Thursday, July 7, 2011

Shireoaks at last and return to Retford

 So we escaped from Worksop and right next to the Town Lock is a pub and as the weather is good the patrons keep their eye on the boaters and may or may not :-) give advice as to where you are going wrong.  We got through unscathed :-)

Moments after the lock is the Priory shopping centre.  A decent mooring here but width is restrictive so you are unable to just moor up anywhere.

Arrival at Morse Lock and it looks a bit different to the usual due to the metal bridge with what looks to my jaundiced eye like a couple of Phoenix type birds stuck on.

and then I was stuck before I had even got through the gates.
  so I pushed and pulled and managed to get the small fenders up that seemed to be causing the problem and
  eventually got in.  I was soon to be got at by Rojer with a J who complained that blog was badly in need of updating.  Rojer travels up and down the Chesterfield canal recording all that he sees of interest and also searches the internet for mention of same.  Sandra complained that I was being lax in the blog area and put this down to tiredness on my part. The main problem has been lack of internet access according to Lee. :-) and who am I to argue but signal has been poor in places.

I keep my eye open for winding holes just in case.  This one has a bridge over nothing that leads nowhere.

Good mooring and the Lock Keeper pub to frequent while here.  There is also a Sainsbury a short walk away and near the pub.  All you need from a mooring.  The boat sat there at the mo is nb Dreamcatcher from Shireoaks and is flying the Red Dragon.

Had to pull in and get the two flags together.  :-)  The owners were kind enough to offer us the use of their mooring in the marina but as it turned out it was rather windy and easier to just spin the boat and moor on the usual mooring.

We have come across a lot of youngsters this trip.  Always happy to help and open or close a lock gate.

Managed just the once to see the masons marks in a lock.  This one had just the one and it was on most of the stones.

A little further and very near to Shireoaks now and we have some more help from some very polite children.  One young lad was very taken with Dash and I think he would have stowed-away given half a chance.  We did meet them later on in the trip while moored up back at the Priory Mall :-) 

They had a look inside and are all going to pester their parents to buy them a boat each :-)

The entry into the marina is very tight and  takes a bit of getting round.  Its all very quiet so take all the time you like as you wont be holding anyone up.

Masses of room inside that could be used for moorings at some stage. 

Next morning we took a walk upto the end of all the locks that have been reinstated over recent years.

 First boat we have seen since Dreamcatcher the other day. They had been up to the end.  We had decided not to as we needed to be back in Retford and 31 locks in a couple of miles might slow us down rather a lot.

It was one lovely peaceful view after another.  In the sunshine we were soon ready for a sit down

when we arrived at a seat put in place in memory of a lady who had lived many years at the canal cottages nearby.

 The locks are in some cases in groups of two or three and a couple are staircase with the top gate of one lock being the bottom gate of the next.

Crystal clear water due to the lack of boat movements and the thousands of fish from fry 5mm long up to the huge things crossed with Moby Dick can be easily seen as we walk.

Not far now from our turning point.  Plenty of people us the towpath and  up here there is the absolute minimum of rubbish to be found.

Stopped here for a while and had a read.  Got some grass stains.  My first for years but only cos the grass was damp! Honest :-)

and we return to Shireoaks and move on back towards Worksop.

On the way back spotted this bungalow and the owner is proud of his canal and along with the sign telling of the opening of the canal in 1777 there is a small signpost to the Giants Staircase.

Back at the marina.  There is a project underway to build, using traditional methods, a Chesterfield Heritage Narrowboat.  They have a long way to go yet by the looks of things. 

And we are off.

Wow!!! Another boat coming up Happily they were not in a hurry as I got stuck again :-) Another quick flush to get out.

Moored for the night out in the middle of nowhere.  Dash soon ashore and after the wildlife.  Mice, Moles, Rabbits, and Shrews.  All become presents that need to be spotted before leaping out of bed onto them first thing in the morning.

The Lock Keeper and stuck again in the next lock.  This time it took over half an hour to get free.  

Moored up outside a large warehouse that sells furniture.  Looking to redo the inside of the boat to make it more homely and comfortable. Took the opportunity to wander over to Sainsbury to top up with the goodies of life.

Spent the night outside the Priory. Quite peaceful and no problems. Down through Worksop and the inspectors are still outside the pub.

We stopped here the night on the way up.  Three pubs very handily situated for the thirsty boaters and there didnt seem to be any problems associated with them.

Every so often the weeping willow hides the view.  Lee is collecting branches of it and muttering about saunas :-)

Almost back to the facilities at the Forest Locks.  Some people really make the most of the access to the canal.  Boaters most likely take advantage of the fact the the apples, pears and plums over-hang the canal and would drop onto the boat as one passes.

Lee went off cycling earlier and ended up with a puncture.  The resident boaters took pity on her and gave her the choice of Guinness or tea and while it took her just a short while to get her I was taking so long she parked the bike and walked back.  Still low water level and lots of weed.

Spent the night moored between the two BW boats and in the morning crossed over to water ship :-)

The Dragonflies are coming out at last.  There have been plenty of Damselflies and spotted this one laying eggs.

Occasionally one sees evidence of the past as in the grooves cut in the wall from the ropes that were attached to the horse towing the boats along.

Must look this one up in the book :-)

and finally we make it back to Retford. Almost feels like home now.

No comments: