This morning started off dull and windy but there has been a gradual improvement throughout the day. We set off from Willington about 8-15 having decided to have coffee before we left to see if the threatening black clouds were going to produce anything.
They didn’t so off we went. First stop was Stenson Lock where there was a boat coming up, which was handy and by the time we were going to go down the lock keepers had arrived. Bonus, I got back on the boat and went down in the lock letting them do all the work. When we came out of the lock we found a Canaltime hire boat moored on the lock approach.
Apparently they had been there all night and they had left the paddles on the lock open after they went down. We were to spot the same boat later on moored on the water point in Shardlow while they went to the pub for lunch!
We passed Mick and Cathy, still at Ragley Boatstop (their second home) and as the moorings were all full we couldn’t stop. We said we may meet them somewhere later.
We carried on to Swarkestone lock just in time to go in with another boat. They were a really nice couple who moor on the Nene and we then travelled all the way to Derwent Mouth Lock with them which was very helpful.The wind was quite troublesome today so it was handy to have two of us on the lock to open both gates.
At Derwent Mouth lock we moored up for the day and they carried on with another boat which we had been following since Aston lock. The trip was 11 miles and 5 locks today and we did it in about 4 hours.
After mooring up we walked back in to Shardlow and had intended to go to The Crown by the river but neither of us could remember exactly how to get there as the last time we did we went round by the river at Derwent Mouth not through Shardlow. So we went in to The Navigation, which is being refurbished at the moment and some drilling noises started up. There wasn’t anyone in the pub either and the beer was not the best so we had one pint and decided to move on.
Next we went to The Clock Warehouse but there was a huge queue at the bar (including the people off the illegally moored Canaltime) so we gave that a miss and headed for The Malt Shovel where we discovered they only did Pedigree, not one of our favourites.
We were runningout of options and last gasp saloon (literally) was The New Inn where we found several real ales on offer including Dashingly Dark, a Derby beer and it was rather good so we stopped.
Back at the boat my intentions of cleaning it were overcome by laziness and Wimbledon!
Tomorrow we will be back at Sawley Marina for consolidation before our trip to London and East Anglia.