On Thursday last 26th April we arrived here at Kings Marina ready for our rendezvous with Janis on ‘Roots and Wings’. The little blue ship, with her New Zealand ensign flying very bravely was tied up snugly alongside her usual jetty and I moored stern-first a couple of spaces away to wait till the lady skipper finished work. This was her last day before being free to embark on her great travel adventure.
Also close by were my Friends Peter and Jeanne who since we last met on the Chesterfield Canal at Retford, now live aboard their new boat ‘Castellan’. Her newness shone out beautifully in spite of the dull and overcast showery day.
Trees hiding the River Tame approaching Fradley Junction
It had been a good passage from Polesworth on the Coventry Canal and up until Fradley Junction the weather remained fairly friendly. But once we were heading in an easterly direction along the Trent & Mersey we were continually blighted by showers, some of them quite heavy and squally enough for me to close the doors behind me on the top step, slide the lid of the hatch close up, wedging me against the back doors and to unfold my great big black umbrella. This kept the plunging rain away from the back cabin completely and of course off me.
The Passage of spring. Young unblemished horse chestnut
Rain to the south of us
We were soon through busy Nottingham, apart from a short stop at Sainsbury’s for provisions, and through Meadow Lane Lock onto the River Trent; the wide and beautiful River Trent.
It was lovely to be back.
Exit from Cranfleet Lock
The river was higher than I had seen it before; well into the amber part of the flood warning gauge and the current carried us swiftly along with us on a low rpm, just maintaining steerage way. However because of the various eddies and currents pulling us strongly in different directions, the Russell Newbery had to work quite hard at times to get us back onto course somewhere down the middle of the river. But mostly it was very peaceful and I was able to share it all very relaxedly with the Swans, Cormorants, Geese, Lapwings, Oystercatchers and of course Mallards in all their mating finery.
Life on the river was unchanged by the weather and progressing as usual.
The showers increased over the days and by the time we arrived at Gunthorpe Lock everywhere was becoming waterlogged with heavy showers becoming more frequent now.
On the pontoon at Farndon
Sunset at Farndon
However the following morning the Sun shone valiantly and sparkled so brilliantly on all the steaming rain soaked surfaces that it encouraged ‘Futurest’ and I to make the final dash to Newark that day.
However soon after leaving the rain came again and by the time we had covered the nine miles to Farndon I had had enough. And since a mooring was available on the inside of the pontoon, we stayed there till the following morning, completing our leisurely passage into Newark at around midday.
The river was even higher by then with the current flowing faster. Great care and concentration was required to make sure we passed through the centre arch of the Town Bridge safely.
We entered without mishap through the narrow entrance beneath the footbridge and into the marina. Our passage was completed satisfactorily.
The Staff in place and the ensign flying for the first time in seven months