Thursday, 24 October 2013



Monday 14th October
Sawley - Weston-on-Trent, Bridge 9
5.4 miles and 5 locks
We set off in the pouring rain, the flood lock had been closed since yesterday so that was the first one of the day, the level was at the top of the green just into the amber. Then we were passing by the final weir and going against the flow of the Trent. Next was the crossroads with left continuing on the Trent, right being the un-navigable River Derwent and straight on, where we were heading, onto the Trent and Mersey Canal and shortly afterwards into the lock, where the level marker hadn‘t even reach the green! We were hoping to stop off in Shardlow but with full moorings we continued on. At our next lock we were joined by first time hire boaters who were a bit reluctant to share the lock as they weren’t sure they would fit in, but in they came and we did the rest of the locks with them until we stopped just after bridge 9.

Ready for the weather

Not very elegant but at least dry

Leaving Sawley, marker at Sawley flood lock

Passing the weir

And then up the River Trent, quite wide at this section

Nice clear sign, at least we know which way to go

Looking back at the cross 'road'

Marker at Derwent Mouth Lock, nice and low

Waiting for the lock

Nice building in Shardlow

And another

Lock sharing with a couple from South Africa, their daughter and her son

Moored just after Weston on Trent (bridge 9 in back ground)

Thursday 17th October
Weston-on-Trent, Bridge 9 - Willlington
7.5 miles and 2 locks
We had glorious sunshine this morning, a big difference to when we set off on Monday. The boat that had been moored behind us overnight was just getting ready to set off as well so we let them go first and followed on a few minutes later. I got our brekkie of tea and toast and went up to join James. In was indeed a wonderful morning and with the sun on our backs we were quite warm. At our first lock we just missed the boat that had set off in front of us, they had just lifted one paddle to fill the deep lock of nearly 11ft so it was quite a wait, by the time the lock had filled there was a boat waiting to come down then finally it was our turn. Once through we continued on our way through the lovely Derbyshire countryside and now the clouds were beginning to appear. We reach the second (and final) lock of the day, this time the boat in front had about half filled the lock and this was another deep lock with a rise of 12ft 4in. I had to raise the paddles slowly in this one as it was quite ferocious and throwing poor LJ around, it was slow going but we got there. On our approach into Willlington just as we were passing Mercia Marina down came the rain, just a few minutes more and we would have been ‘home and dry’.

Unused railway to Derby - now a brilliant foot/cycle path

Lovely morning

Looking very autumnal now

Unusual building

The old toll house

Massive farm house

Swan family resting/eating in the field

Stenson Lock, very deep and the last wide one

What about boaters!!!

Moored up at Willington - unfortunately near the railway

Friday18th October
Willington - Mercia Marina
0.75 miles
We made our way down to the winding hole and thankfully the boat that had been moored opposite it all night had just left which gave James a little more room to run LJ round to head off to try out Mercia Marina. We moored up on the Midland Chandlers mooring and headed for Reception where we were made to feel welcome, handed over our money, collected our pedestrian entrance zapper and given our berth number along the Avocet pontoon. James did a great job reversing in and once tied up and the shore power connected the washing machine started working overtime. Mercia is a lovely marina and would be our number 1 choice for winter moorings - maybe next year as we’re booked into Cambrian Wharf this year.

On Avocet pontoon at Mercia

13.65 miles
7 locks

377.15 miles

256 locks
8 tunnels
10 swing bridges


  1. I think you look well elegant in your hat !! :) Them rivers certainly look wide, from a solo's point of view, have done it before, but think I'll give rivers a wide berth for the moment. The T&M was where we took the first hire boat from, it was a nice stretch. I'll see you in Brum x

  2. Thanks Jacquie, the Trent was really wide in places but it was the weirs that freaked me out!! Did the last river stretch at Alrewas this morning and after the rain the flow was pretty quick. We're back to the safety of the canal now :) Look forward to seeing you in Brum and we will certainly be over to you too xx