I went to bed last night with a sore throat, and woke with the beginnings of a cold. Obviously I’ve caught it from someone at the Beacon Boats gathering, but it’s not surprising I suppose, we haven’t been in a room with that many people since I can’t remember when!
After raining most of the afternoon and well into the night we woke to a soggy world this morning, but at least it had stopped raining. A couple of hours saw us at Willington, having successfully navigated the notorious Stenson Lock. Three years ago when we came this way, but travelling in the opposite direction it wasn’t too bad as we were going down, but this morning it was vicious! No matter how slowly I opened the paddles the boat still swung uncontrollably from one side of the lock to the other. Neither of the bottom gates opens fully, necessitating the opening of both gates to get the boat in – good job there is a bridge across the bottom of the lock.
Having serviced the boat we continued on towards Burton, the weather improving all the time.
The aqueduct across the River Dove not long before it meets the Trent, with Monks Bridge in the background. This ancient bridge is reputed to have been built by the monks of Burton Abbey, and makes up for the plainness of the aqueduct.
It was very noisy beside the busy A38 – we’d rather be boating!
A gaggle of geese tried to see us off as we approached Horninglow Wharf
As we reached the Dallow Lane lock, the first of the narrow locks, Rog offered to work the lock – there were lots of people to help (typical!!) as they were queuing above the lock. I’m pleased to say that I drove the boat into the lock from quite a sharp angle without making a prat of myself, and without touching the sides – not bad after well over a year!
The obligatory photo of the sign which tells you that you are entering Marston’s country!
Soon after we came upon a hire boat that had been going along at tickover all the way from the last lock – we had to go out of gear they were going so slowly. They pulled over so we could pass but it wasn’t possible as there was a stream of boats coming the other way. Five boats later we managed to pass. We jokingly asked as we passed if they were on a go-slow – they replied that they didn’t know how fast 4 mph was – “faster than that” we told them! They are obviously on their way back to Barton Turns – if they’ve been going that slowly all week they can’t have got very far.
Soon through Burton, the countryside opens up and there are some nice views
Branston Lock was next, and once again Rog had help, and soon afterwards we reached our intended destination for today, Branston Water Park. Moored up now, with the prospect of fish and chips for dinner tonight. It has turned into a sunny afternoon – hopefully my washing will dry now!
Branston Water Park
11.6 miles and 3 locks