Sunday, June 23, 2013


It rained during the night, and we woke early to a very dull and windy day. We're in no hurry, but we did want to get to Willington today, to use the services there, and get some shopping; neither essential, but making for greater comfort.

So we left and made our way to the next deep lock at Swarkestone. This was manned by a volunteer, who was emptying the lock for us as we approached. The rain started, and the wind got up to speed as Kantara entered. Locks of this size - another double lock, eleven foot deep - take a long time to fill, unless you want your boat to be thrown around inside the chamber by extreme turbulence, so we were getting pretty wet by the time the boat was leaving the top gate. There was plenty of mooring there, so we stopped to escape the weather, had lunch, and waited for conditions to improve.

Three hours later, the rain had stopped, but the wind was still very strong, but we opted to move on. Our next stop was the 12'4" deep Stenson Lock, and we arrived just as the crew of another boat were emptying the chamber so that they, too, could go up. We were told that they had had to wait several hours to get into the lock, because neither bottom gate would open fully, and two long narrow boats had jammed hard together on their way in, and couldn't get out of the jam. One of the two had had to be towed out before the lock could be used. As Grace pulled Kantara in alongside the boat we were sharing with, it became obvious to her that the same thing was going to happen to her if she continued, so she reversed out, and the two boats had to take the lock solo - a long process!

The rest of the journey to Willington was uneventful, but it was getting late, and the very strong, gusty wind slowed us considerably. The scenery was lovely, though.

Finally arriving at the village, we found it to be a very popular place to moor, and could only stop finally at the far end of the moorings. Too tired to cook, we ate a light meal and slumped! The rain's eased off, but the wind continues unabated.

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