- meeting Mike Coates and lovely partner Julia at Mercia Marina for pre-loading on Waka Huia then dinner at the bistro
- Mick and Julia at Willington for roast lamb on board Waka Huia as our scheduled but short encounter, along with
- Barry and Pauline who came for a week's holiday with us, with Willington as the starting point and Sawley Marina on the Trent as the end point.
- Shardlow, although we had not necessarily intended to get there, as I'd thought that Swarkestone would be a good place to stop. However a pound closure planned for the Monday meant we had to scoot on through, and stopping any sooner after Weston Lock would have entailed
putting up withlistening to a roaring A50.
- Sawley across from the marina - a huge boating day that took all of an hour ...
- Nottingham for lunch and on the way we saw Gary and Carolyn from nb Inca (photo below of them escaping from us).
- It was only a brief stop in Nottingham although we had planned to stay a couple of nights and explore the city. This plan was thwarted by the news that CRT was going to close the floodgates on the Trent because of the violent winds expected that evening. We could not afford to be trapped, so back to Sawley we went - much slower on the way back than the way down: 2.5mph with the flow and wind against us as opposed to 6mph with the flow and the wind increasing our speed. I was very grateful to have Barry steering that whole day as it was more than 6 hours of boating. (I am now officially a weakling and a wuss.) On the way back, we did have a brief chat in passing with Trish and John Woods as we passed their place on the river at Barton in Fabis. We bought Waka Huia (when it was still called Mistress) from them back in 2013. We see that John is now restoring a WWII boat - I didn't get to see fully the signage, so am unclear exactly what the craft is. What I do know is that it will be done beautifully and thoroughly.
- So we moored up back at Sawley, tied up tightly and waited for the storm to arrive, which it did right on schedule at 2am. By 3am we were awake - well, I'd been asleep until David got up to go out and check 'things'. So a bit of lying in bed chatter - a bit like a kids' sleepover - and Barry was deputed to make extremely early morning drinks. Photos were taken out of the windows and we all went back to sleep even though the wind was howling. To be clear though, the strongest gusts were about 65mph. A couple of days later, Wellington had winds of 140kph, i.e. about 85mph. So as NZers we weren't worried about 65mph ...
- the following day was still too windy to boat in comfort as the boat has no keel and acts as a giant sail. So we walked into Long Eaton and back along the river path and towpath up the Erewash Canal. About 8.4 miles in all and lovely to be striding out.
- Shardlow the next day when the wind had died down and we moored in the same place behind the boat that had been there on the 48 hour moorings when we arrived a few days earlier ... We were just facing the other way.
- Sawley Marina ready for the journey by car to the outskirts of London, Surrey and Southampton
And that brings us nearly up to date. For the pictorial story, see below.
|Mike and Julia|
|On the very windy night the moon was out. The twinkly bits aren't stars though, just raindrops on the window|
|Here we are on the river. Given how tall I am I must be standing on the stool, but why when Barry is steering?|
|On our walk to Long Eaton we saw house boats on the Erewash. There were several of them looking rather lovely - reminded me of Amsterdam.|
|This one looked very posh!|
|You can just see Barry in his red coat crossing the footbridge - the rainbow points to him. Pauline is ahead of him (look carefully - she is on the sloping part of the bridge and you can just see her legs below the railbridge)|
|We went for lunch at the New Inn in Shardlow - good food and acceptable chardonnay even though from the US (Jack Rabbit, I think). This sign was on the wall. I agree ...|