Thursday, 1 June 2017


Today's Canal - Chesterfield

Another glorious day. But first a few pictures from late evening yesterday, taken on a wander around the basin after the blog for the day had been uploaded.

Another bright morning.

We left the mooring and turned immediately a sharp corner under the road bridge. We soon found that our speed along this canal would be a fraction of our hair-raising stampede yesterday. The weed is not yet a major problem but the nearness of the bottom to the surface of thew water is. At best we can make 2 mph and sometimes rather less.

After passing through the two Misterton locks we moored at Wharf Bridge so that we could walk into the village for a small amount of shopping. A sign that looks like it should be attached to a pub stands by thew waterside. In fact there was an old pub here until 2002 when it closed and was subsequently demolished. The recent housing development is now called Packet Landing.

There was a small but well,organised Co-Op that is the main supplier for the village but also an independent butcher. Mike bought a pork pie and a haslet ball - it had just come out of the oven so he was told to unwrap it as soon as back at the boat and to let it cool before putting in the fridge.

We continued as it was not yet lunch time.

Winding holes are not very frequent - so where does a large work boat choose to moor - with no-one around it is clearly left there long term!

The Lower-Richardson (Richlow) Guide (sad that they did not find anyone to pass on this valuable resource for updating) gives a 'suggested rural mooring' a little before the next lock. We recall the lack of reasonable moorings from our previous visit but also that where they are marked they were usually occupied. Hence it was a relief that this one, with room for at least three boats, was entirely empty. It also has a reasonable edge for mooring.

We stopped here for lunch but were in no hurry to set off again. It is not far to Clayworth where our mooring is to be found so no real rush is needed. A boat going down a previous lock had just left the boat club moorings and knew about our anticipated arrival - we may well be in their usual space but they are off for a long early summer cruise, including crossing thew Wash from Boston to the Middle Levels.

On again and we passed a couple of former brickworks. These were linked with some of the last commercial traffic on this canal. One of them looks as if it is little better than a rubbish tip and the other is splendidly isolate in the middle of a field.

After a long slow stretch, seeing no moving boats, we neared thew sharp bend just ahead of Drakeholes Tunnel. Of course, as we were just about to go around we could see another boat already coming around and had to wait for it - there is no room to pass anywhere but on straights - even then, it is frequent that one boat has to stop, lodged on the shallow edge of the canal.

There was also a boat in the tunnel - they seemed to be taking it very slowly as we hung around just outside!

We were fortunate that there was still plenty of room at the moorings just after the tunnel - these can be quite popular in the summer and early arrival is needed to secure a place.

6.5 Miles - 4 Locks

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