Went to bed last night with the vague hope that we might get away from Bishops Meadow Lock as it hadn't rained for a day or 3. Set the alarm & dressed & breakfasted early before the earliest possible call to Vanda at BW around 8.45. She didn't hold out much hope - the Soar had gone down a bit yesterday but the Trent..well. Retired back into slob mode & finished my book whilst Graham surfed and Joe ambled into the Post Office & Lesley & I planned menus & shopping lists for the haul into Sainsburys. 12.00 the phone rings it's Vanda, "we're opening the rivers". **** I haven't walked the dogs. B****r we haven't any water. What a shambles; it was 1.30pm before we were organised to leave with 9 miles and 6/7 locks - so disorganised we weren't even sure of the exact number-dark by 5 ish!!!
If you look carefully at MR in the starting blocks waiting for NB Caxton you can see a GREEN light instead of the red we've been waking up to.
Then, like number 2 buses, there were green lights everywhere.
We hung a left into the huge Trent (passing the entrance to the Erewash canal).
Then through another green light at the, rather formidable and somewhat confusing Sawley Locks. Fortuately Lesley had come across this before and had a BW key on her-you can't get off at the lock "moorings" without using a ladder so I really didn't want to try & get on & off again for the key. It was all a matter of pushing buttons on a control panel but it took a while to sort out (especially reading instructions in wet ink without your reading glasses -can't they leave a pair of universal readers for the aging population?) and didn't quite work as it said it should; not helped of course by comments from the drivers of two boats, "it's not filling" "we're still not going up" "do you want us to come and work it?" All such comments were soon silenced , however, when we mentioned windlasses & orifices....
So here we all are, 3 hours later, safely moored at Sawley Cut. You can go quite fast downhill on rivers.