Upstream, from Lincoln to Cromwell

When we travelled down the Trent, we were advised to book our return passage several days in advance so we could plan our journey to optimise the incoming tide, which we did. So as suggested We arrived at Torksey in the afternoon and locked through to the top side mooring pontoon.Someone’s got a sense of humour because the lock gates here are adorned with teapots. By evening a little flotilla had assembled, we all prepped our boats, checked the anchors and cleared the props, in readiness for the tide arriving at 9:45 the next morning. We were travelling with a small cruiser who would nip ahead quickly, a narrowboat with a “proper” engine, who didn’t believe we would have enough umph to make it, and a lovely single handed narrowboater, who had engine cooling issues, so was happy to have some company. In theory we should have been carried upstream by the tide which is stronger than the flow downstream, although we saw the water level drop turn and start to rise on the pontoon, we can’t say we actually felt like we were surfing. What we didn’t want to happen was for our journey to take longer than the tide because that would have meant we would be pushing against both the downstream flow and the retreating tide.It’s quite exhilarating going up the big wide river. We wouldn’t want to do it every day, but it makes a fun change.And I got to sit on the roof doing my knitting, safe in the knowledge that I wasn’t going to be decapitated by any low bridges. We were overtaken by 2 big cruisers who left Torksey after us, but as Cromwell lock can only open when the tide is right we all had to wait and go through at the same time. I think there were 7 boats in the lock this time. Firecrest had done us proud and we’re confident we will cope with stronger tidal flow in the future.And the cheery lockie waved us all through,

One of the things we have enjoyed over the past few months is the number of shore power electric points there have been along the river. Newark, Cromwell, Lincoln, Bardney and Boston. It’s meant that we’ve hardly had to run the generator at all, a real treat. Whilst the generator itself is reasonably quiet, the woodwork around it vibrates noisily and it’s hot, an advantage in the winter but not in the summer

Eric’s taken the opportunity to do some tinkering with the batteries, rebalancing them to enhance efficiency and longevity. We were very pleased when we cruised all the way from Lincoln to Cromwell which is about 30 miles and upstream on the tidal Trent. We took 3 days to complete this journey. It might not sound all that wonderful compared to some electric vehicles but we were pretty impressed that Firecrest coped so well on the power hungry river and we’re fairly sure we could have done the additional 5 miles onto Newark if we’d wanted to push on. But Cromwell is a lovely lock with more of those prized electric hook ups. The sun had come out and there were plenty of Blackberry bushes that needed my attention so we broke the journey to make jam.