Boatwif Blog

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Upstream to Denver

“See you at 0600 tomorrow then,” Daryl Hill, the Wash pilot had said. King’s Lynn is a good-looking town, as had been discovered in a recce in February 2014.  However, the plan for a two night stay on the King’s Lynn pontoon had been foiled as spaces on it for Friday night had been previously booked. The boats had to clear the mooring by 12 noon – and the departure to Denver had to be at the midpoint of a...

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AWash!

Boston to King’s Lynn: 29 miles, 1 lock Whose idea was this? Pitching, sliding, rattling, tossing … this was not serene and peaceful narrow boating! But to backtrack: Cleddau, Tentatrice and crews had navigated to Boston in South Lincolnshire en route to Bedford for the mid July River Festival . The cruise plan was to cross the sea (The Wash) from Boston to King’s Lynn in Norfolk, guided by a pilot who has knowledge of the local waters. The trip...

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Wandering down the Witham

“I’ve told the others that there could be a boat trip. The boys might be interested.” So said Cheshire Mum, while regaling her own disrupted travel plans to Lincolnshire for an annual Graftonite * weekend. On Sunday there was a text: we’ll be down soon after 1030. “Down” was the River Witham at the pontoon at Fiskerton Fen.    They (how many would that be?)  would be walking down from the farm and the campsite. Suddenly there was a boarding...

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In Line of Sight

Lincoln – Washingborough – Fiskerton Fen: 7¾ miles, 1 lock Cleddau and crew cruised out of Lincoln on Thursday afternoon to a delightful mooring pontoon at Washingborough. The moorings are beside the Water Rail Way, a walking and cycle path that shadows the river bank the 30 odd miles from Lincoln to Boston.    Tentatrice left the next morning,      crew prepared for all weathers, while Boatwif went in search of a post box in Washingborough village. . Poppies and...

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Shore leave in Lincoln

Cleddau left her high security safe place at Burton Waters on Wednesday afternoon. Tentatrice left first,     but Cleddau was delayed until mid-afternoon by an engine service. The Captain manoeuvred the boat carefully from her mooring, a tight right,    a wriggle right,    then a mooring against the fuel jetty.     Bills paid, there was a push off from the stern, a holding tight at the bow then, with Cleddau’s nose pointed at the marina exit it was OFF.  There...

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Tidal to Torksey

Passage along the tidal sections of the Trent is determined by high water times at Hull. On Sunday afternoon (May 13th) the friendly lock keeper at Cromwell got off his sit-on mower and led the Tentatrice and Cleddau crew reps up the flight of steps to his lock control cabin.    The best time to depart from Cromwell Lock, it transpired, was four hours after Hull high tide. Tide tables were checked and 0900 on Monday morning confirmed as the...

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Historic Newark-on-Trent

In six years of living about 14 miles or so away from Newark there are memories of only two visits, once to a toy shop and once to a tailor. Make of that what you will… Newark sits on the Fosse Way (the Roman road now known as the A46) and beside the Trent. The A1 is close by and the East Coast main line railway runs through the town. It has long been a transport crossroads… Back in 1942...

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Between two castle towns…

Nottingham to Newark: 21 miles, 7 locks by river, 21 miles by road. From the babbling waters at the Shugborough Estate Essex Bridge (photo from 16th April)    to Holme Lock,     just east of Nottingham, is 43¾ miles and 28 locks.  A notice beside Holme Lock provides some vital statistics: the lock chamber is approximately 40 feet deep when full and the contents would fill about 10,000 bath tubs. Big lock – serious river! About 2 miles further on...

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Two boats to Nottingham

Boats have been arriving at Nottingham for centuries – while the Tentatrice and Cleddau crews arrived (and left) in rude good health that was not the case back in 1330 when two boats arrived on a very grisly mission – more on that later in this post. The Cleddau and Tentatrice flotilla left Trent Lock     on Tuesday in bright sunshine,   travelled east along the Cranfleet Cut, dropped down onto the Trent and   cruised the next four miles to Beeston...

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To the Trent

Willington – Trent Lock: 14 Miles, 7 locks (over 2 days) From the Staffordshire moorlands the River Trent wends its way south and east towards Nottingham. A charming babbling affair in Staffordshire, by the time it has swung east into Nottinghamshire it has become navigable. The canal, the Trent and Mersey, follows the course of the river fairly closely. The changing views across the broad sweeping valley show signs of industry, both past and present: agriculture,     gravel extraction, brewing,...