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cheshire~rose

Carry On Regardless With L.M.S. Delhi

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World events caught up with me a bit and I didn't get around to continuing with what may well end up being the shortest boat blog of a summers cruising ever!

 

I think I probably ought to bring it up to date don't you?

 

Chapter 4 (Friday 20th March)

 

We dawdled up to Holme Lock the next morning. It was on restricted operating due to contractors doing work there.  There had been a stoppage notice stating that the contractors would lock boats through but to allow for extra time for this to happen.  We had a call from our friend on Jophina II when he went thrugh a day or so ahead of us. He said he had arrived there to find the place completely empty and devoid of any contractors or anyone. He had a hunt around but couldn't find anyone so called CRT who assured him there should be a contractor there but said they would get onto it and call him back. He had a closer look around to realise the lock operation office was open with several job sheets from the contractors loose on the desk there. A contractors van was nearby, open with a flask and sandwiches on the seat but no contractor anywhere. Alarm bells started to ring as he wondered whether at this point he should be checking the weir for a contractor who had fallen in! He called CRT again to report the additional information just as two guys wandered back onto the site oblivious of the worry heir absense had caused. They locked him through but it took a long time as only one paddle was working. He then told us they were upadting the stoppage to say passage would ONLY be available Monday to Friday between 12 midday and 1pm.

 

We arrived at Holme Lock around 11:30 with the other boat that had travelled up from Gunthorpe. It was being a bit of a mare of a journey for them. They were moving the boat for the owner but it was a boat that had previously been stolen and trashed and they were having to iron out a lot of faults as they went on their way. I hope they got to their destination without further troubles - they are a lovely couple.

 

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The lock was painfully slow filling but we got on our way eventually and it was with some relief we finally entered Meadow lane and got a bit of respite from the strong flows:

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One interesting picture I took while on the river was this pair of Greylag Geese:

 

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The pale one is leucistic. This is a genetic conditioning meaning it lacks melanin, a pigment that is responsible for the darker colours in birds plumage

 

At this time in our journey we had become very aware of the fact that many businesses were now closed due to the Covid-19 restrictions. One of the things we had not managed to buy before we set off was some additional spares for Dave's vape. We tied up at Beeston that night and a quick search suggested there were 5 vape shope within walking distance so Dave called to see if they had the stuff he needed. Thankfully the first one he called (the one closest) did have it so I set off to get them and decided I would have a quick look in the local Co-op I had to pass to see if they had any fresh tems to supplement our fridge that was starting to get a bit depleated.

The vape shop was great, they had bagged the stuff up ready for me and a wave of my contactless card meant that I had to touch very little in the shop nor spend much time in there. The coop was a different matter, heaving with people making it very hard to keep the distance we had been advised would keep us safe, hardly any stock either so i grabbed a couple of bits and walked back. The pub I had passed earlier where I could see several people inside through the windows now had sveral people standing outside, smoking, messing with mobile phones etc. I had wondered about the blackboard in the carpark advertising their free to enter disco that weekend. I felt that was a bit of a silly thing not to be cancelled and at that point a big fella came out of the pub making a very loud bull horn sort of noise <Arrroooogaaahhhhh> at the top of his voice. It was a little bit startling but I went on my way back to the boat to hear that while I had been out the goverment had ordered the pubs to shut - and I suspect the announcement came just before I walked past that pub - hence the outburst of frustration on the part of Mr Bullhorn

 

 

 

Edited by cheshire~rose

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Chapter 5

 

Back out onto the river briefly but we were enchanted by the Sand Martins giving us the most amazing aerial display as they swooped around us near Barton Island.

 

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They are one of the first spring migrants to arrive in the UK arriving mid March to Mid April. Welcome back! Even if getting a clear photo of you is almost impossible because you fly so fast.

 

We also saw a stark reminder of how a river in flood takes no prisoners:

 

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Up through Sawley Lock we saw the serving hatch at The Lockkeepers Rest pub was open. There were signs asking people to keep the statutory 2m gap while waiting. I npped over to get a couple of the nicest hot steak pasties we have had in a good while. They have been forced to close now but we will certainly make sure we stop off there in future and support them where we can

 

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We called in at Sawley Marina to try and get a couple of chandlery items but they didn't have them sadly but they did have plentiful stocks of fresh bread, milk, tinned and long life grocery items and toilet rolls. None of which we needed of course but my  social media feed was full of people struggling to get all these things in the supermarkets

 

Then we got to do something VERY exciting!!!

 

We actually had to work Delhi through Lock number 1 - Sawley Flood Lock. We have been that way numerous time in numerous vessels but have NEVER had to operate that lock before. It is usually fastened open. It was a proper novelty!

 

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Finally we locked up through Derwent Mouth Lock and onto the canal leaving the river behind with some relief. We stopped that night above Shardlow in the middle of nowhere so we could be isolated for a while

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