Last night was the noisiest mooring we have had for a long time, lots of shouting and swearing plus a large group of young people at the entrance to The New Inn. The noise continued passed 3am. and I didn’t expect to still be against the bank this morning, but we were and other than the disturbance we came to no harm.
Following this walk we set off at 10-30 am just as yet another Hire a Canalboat came along. I have been calling them Canaltime, which of course is the name they use to trade under when they were a Time Share company, but all the people I have spoken to on them are still Time Share owners.
This couple were New Zealanders and had never been on a canal boat before, to say he was unimpressed by the briefing is an understatement. They had only picked the boat up this morning. The end result was Diana worked all the wide locks with help from a Volocky at Stenson. To give the couple their due they did offer to buy us drinks when we stopped for the night at Willington, but as all the decent moorings were full we just stopped at the services and then continued on for a bit. I think they may struggle for a few locks.
You may recall that I mentioned the Derby Canal that use to connect the Trent and Mersey Canal with the River Trent at Swarkestone. This has long been obliterated but if you look at Google Maps even today the old route is quite visible going down through the end of the sports field and joining the river on the bend.
We had a couple of incidents to keep us on our toes. Our New Zealand friends were leading the way. That way we only had to open one top gate. They met two boats at Sarson’s Bridge, the first one was just coming through the bridge but the second well the other side. I saw this and held well back, but after they had gone through the second boat coming towards us waved me through. Sarson’s bridge has some serious underwater obstructions and needless to say the chap who waited for me ended up on them. He tried driving off, reversing off, poling off. In the end I reversed back and towed his stern out into the deep water while he poles off, he was well aground. There is a warning notice on the towpath but it is not very explicit how far from the towpath bank you need to be.
Or next little incident occurred a little later and involved me. Our friends came almost to a standstill, probably leaves round the prop so I slid passed and advised a shot of reverse, which sorted things out. When we arrived at Western Lock the lock moorings are not very long, so I was well forward and tied with the centre line to give him room to get in behind me. When Diana raised the lock paddles the water surge got between my bow and the bank dragging Harnser over to an alarming angle, before I could release the centre line it snapped so the boat swung out across the flow. I managed to get on the stern and just about had things under control as Diana dropped the paddle but then the turbulence swung the bow back to the towpath and the stern to the off side wedging me across the canal. When things calmed down I was able to push the stern away and get straight again, this time laying the stern on the Time Share boat and attaching the front line. We were then able to progress in an orderly fashion. We continued up together through the wide locks.
At Willington we stopped to fill with water and the New Zealanders moored to eat in one of the pubs. We decided to do another couple of bridges and have moored on pins just after bridge 24A. We didn’t meet hardly any boats this morning but since we have been here they have been passing none stop, I hope the double pins hold.