The rain woke us at 06.00 hammering down on to the cabin roof, but there was no point in getting up so early. Yesterday I'd rung Cromwell Lock about passage times and was told to be there for 11.00, so it was after 09.00 before we were away by which time the rain had stopped. The first lock, Newark Nether, was still on user-operation when we arrived but the lockie turned up half-way through and booked us into the system, so to speak, telling Cromwell we were on our way.
There were two other narrowboats and a cruiser sharing the lock with us. Cruisers, both large and small, are a feature of the river, to the extent that they outnumber narrowboats, a point brought home to us later at Torksey where we left the lock to be confronted with a never-ending line of the things moored up, making me realise what cruiser owners must feel like on the narrowboat-dominated narrow canals.
As the first boat into Cromwell we were the first boat out, the rest of the convoy following in line astern.
|The convoy follows us out of the enormous Cromwell Lock|
Fortunately one of the narrowboats and the cruiser soon decided I wasn't going fast enough and overtook, leaving Matilda, the red boat in the picture, crewed by Rob, one of the many Aussies that seem attracted to the waterways, to follow behind. In his case, Rob had done his research, came over to Crick last year and ordered a boat at the Boat Show, returning in March to take delivery and begin an extended holiday touring England by water.
|"The Hay Boat" powers past|
Despite having had two hours notice of our arrival, Torksey lock was against us and Bernard had to set off to find the lockie to turn it and pen us through. It's a fine specimen of a lock though. Four sets of gates of varying sizes and a collection of capstans and fixed windlasses to operate paddles and top gates (the bottom gates are electrically operated).
|A fine selection of gates, capstans and windlasses at Torksey|