Tuesday, 1 May 2012

The importance of being patient

Not being the most patient of people, I have had to re-invent myself over the last week or so. We are moored back at Kingfisher Narrowboats, at Trent Lock, at the same point we were two weeks ago, going nowhere.
And by the looks of things, that is not going to change one iota, over the next few days. For in common with the rest of the country, it has not really stopped raining here for the last week and when we had a small respite yesterday, the river, which is about 50 metres from where we are moored, kept rising. The flood gates in either direction are both closed for navigation until further notice and the only water users benefiting from this situation are the kayakers who are shooting the weir, very spectacularly most evenings. I was told by one of the bystanders that the guy I was photographing was in a “Dagger Super Ego”, which seemed strangely suitable for the sort of stunts he was pulling.

The pound at Trent Lock. All the mooring rings are under sevderal inches of
water on the left of the picture. The river thunders along the other side of the bridge.

A "Dagger Super Ego" shoots the weir at Trent Lock
There was a small window of opportunity the Saturday before last, when it stopped for a few hours and word got round that the flood lock at Cranfleet would be opening for a limited time, so a small flotilla of mainly hire boats and us battled our way against a very fast flowing Trent back up to the junction with the Erewash and the Soar from Beeston where we had been moored for two days. I was very glad of all 43 of my horses under the flooring, and at times it seemed as though we were hardly moving, and we weren’t. Turning into the Erewash against the flow of the raging river was a bit hairy. I took it very wide and tried to get the current to line us up, before giving it everything she had to propel her in, and I got her into the pound no problem. Once in, there was nowhere to tie up to. All the rings in the pound were under water. And they still are.
Since then we have just been mooching about. While we were in Nottingham Jan painted our back doors and I am very pleased with them. See pic.

The back doors are now finished. Don't they look good?

Mick has done our 50-hour service and John has now hopefully sorted out a small leak we were having from the side doors. We now have as many useless TV channels as I will ever want to watch, now we have a booster fitted, and I purchased a digital signal finder from Argos in Long Eaton which gives a signal when the aerial is facing the strongest transmitter. I just love gadgets, and this one seems to work.
We caught a train into Lincoln on Wednesday and spent a day in the rain shopping. Never been there before and would like to go back sometime and see it in the sunshine.
Last Friday morning Fred and Lisa visited from Scotland. They take possession of the next bespoke Kingfisher build in September, and for a week or so we have been breasted up beside the shell. I always get the boat’s name spelt wrongly but I think it is Chyandour. It was really good to have a chat with them over a cuppa and to hear of their boating adventures and plans for the future.
Our boat has developed a bit of tilt to starboard and yesterday John extracted about 100 kilos of bricks from under our bed and put a few in the bow thrusters tubes to bring the nose down a bit. It feels a lot better now. He also put on the top box cover, almost the same shade of blue as the boat, which looks very smart, and where all our spare wood that was cluttering up the cratch now lives.
Very quickly a daily routine is emerging, based around the little fold-up Brompton bike I adore. Being now, our only form of transport, Pat sets off first by foot, and I follow 15 minutes later by bike and we meet at the Co-Op in New Sawley, about a mile or so up the tow path. There is a good bakery there, a newsagents, a launderette, fish and chip shop and a chemist. What more do you need? I carry back the heavy stuff and she brings back the lighter shopping.
So we are very comfortable here but are now keen to get going. All we need to do is get a mile down the river, through Sawley locks and then we will be in the relatively sheltered environment of the Trent & Mersey Canal, but at the moment that looks unlikely for a while yet, and as I write this more rain is lashing down.

1 comment:

  1. Wow that top picture shows how swollen the river is I remeber having to go up 3 flights od steps to get to the lock gates, you can't even see one now! The doors look good too.