Sunday, April 5, 2009

A very interesting day.

Leaving Hazelford after seeing Beth and Christine yesterday I headed off for Newark. As soon as I cast off I saw a boat that believed in carrying spare firewood just in case. Well I carry some but there is nothing like being on the safe side.

One always returns faster than on the outward journey and with what seems like minutes I was at the Bromley Arms at Fiskerton. Well worth stopping at for a pint etc if you can get a space.

The river is rather busy on a sunny Sunday. I had to move out of the way for some of the fast women of Newark. The coach in the launch had trouble keeping up with them and they soon disappeared from view.

One starts to think that there are suicide swans on the river. This pair came galloping along the water straight towards me before taking off and banking over and coming by rather close to the boat. I guess they know what they are doing.

The Town Lock had its fair share of gangoozellers. There is not much of a mooring here but I moored up next to a floating tank that gave access to the lock. Into the lock and as I returned to the stern to move – disaster – I caught my jeans on the window drip ledge and ended up with a tear in them. Got to the stern and found that I had torn the pocket as well and my mobile dropped out on to the deck. Close. It could have gone overboard.

Today’s lesson in ornithology was in view. The Oystercatcher. I bet they haven’t found many oysters on the Trent.

I was going to moor for the night at Nether Lock so that the cat wouldn’t have to negotiate the fence to get ashore. I found nowhere to moor above the lock so went through and tied up the other side. This was not a good place to stop. The gunnel of the boat fitted under the lip of the mooring and would have been hitting the cabin all night. A lovely day so moved on towards Cromwell Lock.

The village of North Muskham is quite picturesque with the church near the river side. It has a fine east window. There is a pub with moorings if you fancy stopping. Just the other side of the village is a long sweeping line of weeping willows. What a pity that there are a few missing in the middle.
And thus to Cromwell Lock.

Here was the most memorable part of the day. A gentleman came down to the pontoon and asked if it would hold a number of people on it to which I replied in the affirmative. There were a number of people on the bank and I then realised that it was a Sikh funeral. I asked if I could take a photograph and with permission given I watched from the boat.

Firstly a service with prayers was held on the bank.

And then part of the group came onto the pontoon to scatter the ashes of the departed on the water.

After the ashes had been immersed white roses were scattered on the water. One gentleman came up afterwards and apologised for intruding. I felt like apologising for being there. I was privileged to be there at a lovely sort of final send off.

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