Zouch Lock to Trent Lock Pontoon
Our life jackets need a service. They were last done whilst we were in Liverpool and the big date that was put on the back of them reminds us every time we put them on that they should be checked before we head out onto the tidal Trent. We can check the date on the air canisters ourselves and give them a visual inspection, but in a service they are inflated and left for 24hrs to make sure they don’t have a leak. The time before last we had them done at Sawley Marina. We picked them up and then discovered that one of the air canisters that they had replaced would run out/or already had run out before their next check. So it all took longer than was expected.
Sawley could do them, but the chap who does them is on holiday, but they might be able to get them done at the weekend. We then tried Castle Marina in Nottingham. They would send them off to be done and it would take around a week. Before replacing any parts this was going to be cheaper and a better place to hang around for them to be done. So no diversion today up Sawley Lock.
A cooked breakfast and Tilly was allowed to go off and stretch her legs, there will be times coming up when she will not be allowed shore leave so she was told to make the most of it. However she decided to return long before her time was up and sit indoors instead Hmph! She’s not saying much as she’s a bit p’d off with us this evening.
With out of date life jackets on we timed our departure very well as a boat had just come up Zouch Lock therefore closing the bottom gates for us. Whilst we worked our way down the lock and along the next reach of river a Ryan Air plan kept circling. We are close to East Midlands Airport here so planes are not that unusual. Mick checked Flight Radar 24 (he likes planes) and tracked the plane, it was circling and circling. They were doing circuits and bumps, practicing landing and taking off without stopping. Round and round they went, then they circled a bit further off for some scheduled planes to come in and land before carrying on. Just how many trainee pilots were on board this plane, was the instructor in one seat and each trainee taking it in turns to land and take off?
The approach to Kegworth Deep Lock has several weirs off to the side, the main weir channel going in front of a grand house. The lock was ready and waiting for us, winding the paddles up takes some doing due to the depth of water in the lock around 10ft 4 of it.
Kegworth Shallow Flood Lock was open for us to just cruise through. We’d hoped to be able to fill up with diesel at Kegworth Marine but a sign was out saying they were closed, so we’ll have to wait for either Nottingham or Newark.
Ratcliffe Power Station comes in and out of view constantly now, it was busy generating, all the cooling towers steaming away. Ratcliffe Lock our last on the Soar dropped us back down to join the river.
We were soon at Trent Junction avoiding the weir to our right and now pushing against the water flowing down the Trent. Left left left! There are so many ways you could go her, down the weir, Cranfleet Cut towards Nottingham, up onto the Erewash or left up the Trent to Sawley then the Trent and Mersey Canal, this route to the north is closed with winter stoppages.
Soon we could see that there was space on the pontoon, two boats were moored on the inside, but nobody on the better side for views. Already facing upstream we pulled in, tied up and settled down for the day. Tilly wasn’t too happy, Harumph!!! as she wasn’t allowed out. Being on a river on a pontoon constitutes too greater risk for a cat in our eyes. Our nearest neighbour also has dogs, so an added factor in our decision.
With no feline shore leave on the cards we decided to take advantage of the situation. B***stards!! Tilly’s collar was removed, a box reached from the top of the bathroom shelves, foil packet removed the tube from inside twisted, Tilly caught and put on the table. F**ing B***dy B**stards!!!! The first drop of flee stuff goes on relatively easily, but then the alcohol chill factor hits her neck and it is so hard to keep hold of her. Chilling b**stard wetness on my neck! Just where it’s impossible to get at!!!! B**stards!!!! Avoidance tactics and a chase around the boat to grab hold of her, clamp her down, part her fur and administer the rest of the liquid. B………………………………………………..s!!!!!
3 locks, 2 flood locks straight through, 6.08 miles, 1 left, 1 left left left, 1 river down, 1.5 sausages, 3 left for sausage rolls, 2 out of date jackets, 8 circuits, 0 diesel, 8 cooling towers, 1 favourite mooring, 1st Look North in ages, 2 drops, 1 seething sulking soggy necked swearing second mate, 2 complete and utter B*STARDS!!! 1 cat protected from flees for another 3 months.