now.

We treated ourselves to an Indian takeaway from the nearby Bridge & Bayleaf – one of six eateries within walking distance. Highly recommended.

Saturday (Day 32?) we left and did the last bit of main Trent, thru Stoke Bardolph lock and Holme lock and into the Nottingham canal beside Trent bridge and on to the visitor mooring near Sainbury’s and Castle marina (again) busy but fairly secure . . .

Firstly, with a few days to spare what is one to do but make a trifle – no sherry but two jellies and custard and toasted almonds! Should last a week??

We passed the outfall at Burton Joyce where the swans seem to love the water

Round past the signs of ancient landing stages where barges used to load/unload. Now occupied by a solitary heron.

And back to usual spot just before the marina

And not too far to walk to the Crafty Crow – a new set of beers on this time, we tried the Black Jesus (black IPA, nice but powerful) and the American Pale (Backyard Brewhouse), even better!

Viv enjoyed it too!

Talking of security, our friends on Narrow Minded, caught us up and managed to squeeze in behind. They were leaving their boat to pop home (electric bikes/train).  They told us they’d left it before and it had been broken into – kids probably, who nicked everything and threw most of it in the field nearby. They also let off all three extinguishers leaving a heavy coating of dust everywhere. Nice. So they now leave their boat in this rather armoured condition. Hoping any deviants would pass their boat and go nextdoor, nice!  


Summer Cruise#1 – Day 28


Well, to be honest we are a bit bored with rivers and long for the canal system – didn’t think I’d say that but there it is. Plus on arrival in Newark, our neighbours said that they’d found out it was only a short walk to Newark Castle railway station and then a £6 return, 18 minute journey direct service to Lincoln! So, no-brainer really. Neither of us feel particularly motivated to move on any further down the Trent, having visited both Lincoln & Boston when we lived up by here years ago. So, off we went to Lincoln – Toby comes too!

Quite a pleasant & rapid trip

Toby was completely unfazed by it all.

We walked about 17,000 steps by the end of the day – around the Brayford pool

Looked at all the boats and wondered why local councils are so poor at welcoming boaters – not a great deal here for narrowboats

This is a view looking back west to the Fossdyke

And Steven with his new FatFace top, with the famous Glory Hole behind.  This is now the river Witham and the low height prevents bigger boast from cruising down this stretch, which ultimately leads to Boston.

Beyond the Hole there are supposedly moorings – you can see a few rings & cleats and later I saw a sign saying 24 hrs only.  Hmm, not a particularly nice spot and hard to get access to the path especially with a dog.

After a coffee & roll, we began the long walk up Steep Street to the cathedral

Stunning views of the cathedral and the recently renovated friezes

It was £8 admittance and we weren’t if the dog could go so we didn’t linger, much

Very impressive . . .

The bishop was a tad tired after the walk and dealing with all the peasants . . .

No dogs allowed in the castle nor the museums or galleries, so we walked back down to view the river, the sculpture and the moorings more closely

Yes, I think we made the right decision to visit by train! We returned to the station, via the cake shop & the Chinese supermarket and later on a visit to the Blue Monkey brewery pub, the Organ Grinder and then back to the Just Beer pub, who were looking forward to a load of students turning up after 9 – they are from the music college (?) where they make instruments (?). They just have a free jam session. We must revisit another Tuesday evening I think to watch this.

We’ll be here for a few more days as we are waiting for our postal voting cards to arrive from my folks in Kent to the P.O. here in Newark.


Summer Cruise#1 – Day 27


May Day, May Day! Perhaps not the best shout from a boat on the waterways but, yes, tis now May indeed! No, we didn’t get up at dawn to dance skyclad around any maypoles. We set off about ten ish. Woke the lockie up and went thru Gunthorpe Lock. Then a yogurt pot decided to come too, so we stopped the lock operations, reversed the flow and opened the gates to let him in. Hmm, big lock. Then out on to the mighty Trent for a 4 hour cruise to Newark:

Just out of the lock – all the foam is from the giant weir behind . . .

A view looking back – just to show how wide and to be honest a bit plain this bit is . . . we do like this  cruise but, to be honest, we prefer the canal network. More places to stop and more to see?

Hazleford lock opens for us . . .

Just before Farndon marina we saw this little RIB with a couple of Boy Scouts and er, a mayor, complete with chains of office . . . . I think the local scouts were having a jamboree . .

We had arranged to call in at Farndon for a pump out, they only charge £10, which is what we pay back in our home marina. Didn’t know at the time how prestigious this place was and that it’s the most expensive marina around (2 year waiting list).

Not really geared up for 65 foot boats! Notice the odd boat in the background – Enigma?

As we passed a huge power station we saw this work of art by Norman Sillman (see Staythorpe )

And then past the weir . . . . hmm not all boomed . . . just open . .

The huge Averham weir – only partially boomed off – a bit unnerving seeing all that water cascading, keep right indeed.

Weirs are not the only hazard on this stretch – we had two very large boats pass us! The tour boat,

And then Gwendoline!

Final stop for Adagio, on the visitor pontoons – lucky to find a space – easier to get the dog on and off. Unlike the next pic – of Newark castle (and that grockle boat) which shows the longer stay moorings but very high walls.

Chatting with Craig, one of the lock keepers, he replied to my query about local pubs, with – see that iron stairway over there – follow that up to a courtyard and you’ll find “Just Beer”, an award winning micro pub . . . .

Which of course we did!

A very warm welcome inside – especially for dogs (several in there already)

Smashing host and a great spread of beers & ciders . . .

Quite interesting – we tried a few!  Back for one of Steve’s chicken & mushroom risottos with garlic, white wine and shed loads of butter & parmesan cheese!