Friday, 13 April 2018

A bit too thrilling

It rained again overnight, disturbing our sleep with thoughts of rising rivers. In fact, it rained all morning too, so we boated along encased in our Dickies rain suits. Getting away at half eight, we had a straightforward if damp run through Tatenhill, Barton and Wychnor locks. Not surprisingly, we didn't see many other boats moving. In fact, the first boat we met coming the other way was an ABC hire boat emerging from Wychnor as we approached.

They cheerfully said that the river was fine – "only just out of the green"– so instead of tying above the lock and reconnoitring for ourselves, I decided to press on. The river was indeed just into the yellow band on the marker below Alrewas lock but it was running like a train.

Sanity Again coped very well, making 3.2mph over the ground at 1500rpm, implying a current of around 4mph. (SA's hull speed is 7.5mph at 1700rpm – any more revs than that and all that happens is the tiller starts shaking like a thing demented.) It doesn't sound like a lot, but deep spring runoff water has a lot of weight behind it.

It was not a pleasant situation, especially for Sheila as lookout. It's not so bad for the steerer, he can see that the engine gauges are all fine and that the boat is coping, but even so, you're stood there just hoping that there's not a fuel problem or that the prop doesn't pick up a load of weed.

After we were safe and sound on the visitor moorings, we agreed (over coffee laced with Famous Grouse) that in future years, we're not leaving the marina until it's been dry for a week. I reckon that this year it will take that long for the Trent to calm down, there's so much water waiting to drain off the riverside fields.

The boat is now full of damp clothing, what with the rain suits, gloves and boots we were wearing and the wash load Sheila ran as we went along.

Readers will not be surprised to learn that dozing in front of a well stoked Squirrel has been the principal activity of the afternoon. We'll stay put here tomorrow, hopefully in better weather, enjoying one of our favourite canalside villages, then press on up Fradley on Sunday.


Adam said...

My father never tires of telling me about the time my parents and my uncle and aunt ended up on the flimsy wooden barrier across the weir at Alrewas, when they were on a hire boat in the 1960s. That was before the big orange things guarding the way.

Jo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jo said...

(I made a mistake in the earlier version of this, hence the deletion)

I did some rain figures for Stuart yesterday. In the first two weeks of April we had 61.9mm against 1.5mm for same time last year. Our local average over the last year was 48.9mm a month. And the last four weeks (starting on 14th March so the day after the 22.8mm deluge!) have dropped 140.1mm on Mercia. No wonder you felt like Noah and Naamah!!

Today is still, sunny and lovely!

Bruce in Sanity said...

Glad you are both paying attention;)!

No change in river level here today and still roaring through the piers of the Quarter Mile Bridge. We saw a drake idly paddling along, as they do, but tearing down the river at a good jogging speed.