Monday, 12 August 2013

Kingfishers,Dragonflies & another Chyandour.


This week we’ve seen all of the above and more.The Kingfishers are a fairly common sight but trying to get anything like a half decent picture seems just about impossible.They wait while you search for the camera and then fly further along the canal,teasing you,settling on some canalside foliage and then,as you get closer,they’re off again.We’ve also seen loads of Dragonflies and Damselflies and,did you know,there are about 30 species of Dragonfly and 20 species of Damselfly in the UK,though I’ve no idea how many of each we saw.One of the other delights that we have enjoyed while staying on the Erewash Canal has been the fish.In some ways it’s like having our own pond,shoals of fish can be seen weaving about in the clear waters of this canal and it puts me in mind of a nature programme on the TV,though I will admit,the shoals here are not as large or as colourful.

Erewash canal 08.13 001 Erewash canal 08.13 004

Trent Lock and Kingfishers dockyard at the bottom of the Erewash Canal on a beautiful evening.A slight delay at Sandiacre Lock as a couple of C&RT workers do some repairs to the gate paddles.They were fitting new baffles to deflect the water when the paddles are opened.

That brings us to the sighting of the other Chyandour.We were aware of this boat as one of the couples who crew her had been in touch when we first gave that name Chyandour to our own boat.Also,we had seen it on it’s mooring on the Staffs & Worcs Canal near Wombourne when we were on a hire boat in January 2011.Anyway,we had spent a lovely couple of days near Hallam Fields lock on the Erewash with Pete & Val from the good ship Tadpole 2 and were on our way back to Trent Lock when out of the mists Winking smile came this other Chyandour,it was quite a suprise to both crews I think.Then,yesterday,while we were moored above Swarkestone Junction on the T&M,what should come by but the very same boat.This time we were able to exchange a few pleasantries before they continued their journey.We’re sure to meet up with them again sometime.

Erewash canal 08.13 006 Erewash canal 08.13 007

A couple of shots of what was the Nutbrook Canal Junction with the Erewash.This canal was only 4.5 miles long with 13 locks,it was opened in 1794 and it fell into decline in the 1890s.A short section to here through the Stanton Ironworks,which straddled the canal,was still being used by the ironworks in the 1940s with the last boat using it in 1949.

Erewash canal 08.13 013 Erewash canal 08.13 014

A short stretch of the Nutbrook Canal still in water but unnavigable and the derelict lock chamber of Old Furnace Lock No.3.

Right,back to our adventures since last Monday.On Tuesday we had another Solar Panel fitted so that now gives us 400 watts to play with and I’m hoping we will start to see the benefits of this quite quickly.I scrounged some paint from the lads at Kingfisher Narrowboats at Trent Lock ,who fitted the panel,and I covered some of the scars that Chyandour has acquired over the last 10 months.She still looks pretty good,almost as good as the day we took her over in fact.Our friends Pete and Val had set off to their home mooring at Hallam Fields on Monday,so first thing Wednesday we set off after them,getting assisted through the six locks by Pete,who had come down to us on his bike.On our arrival Val had a delicious roast dinner prepared which came as a much appreciated surprise to us.We spent a great couple of days with Val and Pete,enjoying the delights of the former Stanton Ironworks Institute and the Carpenters Arms in the nearby village of Dale Abbey.On our final night,Thursday,we also enjoyed the company of my Sisters Brother in Law Keith,and his wife Pam,who we haven’t seen since our last trip up the Erewash back in October.

Erewash canal 08.13 008 Erewash canal 08.13 009

The Hermits Cave at Dale Abbey,this is said to have been hewn out of the sandstone by a Derby baker who chose to be a recluse.The Chancel window is all that remains of the Abbey,the rest appears to have been shared out among other churches and large houses in the surrounding area.

Erewash canal 08.13 012 Erewash canal 08.13 016

Close to Dale Abbey village is the Cat and Fiddle Windmill,built in 1788,closed in 1952 and only recently restored.Lisa at the helm as we travel along the River Trent from Trent Lock to Shardlow.

We got back to Trent Lock on Friday,spent the night moored there then set off Westwards first thing on Saturday to make our way back to Swarkestone Junction.On our way we made a stop at Shardlow to get our own paint to touch up Chyandour and I can tell you,if you think Crown or Dulux Paints are expensive ,try buying some boat paint,the cost is eye watering.We’ll be ready for you this time Steve.Open-mouthed smile  After a leisurely day yesterday we left Swarkestone this morning and made our way here to Shobnall Basin near Burton Upon Trent.We’ve one or two things to get sorted here before we move on again tomorrow.

Well,that’s all again for this week folks.Since last week we have done the monumental amount of 22 Locks and 31 Miles,giving us a grand total of 453 Locks and 622 miles since we set off back in October.Take care everyone.

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