Sunday, 6 October 2013

Keadby and Thorne

Sunday 6th October 2013
No Internet last night so there's two days to relate.
On Friday the rain did arrive, but it wasn't quite as bad as the forecast. We had already made the decision not to move on Saturday, so I took the opportunity to visit Gainsborough. We've passed it several times on our way up and down the Trent, but the moorings didnt look inviting, and anyway we were on a time budget.
I had a look on line, and found that the local buses ran every two hours at 20 minutes to the hour.
I had a word with the lock keeper at Torksey to let him know we weren't travelling on to Keadby today as arranged, but leaving it until tomorrow. I then went down to the bus stop and was pleased to see that I wasn't the only one who thought that a bus was due. It's always good to have confirmation.
Gainsborough was smaller than I expected, and I didn't spend as much time as thought looking around. The only thing of slight interest is the main shopping area is in a place called Marshall's Yard. This area was once part of the famous firm of Marshall, makers of boilers and steam engines. The factory is long gone, but the name lives on in the shopping area.
As promised, the weather on Saturday was much improved. We had been joined by 3 other narrowboats, and we all set off at about 9.00 o'clock. They set a fair pace as we cruised down river
Passing Torksey Castle, now a ruin, it was built in the 16th century. Not really a castle, but a manor house with pretensions. It was burned by royalist soldiers in The Civil War and never rebuilt.

The convoy passes through Torksey rail bridge.

And past West Burton power station.

At this point the others seemed to speed up, and I was finding it difficult to coax more speed out of Lyra. It took me while to consider that the propellor might be a bit fouled. There was none of the usual shuddering that accompanies that problem. I quick burst of reverse, and all was well, we pick up speed and caught up with them easily.
We were now running with the outgoing tide and my satellite speedo was showing 8 mph.
As I mentioned earlier, the three boats were together. Keadby lock will only take a maximum of 3 narrowboats, so it was agreed that we would race ahead and take the lock alone, and they would follow for the next cycle. It all went as planned and we then tied up for the night in Keadby.

Sunday morning dawned bright and we set off expecting to get to Thorne to do a bit of provisioning. The route here is strewn with swing or lift bridges. 
On the plus side though I managed to really piss off a couple of fishermen. God, some of them are miserable, unreasonable sods. The majority of them like boats to slow down and keep to the middle. This miserable so and so shouted at me because he wanted me on the far side. Unfortunately my powers of clairvoyance have temporarily deserted me. How was I to know where he wanted me?
The second one was fishing close to where we wanted to moor up. This is the only place around here where we can see the satellite, and I wanted to see bike racing this afternoon. We tied up a good 30 yds. from him, but he complained loudly, finally saying,"Well I might as well pack up". Anti social, or what?
Anyway, on the way here we met up once again with the three boats from yesterday, so we now had help with the swing bridges, and only had to do three of them. When we got to the only lock there was someone already there and they did all the work, magic! To top it all, the one swing bridge that is always a real pain, because it is poorly maintained by the council, not C&RT, has now been permanently disabled open.

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