Incidents of bad luck come in threes – or so they say. John has now had the third so let’s hope that’s an end to it for at least the rest of this year. Yesterday he leant out of the kitchen window and …………. plop! In went his specs! No chance of retrieving them – too much weed, too much silt, too much wind, not enough sunlight ……….. gone forever! Fortunately for us both he has a spare pair! Unlucky or what!
We are now on The Chesterfield Canal. Last Tuesday when conditions were nigh on perfect we left Torksey early in the morning accompanied by n/b “Skylark”. The passage was timed so that we reached West Stockwith just as the in-coming tide was able to beat the seven foot of fresh water going out. This meant is was pretty calm so John was able to turn directly into the lock. Just as he did so, however, the skipper of an enormous sand barge ignored signals from the lock keeper to slow down and steamed past at about 20mph! This created a huge bow wave so John had to stick “Ellen” quickly into reverse so that we would not be slammed into the top gates of the lock.
NB: Richard ‘Commodore’ Perry – you need to know that the lock keeper gave John 10/10 for not hitting anything! I don’t know what all the fuss was about really I don’t!!!!!!!!!!!
So, The Chesterfield? Impressions so far? (We have, at the moment, only got as far as the really lovely little market town of Retford, about 15 miles from West Stockwith.) But, overall:-
- lots of weed and silt
- very shallow at the edges and we have been ploughing a groove all the way down the middle. However, it is only weed needing to be removed from the prop not duvets, sari’s or bedsprings from old mattresses etc!
- the banks are very overgrown and, in combination with the shallow edges, it means mooring is very limited. The designated moorings are OK but there aren’t many of them and they are not very big.
- the water is really clear and teeming with fish
- there are very few other boats cruising the canal
- the countryside through which the canal weaves is truly beautiful making all the challenges worthwhile.
I’ll let you know if I still feel the same by the time we have reached the top and I have done all 47 locks in 32 miles!