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Egginton (Willington) to Cromwell Lock (54 miles, 19 locks!)

This next stretch of our journey involved mainly rivers and has been much dreaded by myself, but thankfully, the water levels have been kind this year .....

Just leaving the sanctuary of the Trent and Mersey Canal, approaching Sawley Cut at 'Derwent Mouth'

Leaving the outskirts of Willington behind, we breezed down through the locks towards Sawley Cut and spent a couple of days visiting relatives and eating takeaways! Lovely!

Approaching the junction of The Erewash Canal (left - where we will be going after Christmas for the butty renovations!), Cranfleet Cut (straight on to take us onto the Trent, and The Soar (right - to Leicester), oh and a train on the bridge!

Weather proving to be a bit overcast and breezy, we set off to get the first part of our river journey off the list.  Turning down Cranfleet Cut, we dropped down through the lock and onto the River Trent proper.

Beautiful river

Sea Scouts all still asleep in their tents!

The first port of call is Beeston Lock which takes the boater through Nottingham and then back onto the Trent again.

Houses on stilts!

Beeston Lock in the distance

On the 'cut', this fantastic cruiser at Trevethick's yard - we did wonder if it would go under all the bridges ok!

Nottingham proved uneventful, just a couple of drunks at one lock, but harmless.  Sainsbury's is on the side of the cut, so I nipped in for some supplies, whilst the kettle went on, again!

Nottingham Boat Sales, now on the river!

Down through the lock and back on the river past the football stadium and beyond.

Leaving Holme Lock

Luckily, at this time of year, the large river locks are manned by Lockkeepers, making passage through the locks easy and safer.

Approaching Stoke Lock, my favourite because it is so isolated and pretty

Gunthorpe Bridge with the lock after it

Dad's boat, still looking good, now called Omnia.  I think he would be thrilled to know it was still in use and loved

Newark was in sight as we were banking on being at Cromwell Lock for the evening, ready to go out early to get in at Torksey before high water.

The new power station

A Vulcan Bomber surprises us with a fly past!

Newark Castle with the stone arched bridge to navigate, ooh err!  When we came through here 2 years ago, we didn't touch the bridge and the river was running.  This year, whoops, just caught the back of the motor as the water pushed us through!  No damage to bridge or boats!

Restaurant on a barge, still there

Past King's Marina, the new rows of flats in a 'wharf' style now grace the side of the river

Late in the evening now and needing to navigate down through Nether Lock all on our own.  It was quite a worry as Richard has to hold the boats by the centre line all on his own.  Downhill is easier than up as the water doesn't move the boats about so aggressively.

Cromwell Lock, naughtily moored on the wall where it says 'No mooring'.  And yes the locky, resident at Cromwell, broke his neck to come and tell us 'You can't moor there' , but then said 'you'll be alright if you're going first thing in the morning'.....

Really late in the evening now and we moored up at Cromwell Lock ready for an early tidal section first thing.  Unable to get in on the low wall, Richard thought we would be able to moor where the cruisers normally stay.  Getting Lister off and up the ladder was quite interesting, but List was calm and just let us put him on and off the boat roof onto the wall, without freaking out!

The locky let us all through for 8am, lifejackets back on, we set about the 4 hour cruise on the Tidal Trent........