Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Cromwell Lock and the Tidal Trent

First Recon to Cromwell Lock. Just north of Newark, this lock separates the tidal Trent from the non-tidal Trent. It is near here we will have to hold up and wait for the tide to be right for our run down to Torksey lock.
Unless you put the postcode of the lock cottage into your sat nav you would never find the lane in Cromwell village to get to the lock. It is a very well kept lock with large areas of cut grade, benches and picnic tables plus the odd brick built bbq.

First view of the lock from upstream on the Trent
The lock keepers were extremely friendly, they explained the best times to head down the Trent and sold us a copy of the Tidal Trent chart. A bit expensive at £10 for an A4 booklet but full if information that I hope will keep us off any sand bars.

The lock itself is BIG but we have done these before when we ventured down to Gunthorpe a couple of years ago. It was the first year we had TM, before we realised we knew nothing about boating.

Generally it would not be practical to moor on the bank above the lock. The area is dotted with rings and mooring points but the water level in the summer us a good 10 feet below the bank. Not much chance of getting Spot on and off the boat. There is a pontoon large enough for a few boats so no problem if we decide to stop overnight.

We sat by the lock to have a picnic, next to the bench was this memorial, so sad.
This memorial is dedicated to the ten men of 300 Troop 131 Independent Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers (V) who tragically lost their lives on 28 September 1975 whilst on "Exercise Trent Chase",  an 80 mile navigation exercise on the River Trent.  Eleven men were in an assault boat on the River Trent during a force 6 gale, with the river in flood, when their assault boat was swept over a weir known as the Devils Cauldron. Ten men were drowned and one survived by clinging on to the assault boat. The scene of the tragedy is marked by a piece of Scottish granite with an inscribed plaque bearing the names of those who perished. Another memorial, pictured below,  was established in Zetland Park, Grangemouth. The men are also commemorated at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

On the way home we found The Muskham Ferry pub just above Cromwell lock. The beer was good the food reviews look good and the pub has mooring for 6 boats so a good place to stop before moving down the river.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Tidal Trent and The Pennines

This years summer cruise has been a bit and bob year. We seemed to spend most of our time cruising up and down the Trent & Mersey between Fradley and Shardlow with various problems with me of TM. The up side of all of this is I have a better understanding of the fresh water system on TM and we have a new fully functioning toilet. The summer was not a total loss. We did manage the Leicester ring with a couple of important detours. We finally found time to turn left at Foxton and visit Market Harborough. The Ashby Canal has been an thorn in our side. It is only 15 miles from Castle Donington but we had to admit we had never ventured under that little narrow bridge.
Next year we are planning a big (for us) cruise, most if which will be on new waters.

Planned 2015 Cruise
In a nutshell, down the Trent to Keadby then back over the Pennines. Not sure which route back over the Pennines, that decision may not be made until the very last minute. The trip has a number of firsts for us. First time on the Trent past Gunthorpe. First time a tidal river. First time "Up North" on TM.
Over the winter we will be making a few reconnaissance trips to various key points on the trip so we know what to expect when we get there and to build our anticipation of the cruise. The details of the Recon Missions will be documented on this blog. Not that I think many people will be interested but   it is a good place to put the information where I can find it next year when we are out on TM.
Watch this space! or not.
Yesterday we had an email from our friends Angie and Steve. The have taken the plunge and moved onto their new narrowboat Jack 'n' Janner and are currently cruising somewhere near London. Congratulations and best wishes. We look forward to meeting up with you on the cut. If anyone out there on the cut spots Jack 'n' Janner, give them a wave and say Hi.