Summer Cruise#1 – Days 18- 20

 I seem to have got over my Black Dog days.  I don’t know if it’s an age thing but this trip does seem all uphill, which is odd as gravitationally, we are slowly moving downhill . . . all the way, almost to sea level. Lots of little things set me into that downward spiral. Still, worse things happen at sea, eh? Talking of which we moored in Shardlow – very pretty but fairly noisy so we moved on, no, not opposite the sewage works, so on to Sawley Cut – opposite the Derby Motor Boat Club. We are on a vast piece of water – very quiet and fairly safe. We’ll stay here another day for a bit of R&R and maybe wander over to the Sawley Marina office to enquire about moorings (even though I got an earful of abuse on Saturday, more on that later).  They are part of the BWML group of marinas and allow you to visit & moor in any other marina.  Meanwhile, here’s some pix of our travels since the last post:


We chugged past Mercia Marina – one of the biggest on the network, complete with a big branch of Midland Chandlers, shops, cafes, restaurants etc. All very well looked after but big.

A beautiful day on the last stretch of the Trent & Mersey and on to the first of the big locks: Stenson

Lots of volunteers to help us through this lock (over 12 feet deep!): Bob, Mike and Richard, cheers!

And they gave a collective but sarcastic, Ooooo! At my use of the newly restored bow thruster!!!

Moments later a circle is completed as we pass the megastar Vlogger, Cruising The Cut!

Hmm, makes you really want to stop here! Maybe next time:

You do meet a few navigators who fall into the class of “non-powered” but this one is a first:

A nice straight bit and time for Viv to steer, leaving Steve to have one of those quiet, relaxing moments in the cratch.

Weston Lock and another volunteer to help us through

We’ve never seen so much rape in the fields – here’s a 180 degree panoramic shot

We arrive in Shardlow, the mini inland port and find a convenient mooring outside two pubs. Sunday looks like a hot day. So the plan is to stay put.

The New Inn had a good range of real ales (Derby Brewing Co.), we chose Triple Hop and Stone Fruit, both marvellous (take note DT – Stone Fruit was the best)

They had a little steam rally out side – some biggish steam engines . .

and so ickle ones too . . .

We decided to move on as it was a bit noisy overnight, well, it was a Saturday night. Plus the boat was rubbing against the silt at the front which alarmed the dog, causing him to lie anywhere but the front! Finding a spot nearby was tricky as there was a huge sewage farm (why farm?), so we went on thru the lock and out into the wide confluence of the rivers Derwent & Trent and on to Sawley Cut.

This is a flood gate – always a tad worrying when you pass thru these

And out on the rivers! Hmm, lots of water all of a sudden.

This the river Trent on our right . . . all very serene . .

And this is the river Derwent, entering on our left.

You get lots of pipe bridges on the canal system, usually thin affairs and hardly noticeable but this is what I would call a pipe bridge – bringing water from the Peak district to Leicester.

Don’t look now Steve but there’s a HUGE weir over to your left. OK, I won’t look!

Sunday’s final resting place – Sawley Cut, opposite the grandly named Derby Motor Boat Club. Here for a day or two.

The duplicated Sawley locks are ahead of us – all mechanised – then it’s on to the river Trent for a stretch before heading up the Cranfleet cut to Nottingham. Just by the lock is a new cafe and to come, in May, a micro pub! Yahoo!  A new pub. Quite a niche place as you can’t drive here – so moorers, walkers & cyclists only? Dave, who runs the same, was kind enough to show us round – what a gem, very well kitted out with benches and log burner. A fabulous location for a pub. We’ll come back in June to see how it’s doing (open day is 11th May – enquiries to Here’s a Google earth view of the location:

And here’s a zoomed out view of where we are and where we plan to go – the canal that leaves the Trent Lock junction and heads north is the Erewash, going south is the river Soar (and back home), we’re heading off east-ish . .