The Goole Escape, Station Platform. 29th May

Torksey to Newark Weir

Noisy Heron Neighbour

As we were making ready to push off Torksey Lock emptied and out came a narrow boat followed by a couple of cruisers, was this the start of the cruising club descending?

Torksey Low

Other cruisers that had pulled up last night had already headed off, one bound for Hull a much easier trip for them round Trent Falls with the tides due to their engine capacity, suspect they would be there at a different time too when the depth would be greater. All the same they’d have to keep to the narrow channel at the end of the Trent to avoid the Sand Island.

Last of the cooling towers

We pushed out a little before the flood and turned into the still out going tide to continue our journey southwards. It being Saturday morning we wanted to be settled before the weekly Geraghty Zoom which we did as we cruised along. There had been Christine’s birthday during the week when there was a family get together. Today was Duncan’s birthday so we sang to him. Anne was visiting Ruth, James and Penelope, so lovely to see family being able to get together again.

Windmills of various sorts, one more lot of cooling towers. This stretch of the river is really quite familiar and with there being a spring tide still we were given a push for quite a while against the fresh.

Compared to the River Ouse the Trent is that bit more open. There are flood banks, but mostly they tend to be set back and with fewer trees lining the banks there is plenty to look at. Sheep sat in the shade under trees and cows cooled their feet in the river whilst the geese showed off their new youngsters all in a line.

Clapper gate

Nobody seemed to be following us, maybe the Lockies yesterday had over estimated the number of boats coming out for the weekend. But it just turned out that they weren’t so keen to be on their way.

After being in the north for so long with no body able to move we are not accustomed to moving boats. Today this was going to be different, very different. On coming cruisers speeding along had to suddenly slow when they saw us, they were almost certainly breaking the speed limit, their wash most definitely breaking on the banks. This was most probably the reason for the mud to be damp two foot higher than the level of the river.

Then boats from the cruising club caught us up. In batches of three of four they appeared behind then overtook us. Some not too bothered about the numerous sunken islands as there are along this stretch. Blimey it was busy!

We followed our navigation notes, lining up with pylons and the white dome of a distant windmill and used the bridge arch where the ENGLAND graffiti really should be refreshed.

Catching up

All the time we were gradually catching up the narrowboat that had come past this morning. At around the 49km mark there is an old gravel jetty time to call Cromwell Lock and let them know we were just about there.

Passing us by

Three cruisers passed us shortly before the final bend, we and the narrowboat in front just trundled on knowing that the lock would be waiting for our arrival. The weir came into view, we turned right towards the big concrete structure that is Cromwell Lock. A couple of cruisers sat on the visitor moorings below the lock having their lunch.

Cromwell Lock

We pulled into the lock behind NB The Earl, found suitable blue risers for our ropes and waited for the gates to close behind before the paddles were lifted to fill it up.

The Lockie a familiar face came down for a chat, take our name and number and to see if we’d be requiring the next lock.

Off tidal waters

When the top gates opened we had now left tidal waters. Oleanna beamed a smile back at us. The cruisers were heading onwards, so was The Earl, but we planned to stop for water and lunch if there was any space.

Well we timed that extreamly well. There were a couple of gaps we’d fit into, one just by the water point where the wall changes from low to high. I got the low end, Mick the high, a friendly chap came and helped us to moor up. The hose was set up to fill the tank, side hatch opened and we could enjoy lunch knowing we were at last off tidal waters which have been limiting our cruising times.

Chocka Block at CRomwell

Cromwell is one of our favourite mooring spots, more so in less popular times. Cruisers came up the lock, passed by, circled round to moor on the high wall back towards the lock. With our tank and bellies full we pulled away, much to the delight of a lady from a cruiser who dashed to move her boat, now she could have a drink without having to clamber down a long ladder.

On the four mile trip to Nether Lock we were passed by a jetski and over taken by a cruiser, the later arriving at the lock seemingly unannounced to the lock keeper. We’d been asked to wait as the lock was full of boats descending, so we hung back under the East Coast Main Line bridge, trains rumbling overhead.

When the gates of the lock opened it released a swarm of ribs which all zoomed out in a hurry, each creating their own big wash which left us bobbing for some time.

That’s new an Archimedes screw above Nether Lock

We shared the lock up with the cruisier, it seemed they were out of practice with locks and spent a bit of time enquiring how to operate them when no lock keeper was on duty.


They took forever to untie, so we led the way out of the lock and into Newark. Our last visit to Newark was two years ago in February. The fishing pods on the first bend have gone. Kings Marina where we spent the winter of 2015/16 due to medical factors has now changed hands, a quick glance round showed some familiar boats.

The scrap yard by Aldi has vanished. Kiln pontoon was almost full, just a few git gaps suitable for a cruiser, but not us. The high and low wall opposite were filled with cruisers, as was the wall opposite the castle.

Town Lock and Castle

We’d radioed ahead to Town Lock where a boat was awaiting our arrival. A helpful gongoozler helped us flick our ropes over the bollards and then we gradually rose. Our exit was delayed as someone was hogging the Lockie asking how to operate the locks when not manned, they didn’t seem to know about the key of power (C&RT key).

A rather nice mooring, so long as no one walks on your roof.

Heather had suggested to us her favourite mooring in Newark, we’d spotted Bleasdale here back in October 2015. As with most of Newark moorings there is a high wall a similar height to the roof of a boat. We pulled in, got the tyre fenders out. Not a suitable mooring during floods as it is right by the weir, but today it was fine. A touch of shade from the trees.

Mick headed off for a Saturday newspaper and some milk from Asda, then we settled down for the remainder of the afternoon and evening. Another good days boating.

3 locks, 22.07 miles, 17 boats towards us, 14 overtakers, 1 jetski, 1 sunny day, 2 birthdays, 1 full water tank, 1 boat off tidal waters, 1 newspaper (sadly not free), 3 giggling ladies enjoying the evening sunshine, 1 final Look North.