Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Back to the Trent

We are now moored above Cromwell Lock which is the tidal limit of the River Trent.  So this post is a catch up to show how we got here.  Today it is pouring with rain and so I am catching up on domestic computer chores like the household bills.

Having come up from the Navigable Drains and back on the better travelled waters of the River Witham, we retraced our steps to Lincoln and to the River Trent at Torksey.

We often see ducklings messing about by the sides of the river with mum some distance away.  But we've noticed that when it comes to crossing the big wide river, mum insists that they all behave themselves and follow in a strict line astern.

We think this is a Spitfire, but it is possible that it is a Hurricane.  Anyway the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is at Coningsby which is close to the River Witham.  We were treated to a flypast of a couple of Spitfires while cruising up the river.

We moored near Woodhall Spa and cycled into the village.  This is the village sign which makes much of its old railway which is no more.  The sign however does not reference the fact that the village became a spa town when an exploratory coal mine produced no coal but found a mineral spring which was then exploited.  The village is like a smaller version of Tunbridge Wells and is very attractive.  We had tea at the Tea House in the Woods and bought fish and chips before cycling back quickly to eat it before it went cold.

In the morning a Roe Deer visited the mooring and this picture was taken from Leo.  These deer seem very common round here.  We've seen three on our short walk this morning.

There are two locks on the 30 miles of river between Lincoln and Boston which gives you an idea of how flat the landscape is.  Here is Leo waiting below Bardney Lock while we get the lock ready.

The second lock is Stamp End Lock on the outskirts of Lincoln and once up that the picture shows Leo coming through the city.  There were lots of people about because it was Saturday.

The river goes under some medieval buildings on a bridge on the High Street.  This is called the Glory Hole and the picture shows Leo approaching it.  Though clearance here is no problem for Leo, large and high cruisers cannot pass through.  

The other side of the Glory Hole you come out into a large lake called Brayford Pool where the Fossdyke meets the River Witham.  Here you are as likely to meet a large cruiser or trip boat as you are to meet a narrowboat.

We stayed two nights in Lincoln.  The Lincoln Festival of Cycling was taking place and we watched some of the races as well as having a lazy day on the Sunday.

We wanted to look round Ellis Mill but as you can see they are busy restoring its sails, so it was closed.  The mill lies on Mill Road which used to have nine windmills along it.  This is the only one left.

In between showers there was lovely sun and we spent several hours reading the paper and lazing in the sun on Sunday having done the tour of the Castle walls on Saturday.  Oddly Lincoln Castle, which like the Cathedral is on the top of a steep hill above the river, never had a central keep.  This chap is George III who looks rather smug despite his clothing of moss or algae.

Here is the view of the Cathedral from the Castle walls.  The view of the Cathedral dominates the landscape for miles around.  The landscape is almost flat for miles but the city is on a hill.

This view is across from one side of the castle to the other.  The tall tower is known as the Observatory Tower because one governor of the prison, which was within the castle walls, was a keen astronomer and he kept a telescope up there.

On Saturday evening the cycle race was the 'Uphill Dash'.  The cobbled road climbs at 1 in 6 up to the Cathedral and Castle and heats took place to climb it.  Each heat took just 35-45 seconds but it made for exciting viewing.

On Sunday morning was the women's elite race and in the afternoon was the men's.  We missed the women's (got up there too late), but saw some of the men's race which went  up the steep hill on each one of the 13 laps.

Here the riders have turned a sharp corner where the gradient is steepest.

On Monday we cruised back to Torksey where yesterday we set off up the last of the tidal sections of the River Trent to Cromwell Lock.  It was blowy and some long straight sections were a bit choppy, but we had little rain and all went well.  Glad we didn't opt to come up the river today.

About 12.30 pm the lockie let us down onto the river.  In this view Raggle Taggle is seen following us out of the lock.

This sign is at the end of the Torksey cut which joins the lock to the Trent. We turned left towards Cromwell.

One of the first sights on the Trent is Cottam Power Station.  You can see in front of us a yacht (with mast down) called Grace Mary which came out of Torksey Lock just behind the two narrowboats.  She is quite a bit faster than us, so soon overtook us.

This  top section of the tidal river is very bendy and there are more bridges than the lower sections.  This is Fledborough Viaduct.  The advice in our Trent Guide is to go under the "England" graffiti, but this has largely worn away.

At one point there were lots of cows by the river.  This picture also shows why you don't go round the inside of the bends.  It's a bit shallow.

This old windmill is at Carlton on Trent and is a welcome sign that you are nearly there.  In fact there are kilometre signs all the way up the river from Gainsborough so you should not be in any doubt.

Round the last bend you can see the huge Cromwell Weir which marks the tidal limit.  Tucked round to the right is the huge lock which lets you up onto the non tidal river.

Once the lock keeper lets you into the lock the gates close behind you shutting out the tide.  We shall not see tidal water again until we get to the Thames.

So, after a month on the water, we are heading south towards Newark and then Nottingham where we hope to meet some friends that live around there.

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