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Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Deep water.

We started the morning having to push the boat off the mud from our mooring so that we could get to West Stockwith lock for 0700. The morning was bright but started cold. We arrived just as the lock keeper arrived so we went straight in. I had been told by another boat that there were seven penning out in the morning but it seems the number was four, two at a time. We shared with 'Rorah' who were heading for the Crick Show. The Lockie confirmed that Holmes lock on the Trent would open on Saturday. We left first and headed straight out and let the current take us round.

'Rorah' leaving West Stockwith lock behind us.

It was a lovely morning on the river and we just maintained around 6 knts as that would get us to Torksey Lock at about high water. It was nice to be in deep water again and not rubbing along the bottom when we get close to the banks. I thought that 'Rorah' would overtake us as they had said that they were heading to Cromwell lock that was a couple of hours after Torksey but the stayed behind us. At first there was no view over the banks as the willow hid everything

Hardly a ripple on the River Trent.

It wasn't too long before we got to Morton Bight that held great fear for the pilots when I was coming down here.The current forces you towards the concrete wall on the outside of the bend so very bad news if you get the 180 deg. turn wrong. Mind you that was on 50m ships not 50 feet!

Approaching Morton Bight

Not long after that we came to Beckingham Wharf. This was the destination of the ships I was on, bringing timber in. We would swing with the bow in the bank and then just drift down and moor on the jetty. Just near here there are nodding donkeys pumping oil up from a field that has been producing crude oil since WWII, and makes the place look almost like Texas.

Beckingham Wharf.

A little further on we came to Gainsborough. This was a very busy place in the hey day of water transport on the Trent. There are still some nice looking warehouses that are waiting for conversion. The pilotage district extended from 12 miles out to sea to the up stream side of the stone Bridge at Gainsborough.
Gainsborough Stone Bridge. The only road bridge we were to pass under on the Trent today.

Burton Chateau folly that had a great view down the Trent.

This is where the Roman Road cross the Trent at a ford. It is at Littleborough and was used by Harold after his victory over the Danes at Stamford Bridge on the way to his destiny at Hastings with William. Just think if he couldn't cross and was late for the battle, what may have been?

We passed under a railway viaduct and we were then looking out for the entrance to Torksey Lock. The big sign gave it away in the end. We were there just before high water so the turn into it was very easy. there were no boats on the pontoons. We had called on the radio and telephoned but we got no answer from either. We went right up to the gate and hooted our horn but no effect.

Entrance to the Torksey Lock from the River Trent.

Approaching the lock.

As nobody gave we had to back up to the pontoon on the right but by the time we were there 'Rorah' had tied up and gone to see if there was anybody about. Apparently he had been busy trimming the hedge! He soon had the lock round and we penned up. We carried on to Saxilby so said goodbye to 'Rorah' who were penning down again tomorrow to continue there trip up the Trent.

After the small basin there was quite a length of moorings before we got clear. It is a bit of a motorway as there is a straight of about two miles. 

A very wide, deep and straight canal. Typical Roman? The Fossedyke Navigation is reputedly a Roman construction from about 100AD. They used the Trent and they built it to link up with Lincoln. Foss is Latin for Dyke. On the left you can see the arrow that marks a deer ramp on this stretch. There is a pile of rocks so that deer that have got in the water have a way to clamber up the bank. I don't know how many use it but we saw two that unfortunately didn't find the ramps.

We found a 72 hour mooring at Saxilby and when out for walk in the village we noticed some plaques on several buildings. When buying some stamps at the Post Office we asked about them and they gave us a map and leaflet for the village trail. So we followed it. It was quite interesting and the History Society have put a lot of effort into it. We ended up at St Botolph Church. There is what could be an Anglo Saxon doorway but more likely to be Norman so a stone building has been here for more than 900 years. There is a list of priests of Saxilby Church from right back to 1209. The lost village of Ingleby just north was mentioned in the Domesday Book and there is a list of priest for the chapel there from 1086!

St Botolphs Church Saxilby

Our mooring in Saxilby. We are the front one facing away from the camera.

There is a quiz in the pub opposite, The Sun, the moorings so we may go and be humiliated later.

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