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Torksey to The Witham

Along the Fosse Dyke towards Lincoln, first thing in the morning.  We didn't pass another boat all the way to Saxilby.  A bit different to the canals!

We opened up the shop at Saxilby, but spent the day doing a stock take of everything left, then packing and stowing it all in the bow locker for next season.  I now realised how much painting I would have to do over winter to get in front for next year!

A stormy looking sky as we entered Brayford Pool in Lincoln.  I had bused into Lincoln already to do some errands and met Richard just as he had moored up at the facilities before the Pool.

The new restaurant outside the Odeon.  There is a rumour of visitor moorings being put in nearby.  Lincoln has limited opportunities for mooring easily, so we are hoping that several of these will be installed within reach of the town for us boaters to use.  After all, we want to spend money in Lincoln, not pass straight through as is the frustrating norm!

The water pushed us, washing machine styley from the Pool and into the entrance to the Glory Hole ( low bridge over the water with the shops above).  Unfortunately, the butty sustained a deep scratch from the wall as Richard fought with the swirling effect of the current, but nothing a good dob of paint couldn't disguise.

On this occasion, we didn't use the opportunity to moor outside the Waterside Shopping Centre, as time was pushing on and the weather kept misbehaving!

View back up to Lincoln with the cathedral on the horizon.  The wind had really got up, but the next visitor moorings at Washinborough were full to bursting, so we had to carry on to Bardney.

Five Mile bridge signifies the distance travelled from Lincoln.  Not far further around the bend is Bardney, where we overwintered last year.

We awoke to this glorious sky!  We separated the boats, cross strapping them, but not tillering the butty as the river is quite wide.  I rushed down to the lock, where a chap was jet-washing the movable bridge going over the lock, and asked if we could come through.  What a miserable person he was, I even told him he needed to lighten up, else he'd have a heart attack!  Apparently, all these 'interruptions' could cause the jet washer to play up.
Richard told me, when I described to guy's reaction, that I should have said that we have paid a license to use the river and therefore there should be no problem about using the locks thereon!

Tattershall Bridge was also bombed out as we pulled up on the Saturday, so we had teetered on the end of the pontoon and breasted the butty up to the motor again.  From here we hired a car (they pick you up) and spent the afternoon in Lincoln with our youngest Ryan, helping him choose a 125 bike.
By Monday, the other boats had gone so we had separated the butty and awaited delivery of 120 bags of smokeless coal for the winter.

By the time had taken the car back to Boston and got my lift back, Richard and Martin (the coal man) had unloaded all of the bags.  Just needed to get it onboard now!

The power of photography.  The job is done, but it took us about 2 hours to get it all inside evenly.  There is still plenty of freeboard left as well!  No I think 3 tons is plenty for now.

Lots of dragon flies around the river.  This one hovered around us for ages.

Hark!  What is that heavenly sound?  Oh yes, we had forgotten the din which is the Eurofighters practising takeoffs and landings, from RAF Coninsby, right over our heads.  Another reason to overwinter at Bardney!

The new sign for the butty for the winter.  We will have smokeless, toilet fluid and firelighters available to other boaters over the winter months.

Ryan and his new bike.  Every chance he has had between work, he has gone on another expedition on it!

We have plodded back up to Bardney. Richard has been for his induction at work and I bought a new car, so all we need now is to sort out the winter mooring and get to work............

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Sawley Cut to The Fosse Dyke Canal

With the boats securely breasted up, we set off early on the Sunday morning, passing down through the double locks at Sawley and onto the river below. 
The Trent still seemed a little pushy but we entered the entrance to Cranfleet Cut a short time later without too much trouble.

On down through the lock there, took us onto the river again to Beeston, where mooring on the lock approach seems to be the norm!  Ignorant people mooring without respect for a flowing river and incoming boaters.  Luckily, we didn't squash said 'squashy' boat, but it left Richard fighting like mad to stop the boats in time.

Nottingham was nice and quiet, except we caught a corner of concrete on a narrow part of the towpath whilst moving over for an oncoming boat and BANG - the safety chain holding the stern of the butty to the stern of the motor flicked off and fell into the water.  The butty drifted away from the motor so that only the ratchet strap held them together. (As the picture above shows).  Richard jumped on the butty and retrieved another strap and Heath Robinson'd a new safety strap.  We carried on to moor at Hazelford lock and that would do for today!

Scooby loves Hazelford lock.  The whole island is bunny paradise, where they live freely and breed like only rabbits can!

Just look at the size of them!  Scooby stalked them for ages as we walked around this beautiful retreat. 

 Many boaters stop here on their way to Nottingham and Newark and have a really peaceful night's sleep with the relaxing sound of the weir on either side of the island.

Impressive weir.

Fishing in these parts can be quite interesting by the looks of this haul!

One last fruitless stalk of the bunnies and we were off again.

Newark Town lock.  Coming out of here and passing under the large bridge next to the castle was very fast as the river squeezed us between the pillars, luckily not touching them.  I did shut my eyes!

Cruiser country proper!  Cromwell lock was just down the river where the tidal part of the Trent begins.  

Just 3 hours later, we entered the sanctury of Torksey lock and moored up for the night.

We could now say that with the Trent behind us, we were on the home straight back to Lincolnshire.....