Saturday, 14 September 2013

Rochdale 2013 - Muskham Ferry

Rochdale 2013 
Nottingham to Muskham Ferry
26th August 2013

27 Miles - 8 Locks - 7 Hours

Before you all get confused, Wand'ring Bark cant be in two places at once. Especially Muskham Ferry and Netherton!  The fact is that the Rochdale trip reports are being posted retrospectively and this particular post was prepared at Windmill end on the eve of the Black Country Boating Festival.

So back to the trip report:

Nottingham waterfront

Its a bank holiday Monday and the river Trent is heaving as I have never seen it before. Plastic cruisers have been dusted down and wheeled out to play on what must surely be the last heatwave of the summer. Annoyingly, Sainsburys does not open till nine so its a delayed departure but at least we leave with a full fridge and provisions to last us through the empty miles of the South Yorkshire Navigations.

Meadow Lock - Nottingham

We droped onto the Trent at 1.30pm, fighting off eager jam buyers who queued up to buy from our little display basket - the Capt rummaging for change with one hand whilst hanging onto the middle rope with the other! Oh the allure of the Wild Side!

Its was a sparkling day on the river and the late heatwave drought out the locals in droves. Plastic cruisers were thronging the moorings and water skiers were wizzing around, the sound of the highly tuned engines audible for miles around as they blasted around at over 25 knots.

Angell Hardy 2 and crew

Moving at a slower pace, we came up behind what has to be the most glorious modern Dutch Barge called Angell Hardy 2 and I casually remarked that it would be more at home in the South of France. It turned out that Belle had been corresponding with them having been introduced by Princess Matilda. Its a small world.

We really are in the world of the big boys - the plastic cruisers and dutch barges pull away from us  and we find ourselves lagging behind as we progress lock to lock. There are allsorts out on the water - there was even a speeding settee near Farndon, with three wide eyed kids strapped in as it was hauled along behind a ski boat.

Fishermen lines the banks as we worked down to Newark, squinting into a flaming sunset. We arrived at Town Lock well after closing time so it was boater operator, which was repeated at Nether Lock.  The tides permitted a single day trip to Keadby, but we needed an early start from Cromwell. This meant that we had to be near Cromwell and in the end we pulled in at Muskham Ferry, cobbling a mooring out a couple of the much too short finger pontoons and sank a very well received couple of pints of Hopping Gate.

Evening fisherman


Tomorrow its 15 mins to Cromwell and the the long slog to Keadby. 

No comments: