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Monday, 30 June 2014

Sharing to Shardlow and Sawley.

We started the day by walking to the garden centre that you can get to from bridge 15. It has a lovely collection of plants and the cafe looked very inviting, but we resisted. So many garden centres have very few plants these days and tryt to flog you furniture, gifts, dinners and equipment and have the minimum of actual growing things. Swarkestone Garden Centre definitley had more than usual. We bought a couple of begonias to place in the teapots that we have that have cracked for various reasons. When I came to try to drill holes in their bottoms for drainage I failed so will have to obtain a drill to do the job before planting them.

We got off about 1100 and stopped for water just a little further on before Swarkestone Lock. By the time we had penned down there was another boat just arriving at the top so we decided that we would go slowly and make a pair it the next lock. We trundled on and passed a kestrel and later a jay but were unable to get photographs of them despite being close to us. The mile posts on the canal are marked between Shardlow and Preston Brook. The actual end of the Trent and Mersey Canal is not Shardlow but Derwent Mouth which is about a mile further away.

The milepost is actually a newer one. The genuine ones have a little plaque at the bottom 'Made in Stone' where as this one was made for the Trent and Mersey Canal Society.

By the time we arrived at Weston Lock they had caught up. A hire boat was penning up as we arrived. He had only opened one ground paddle of a double lock as he didn't want to have the boat thrown about, but was wondering why it was taking so long to fill. These gates all seem to leak at the bottom gates. He was soon on his way and we were penning down with 'Blue Moon' in the pen with us. 

We continued together through Aston Lock where there was another hire boat arriving at the bottom of the lock. He was tied up very near to the bridge with a very loose centre rope. I explained that there was a very big flow when the paddles were opened so he should handg on to the head line. I hope they both had a good time. I can't remember what it was like the first time I did a lock but there is always nervousness about doing it right,especially when others are watching. I don't think that ever changes.

A very strong flow from the lock when the paddles are opened to lower the lock.

We continued on to Shardlow and shared the lock once more. This time there was no boat coming up so we had to shut the gates ourselves! 'Blue Moon' were stopping over in Shardlow and we were continuing on to Sawley. We passed through Derwent Mouth Lock and were back on the Trent. We passed under the M1 motorway bridge and were soon through the flood lock and into Sawley Cut. We tied up on the visitor moorings and later went for a walk to the 'village' and had a pint of 'Magic Sponge' from Twaites at the White Lion and a Golden Pippin from Copper Kettle at the Harrington Arms before heading back for tea.

Passing under the M1 on the Trent. The current is very little today so we hope we will have no problems with water on the Soar.

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