Sunday, 16 October 2011

Silly

Almost on the spur of the moment, we are back on Chertsey. Rather than try to accomplish the eight day or so trip back to Stretton in one go, we decided to spend a couple of days moving from Clayworth to Newark. This was mike's idea really, as we were trying to work out a way he could join me for this trip, freeing Jim up for the 101 jobs that are ongoing back at the house. It would have been nice for Mike too as he's not been on the Chesterfield or the Trent before, but sadly he turned out to be even busier.

We arrived at Clayworth at lunchtime, having had an enjoyable drive up the A1. We said goodbye and thanks to our lovely hosts at the Retford and Worksop boat club, and set off at two. There was much more water in the canal than we came up (praise be!), and we made steady progress. We had hoped to get all the way to West Stockwith, where we are booked to go out at 9.45 tomorrow morning, and almost made it. It was dark though by the time we got to the Misterton locks, and having made it through them, have tied up just below Misterton Low lock - yes, on the lock landing! We decided the chances of anyone coming through before we leave tomorrow were sufficiently small.

These locks are pretty short, and while we didn't notice it on the way up, going downhill it presented a bit of a challenge. It wasn't possible to get back far enough to steer round the closed gate (these bottom few being wide locks) so in three out of the four we ended up with Jim pushing the front across with the shaft.



More interesting were the cills. Of course it was possible, just, to keep clear by keeping the boat hard against the bottom gate, but the cills are at three levels, somit would be easy to be lulled into a false sense of security and let the boat drift back before you were clear; worse, the locks are rounded at the bottom and the lowest level of the cill extends around the side - and, crucially, extends beyond the cill marker. Now I know it would take a lot of doing (though stranger things have happened) but it could be possible to catch your rudder on this bit whilst being forward of the marker, if you weren't aware. The marker is a bit overexposed in this hastily grabbed photo, but you can just see it.

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