Summer Cruise#1 – Day 20-24


Where are we now? Here’s a clue:

Nicely moored up outside Nottingham Castle marina – bit quieter here than further down, with a nice view too

And an idea of where the river is!

We had a lovely cruise from Sawley thru the big mechanised locks and out onto the Trent down to Trent Lock, into Cranfleet cut, thru that lock and then the hour’s cruise on the serene Trent. Levels are way, way below the green on the flood warning chart.  Hardly any flow at all. Which is nice. Our defects list is decreasing but our injury one is growing – poor Viv, bent a finger yesterday and now, the welded-on windlass handles on the Cranfleet  lock gate bit back and now she has a poorly arm. What with Steve’s anxiety . .  we’re are faring worse than the boat.  Half way down the Trent, I discovered that the Victron wasn’t charging the batteries! Was I going too fast, had it over heated? Was the TravelPower box dead? No, it’s got a green light .  .. . . Ah! We have a manual switch to go to batteries or shore power and some Muppet (probably me) had knocked it – switch it back, problem solved. Must get a cover for that and one for the TravelPower itself, as it’s at floor level and the dog tends to sit there and switch that off – hmm, bad dog!

So, we entered Beeston lock, with the Trent being low, there was only a foot’s difference in levels. And on to Castle Park.  It can be noisy here as you’re right by Castle Boulevard but it’s handy for the city and very near Sainsbury’s.

Plan A is to spend a few days here – get more coal as it’s freezing! Restock the larder. Buy dog food from Pets At Home. Oh and buy a bike!!

I wandered up to Evans Cycles, just for a look-see and they had a demo bike I could borrow. Hurrah. It was a £970 folding Brompton (a la W1A? If you haven’t seen it – here’s a clip: W1A ) but it was mine for 24 hrs! Cost = £00.01.

A bit pricey for us but quite good as I cycled the mile back to boat via Gauntley’s to restock my pipe tobacco. A smashing little bike but we went for a Bickerton in the end as it was on offer (£200 off – last year’s model) and had more gears, a light and a rack etc.  We shall see.  Handy for those let’s walk 4 miles just to see if they have a replacement radiator cap moments.

Oops, these moorings are private & owned by the marina – so move on . . . . just down to the Sainsbury’s 48 hr mooring, oops, loose manhole cover can be heard, kerbump kerbump, no, that’s no good so on to the isolated moorings towards the town lock. Rings all the way down here but no boats! Moored outside the HMRC offices (and therefore not far from the Vat & Fiddle pub!). Sun’s coming out! Nice. A much quieter spot – opposite some apartments with a small lake and fountain:

Plan to stay here for a bit – maybe a week?

Ventured out in the evening to the Crafty Crow a fairly new real ale pub, opposite the castle gate:

They had 8 real ales, 8 ciders and dozens of keg “craft” beers plus 100’s of bottled beer.  Here’s one for Dave Thomas – drinking halves! Here, trying the coffee stout & whisky barrel cider!

We also tried the Magpies “Two for Joy” and the Hex, sic hop IPA – all good!

Picked up the new bike today – the Bickerton 1707 Country:

Small enough to be inside a narrowboat

Folds down 3 ways (supposedly in 10 seconds!) and weighs only 12 kg

And the assembled item – maybe a video of me actually folding it? Hmm. Has a built-in dynamo front light. Which is nice.

Friday morning and we’re off. 0900 departure and thru two locks and out onto the Trent.