Monday, 4 August 2014

Not so much a pea green boat... a pea green sea. Well, canal anyway. This is the Stainforth & Keadby Canal today, looking like The Great Escape of the inmates of a Birds Eye pea factory. The floating green stuff is duck weed and it filled the canal for miles though not causing anything like the problems that the blanket weed of the Chesterfield had done.
We are here, back on the canals, after a two hour, 12 mile sprint down the Trent from West Stockwith. It's a funny old beast, the tidal Trent; mile upon mile of country banksides broken by the occasional village, some of them (especially the ones with pubs) quite tempting but all, of course, impossible to stop at. Even the occasional mooring jetties are there just for large freight barges to stop over during tide changes. Not that there are many freight barges these days.
Rural banksides with occasional inaccessible villages on the Trent
Once under the M180 road bridge, the rural Trent quickly takes a back seat to the industrial one, with moored freighters, power stations and industry. Even the lock entrance at Keadby is hidden by a large berthed freighter. But at least, for a change, I turned and got into the lock without mishap.
Keadby liftbridge and the industrial Trent lies ahead
We'd come down river with two other boats and after we moored on the canal I discovered that one was owned by a pair of early retired schoolteachers. They'd packed it in in favour of spending winters on their yacht in the Caribbean and summers living on a little narrowboat over here. Renting out the family home and a couple of small flats kept them afloat – financially that is. Tempting, eh?
It must be another swingbridge - how will this one be worked
Tonight – after a succession of swing bridges (each of them with its own unique operating mechanism) we are moored in the small South Yorkshire town of Thorne where the captain will be going ashore for a few days and the crew and ship's dog will be attending to some long overdue maintenance work on the engine.

And just to be different, here's a liftbridge at Thorne

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