I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Friday 6th July

We woke to the pit pattering of rain but we were expecting it. Richard went to talk to the Lock-keeper who told him that it would be best to go down the Trent today. We headed towards the lock and filled up with diesel and got a new gas bottle. We were joined in the lock by Felicitas and we waited as the Lock-keeper studied the river until he felt the time was right for us to be lowered and then released! “OK” he said “it’s time to go” and emptied the lock. Gingerly we nosed out onto the river but it wasn’t actually running that fast however the GPS said that we were doing 7.5 mph which is breakneck speed for Mary H! The rain started and poured down for the whole 1¾ hour journey. I was nice and warm down below doing the ironing with Simon and Garfunkel blaring out (I do like music when I’m ironing!) I offered Richard a coffee but he declined saying that his coat would get in the way of drinking. I kept shouting up words of encouragement but did feel sorry for him getting soaked out there! As we approached Keadby Lock I donned my jacket and hat (which blew off immediately) and took up my position in the bow. The current swept Mary H downstream, as it had done at West Stockwith, but Richard managed to steer her into the lock fairly easily – or so it looked from my end! Felicitas, on the other hand, had more of a problem and banged her bow into the wall – Richard reckons she is 6 inches shorter than she was! As we went through the lock Mrs. Felicitas and I nattered on about our trip though she was worried about her crockery after the collision!

Just after the lock is a swing bridge which the Lock-keeper operated – the first of 11 swing bridges between here and Doncaster, our next port of call. We pulled over onto the visitor moorings and Richard got straight into the shower and had hot soup for lunch!

We had a quiet afternoon and I noticed Richard nodding off a few times – he hadn’t slept well last night. It turns out that he didn’t sleep as he was worrying about the Trent trip. Apparently in the middle of the night he was working out as to whether we could get a bus back to Newark, pick the car up and go home for a week!

In the evening we had a good natter to Mr. and Mrs. Felicitas and Mr. and Mrs. No More Mondays who are heading up the Trent in the morning. It’s always interesting chatting to other people and picking up tips of places they have been to.

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