Saturday, July 26, 2014

Meanwhile, Back on the Canal

Our Baltic travel log will continue after a brief intermission.

Since we returned home we have been continuing up the Chesterfield with our final destination being the village of Shireoaks, which we reached yesterday evening. 

The Chesterfield Canal continues up a ways but we are turning around and retracing our steps now.  The reason, the 20 locks going up and then the same 20 locks to do again when you turn right around and come back down!  We decided the scenery couldn’t be that much different to justify 40 locks in two days.  Although, friends of ours were made of sterner stuff and they did the locks and did say it was beautiful.  She is going to email me pictures and I have decided that will work for me.  I know, I know.  What can I say besides I can be lazy. J

This morning we took a walk around the village of Shireoaks and stopped in to see the butcher and the small village shop.  I am again amazed how friendly everyone is and how beautiful the historic buildings are.  Over and over I find myself telling Mike, “I could live here very happily.”  Shireoaks even has a coffee shop.  What more could I ask for!

Now, at the opposite extreme was the village of Worksop which is just down the canal from Shireoaks and which we will be traveling through again on our way back down.  That was a place I was happy to leave behind us.  The garbage floating in the canal and along the canal path was horrible.  And the graffiti and vandalism of things related to the locks really turned me off.

  In fact, we spent a rather long period of time just trying to get through the Worksop town lock.  The garbage in the canal made it difficult for our boat to fit in (side to side) because the clearance is so small under the best of conditions.  Mike was trying to clear the “yuck” away from our sides with our boat hook while I had a hold of the midline and was trying to pull the boat into the canal.  No go.

Mike than pulled the boat back out of the lock and I opened one of the upper paddles hoping that the entering water would help clear the lock of some of the items floating there.  It worked in that we could get the boat in this time but now garbage was stopping the lower gates from closing.  And, until we could get them closed we couldn’t fill the lock and move on up the canal.

So, this time we again opened the upper paddle and mike used the force of the bow thrusters to move even more “stuff” out of the canal in the hope that whatever was keeping the doors from closing would be cleared.  And, I am proud and pleased to say that it worked!  We closed the gates, filled the lock and went on our way.  Let us hope our return trip through the town canal is relatively uneventful.

After Worksop we will be traveling to and stopping in the town of Retford.  On our way up we liked what we saw but could not stop and explore since we were on our way to meet up with some boater friends in Shireoaks.  This time we will stop, explore the town, and wonder around the shops.  I am very much looking forward to that day.

After leaving Retford we will go back down the rest of the Chesterfield Canal and return to the River Trent and our next adventure.  Will keep you posted.

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