The nights are noticeable drawing in now and although it was still daylight when Kim & John arrived, we stayed put in The Great Northern Basin for Saturday night. We had every intention to get away promptly on Sunday and get back to the junction with the River Trent. Well guess what, it wasn’t as prompt as intended, we got just south of Gallows Inn to a pleasantly rural area when Jacquie announced that lunch was ready. By the time lunch was consumed the trees were being blown all over the place, so we stayed snugly tied up where we were, particularly as we had a good satellite connexion so we could watch the first expulsion from Strictly Come Dancing.
We had only just got going on Monday morning when a couple of walkers told us that a tree was down totally blocking the canal. As we approached the blockage, just south of Pasture Lock, a canal boat appeared to be right in the thick of it, but before we had a chance to tie up and assist N.B. Best of Mates came towards us saying that with caution we should be able to squeeze through. As we came up to it we could see that it was a substantial part of a willow tree that had come down and our new ‘Best of Mates’ had sawn through some pretty thick branches to clear the way. I snapped off several more branches to prevent my recently polished hull from getting scratched, couldn’t possible allow that to happen and with a lot of pulling and pushing SKYY came through the over side unscathed. It’s a pity that we don’t burn logs as there were plenty of wood for the taking left on the tow path, but hopefully some other boater will take advantage.
As we passed through Sandiacre Lock I took a photo of the attractive old buildings alongside, which are now the headquarters of the ECP&DA. There did seem to be more water in the canal on our return and the duckweed was no where near as thick, making the journey easier, but the wind was getting up again. We moored just before Trent Lock and after lunch we observed the breaking waves on the River Trent and revised our earlier decision, rather than head out onto the river for Sawley, we decided that one of our famous early starts, before the wind got up tomorrow would be the best option.