We set off at around 10am this morning, the weather was overcast and windy but at least it was dry.
This is Swarkestone Lock. On this part of the Trent and Mersey canal we have double locks and with only one boat in the lock, if you don’t tie the boat up (which is a bit of a chore as you have to keep tightening the ropes as the boat rises in the lock), the boat gets thrown about a bit - unless the steerer keeps it under control. When we get to Burton on Trent the locks become single ones which is much easier.
Above Swarkestone Lock we passed the old wharf buildings.
A bit further on and a fairly rare sight of a couple of working boats – the first one is ‘Bath III’ .
This is Stenson Lock , the deepest of the double locks with a rise of 12 feet 4 inches.
We arrived at Mercia Marina at lunchtime, moored on the visitor moorings and walked round to meet up with Bruce and Sheila on nb ‘Sanity Again’. They had e-mailed us earlier, as they knew we were on our way, and invited us to call in to see them if we had time. By now the rain had started with brief but heavy showers. We had an enjoyable hour or so aboard “Sanity” where we met Bruce’s sister Jane and also their daughter Elanor with the wonderful Sally, a very posh dog indeed! After saying our goodbyes we walked round the marina to see Heth and Dave for a cup of tea and a tour around their boat ‘takey tezey’. We were amazed how much more space you get on a wide beam! Thanks again for a lovely afternoon to everyone.
Mercia Marina with the defunct Willington Power Station in the back ground. ‘Chance’ can be seen on the visitor moorings just below the left chimney.
We left Mercia at around 4pm and passed through Willington (very busy with boats as usual). Doug did one of his party pieces where he gets off at one bridge, runs to get some shopping while James takes the boat on to the next bridge, and then gets back on board again. We soon found the mooring which Sheila had suggested - just past bridge 25 overlooking the, now very picturesque, gravel pit lakes. A very nice mooring thank you Sheila!