We were away at 9 30, a boat had gone by at 7 30 but we weren’t that keen to get away. Swarkestone lock was of course empty and a boat arrived below to come up, as he was single handing we did the work for him. Below the lock a Canaltime boat pulled away just ahead of us and we shared the next couple of locks together.
The steerer told me that he swaps his “Timeshare” in to get a boat every October.
We met a lone canoeist coming towards us just after Western Lock, we were to see him again later in the day. We continued on to Aston lock where a local boater was helping another Canaltime boat who was coming up. He told us of a boater who managed to leave Shardlow lock with all paddles up. I can only think they got confused and wound everything up instead of down. We did Shardlow alone as the others stopped for lunch and to fish for a while. You can see from this photograph what sort of day it was turning into.
We stopped below Shardlow Lock first to fill with water, then through the bridge to the moorings for lunch. After lunch we set off again just as another boat came down, we followed them through the flood lock,no lights on today and then shared Derwent lock with them. We let them leave first as they were heading down to Nottingham where as we intended to turn up the Trent at Derwent Mouth as we have never done that before. There use to be a concrete horse bridge across the Trent to allow the horses towing the boats to carry on down stream. It was demolished several years ago and all that’s left is this little piece on the upstream bank. They did eventually build a new bridge but its not much good for its original purpose as its about 100 yards up the river. Its great for cyclists and walkers.The location of the new bridge can be seen on this shot from Google Maps, I have marked where the old one was in red.
We have not been up here before, there is not much to see other than a very small entrance to a large marina on the right just before you reach Cavendish Bridge. Part way up we met the canoeist again on his way back to Shardlow. He had been up the Trent and Mersey canal, carried his canoe to the river and then come down the river to rejoin the canal at Derwent Lock. It was 3 hours since we last saw him.
The guides all list this as the head of navigation but there are no signs to indicate this. We went under the bridge and then just dropped back with the flow winding with our stern going towards the marina entrance. The river here was running at 1.2 MPH as measured on my Ipad, I don’t know how accurate they are. Coming back down stream I was doing well over 5 MPH with only moderate engine revs. All this with the river on a very low level according to the gauge below Derwent Lock.
We locked up through Derwent lock with yet another Canaltime boat. As we made our way passed Chapel Farm Marina we where aware of a plume of red smoke over in the distance. When we enquired with one of the local boaters it turns out that this is where they dispose of out of date smoke flares, I don’t know if they dispose of rocket ones in the same way. We continued up the Trent and Mersey canal to moor for the night on the 48 hr moorings outside The New Inn where we went for dinner. I would not hesitate to stop here again with a nice meal and 6 beers on the pumps plus Cider from the barrel.
10 miles 1 Canal, 1 River 1 junction 5 Locks, one twice in 5½ hours. Note how when on the Trent we doubled back on ourselves.