This morning we reversed out of the moorings in the entrance of the Fossdyke and onto the main river in a very strong wind, thank goodness for the hydraulic bow thrusters which made light work of it. As we set off there were white horses on the waves of the river and the gusts could be felt knocking the boat sideways. Fortunately the wind was behind us for most of the way which helped us make reasonable progress against the outgoing tide. This photo was taken in one of the calmer spots as I did to want to take risks in the full force winds.
After Dunham Toll bridge comes a very tight S bend and there is a wall of sand bags jutting out into the river making it even narrower. I am not sure why they are there but it looks as though it is to deflect the heavy flow away from the bank.
Further on is the impressive Fledborough viaduct with it many arches spreading across the flood plane.
One bird that still managed to fly alright was this military Chinook which flew low overhead.
There are several water ski clubs from Torksey to Cromwell although non were out today.
Buffeted by the strong winds we eventually reached Cromwell Weir which is the largest on the Trent and was the scene of an accident when 10 members of the 131 independent parachute squadron of the Royal Engineers lost their lives whilst taking part in Expedition Trent Chase.
As we arrived at the lock there were two narrow boats exiting the lock so that we able to go straight in and roped up fore and aft to the hanging wires as is normal practice. The lock began to fill normally and then suddenly there was a surge of water from the paddles being opened too quickly and I suspect unevenly which catapulted out boat across the lock into Nb Autumn Years. At the same time they shot forward as they could not hold their ropes. June was controlling our bow rope and was nearly pulled out of the boat into the lock. Fortunately the cratch cover saved her but was torn beyond repair in doing so. This was a terrifying experience for June and it took her the rest of the day to get over it. In all our years of boating we have never had such an experience particularly when under the control of a professional lock keeper. They are normally so careful and safety conscious when narrow boats are in river locks to ensure such incidents don’t happen. The Lockie was unapologetic and just dismissed our protests saying he had only opened the paddles half way.
We motored on to Newark and through Nether Lock where a Volunteer was on duty and who operated the lock correctly so that we went through in a safe and secure manner without the slightest problem.
Initially we had to moor up to the high wall opposite the Castle but the girls found it difficult to climb up the ladders as they were not where we needed them to be to get off the boat. Graham and I walked back to the Pontoon Moorings and had a chat to two narrow boat owners and asked if they could move up slightly so that we could get one boat in and then breast up with the other. They were very helpful and moved up even helping us to moor. A big thank you to them both.
Later we went out for a nice meal with Graham and Carolann and their grandson Sam and his girlfriend Hanna. It was a great night and good to meet Sam and Hanna at last.