Thursday, 24 June 2010

First Voyage - Wed 22nd of june 2010.

We had booked our passage on Tuesday the 22nd of June for 10:30am on the 23rd from Torksey lock. In the event we locked early (on the advice of the lock keeper at Torksey) onto the River Trent and set off from Torksey at 09:40. Steady if uneventful progress was made down river on an ebb tide. I had done some safety preparations for our maiden voyage, I set up the heavy anchor, chain and warp on the bow. I also prepared the small anchor ready for deployment on the stern. I then programmed the VHF radio to channel 16 and 74 so that we could monitor any large traffic movements on the Trent, just in case of any eventuality. I did all the usual pre-start checks - radiator water, engine oil and stern gland greaser.

The weather was superb the sun was exceedingly hot in an almost cloudless sky.

The crew for this trip was myself John and Tracy who were both newbies to boating. So this trip was going to be a good baptism for the pair of them. Tracy was put in charge of the galley and charged with providing refreshments along the way. John was getting some training in on basic boat handling skills. We were taking it in turn to steer the boat. Mag's was unfortunately working and missed out on our maiden voyage.

When we passed West Stockwith basin, the Trent was at a low water point as the lock cill was clearly visible.  We did not meet any other boats until we were about 5 miles from our destination when we caught up with Narrow-boat's Mojo and Sailor Vee.  We joined the back of the convoy and adjusted our speed to match theirs. Nb Mojo was trying to raise Keadby Lock by VHF marine radio as he passed under the M180 as did Nb Sailor Vee a short time later. But there was no answer from the lock keeper. When we were in sight of the wharf cranes, at about 13:30 we heard the keeper say via radio that he would not be able to lock any boats before 2:45 due to the low water level over the cill. This meant that Sailor Vee and ourselves were all sailing around in a circle on the Trent to kill some time. We did this between the M180 and the railway bridge.

When the first tranche of craft eventually came out of the lock at about 3pm, the lockie would only allow two vessels into the lock including Nb Mojo. He then released a second tranche from the canal onto the Trent. However, this time he would not allow any vessels from the Trent into the lock!! Whilst he turned around an empty lock to eventually release a third tranche from the canal. At about 4pm we were called into the lock, whilst the river had by this time changed from a steady ebb into full flood condition. We were at this point at the head of the circle of boats and had to manoeuvre into the lock first. This was a good test of Rosie's engine. Keeping half a boat length from the wharf we edged up to the lock entrance and with a quick burst of speed and hard over on the tiller, we entered without a problem. Not a bad result for a first attempt on a full flood tide. Sailor Vee who was behind us also managed to complete the manoeuvre without a hitch much to the relief of the crew.

The lock keeper was able to give us the latest football score.... England -v- Slovenia 0-1 to England.  The suspicion amongst everyone was that the lock keepers had been watching the world cup match.

We had lost a great deal of time, so we pressed on straight up the Stainforth and Keadby Canal and eventually cleared the Vazon road  and Railway crossing after waiting some time for a gap in the traffic.  Thereby lies another story of this trip. We ended up in the extensive weed bed at this point. When the crossing keeper called us on, our prop was fouled by the weed. This required a quick trip into the weed box to clear the prop. I get out of the box just in time to see the crossing close. After waiting for another gap in traffic. (This time we stayed in the weed free centre of the canal) We finally cleared the rail crossing and the associated road crossing. Soon after this we moored up for the night. Myself and John went in search of a chippie for our supper. It was like ambrosia to the starving crew.

Next morning we set off up the Stainforth and Keadby Canal at about 9:45 and made our way eventually onto the The Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation. Passing through the various swing bridges, lift bridges and locks until we arrived in Doncaster in the late afternoon. We have moored Rosie here for a few days recreation before continuing into Sheffield.

Crew report....

Tracy shows a real flair for crewing a boat - Both in the galley and as deck crew Tracy is very good at handling locks, swing, lift bridges as well as a proficent navigator.

John as in all his school reports (when he could be bothered to attend) could do better. In the main due to his shortage in physical stature. (think Golum) Next time we will do role reversals.

Like the England match, 1 - nil to the girls.

Well done Tracy.

Distance Today 49 miles, 5 locks and 8 swing bridges.
Running Total    59 miles, 5 locks and 8 swing bridges.



  1. Sounds like you had a good trip. One thing though VHF 74 is only for the BW locks and for any moveable bridges on the Ouse and on the Trent.

    Boat movements and the wharfs are all on Ch06 above Keadby Bridge and Ch17 below Keadby bridge on the Trent and then CH15/12 on the Humber.

    This switches to CH14 from trent falls to Goole and then Ch09 from Goole to Naburn.

  2. Yes, we had a good trip but it made for a long day in the hot sun. A few beers later in the evening helped to revive the parts other beers could not reach. There are some interesting operating habits being employed by some boaters.


Please put your name to your comment. Comments without a name may automatically be treated as spam and might not be included.

If you do not wish your comment to be published say so in your comment. If you have a tip or sensitive information you’d prefer to share anonymously, you may do so. I will delete the comment after reading.