Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Bank Holiday Fun

On Saturday we left our “home” mooring at MGM Boats to enjoy a great day continuing downstream on the River Soar.


It’s a short but delightful river in all it’s parts none more so than Normanton-on-Soar which is a pleasure to cruise past.


Some of the houses at Normanton verge on the impressive scale we’re used to seeing on the Lower Thames.


The old and the new are equally up-market …….


……. not quite as up-market as this residence situated on the backwaters near Kegworth Deep lock - which is where we’d organised to meet up with ……….


….. friends Louise and John on nb “Ploddin’ Along”. A chillier day than expected but as soon as we arrived the sun shone and things warmed up nicely, ready for our BBQ.


John and Louise’ dog Jasper had a whale of a time with us.


A great selfie by Louise.


Doug and John before the fire was lit.


Jasper’s ball kept falling into the canal (mainly due to Doug’s poor aim!). Just like to say that neither Doug nor the dog were injured during this retrieval operation!


Eventually Louise resorted to her ‘apple bobbing’ technique for ball retrieval. (not really!)

We had a great evening, all of us, and it was brilliant to catch up with J and L again and we’re looking forward to the next time.


On Monday we continued on our last leg down the River Soar. The last lock being at Ratcliffe - overlooked by it’s enormous power station.


At Trent Lock the River Soar meets the River Trent and the Erewash Canal and Cranfleet Cut also adds to the complexity of the junction.


We moored up on ‘the wall’ at the start of the Cranfleet Cut (the way you get to Nottingham) to await the arrival of Mark and Rachel from MGM travelling in the very smart and novel MGM weekend hire boat.


With them were Rachel and Ray, having just taken delivery of their brand new MGM Weekender and were on their maiden voyage.


We all piled into the Trent Lock for an evening meal together – Doug, MGM Rachel hiding behind her menu (!), Rachel, Ray and Mark (the only one paying attention!). It was a great night and thanks to you all for your company.


Our journey continued today (Tuesday) as we headed for the Trent and Mersey canal.


The ‘road’ sign is important to tell strangers to these waters where to go. It’s an odd junction, with the confluence of the rivers Trent and Derwent and the canal tapping off as well, A tricky bit of water when the rivers are running fast. They approach each other from opposite directions and meet just where you want to enter the canal. All was well today as there was virtually no flow whatsoever.

It was another cold day with the addition of a strong wind, but at least we were being blown onto the safety of the moorings at each lock. When we reached the Ragley Boat Stop there was room for just one more. We managed to get tied up, electricity hooked up, coal bucket full, TV aerial positioned and all hatches battened down just as the rain started. How’s that for timing? Or perhaps it was just damned good luck!

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