River Trent & Trent and Mersey Canal 5 Locks
After seemed what was the slowest passing of days since we knew we were bringing Harebell home today, we finally arrived at Sawley Marina this afternoon at about 3pm. We were keen to get going, mostly down to sheer excitement, but also because we know we’d have a long way to go. After sorting the licence, it was time to go; make or break time really, seeing as we’d spent nearly £20,000 on her and not felt her move in forward gear.
We needn’t have worried- the engine starts beautifully & she handles like a dream, if a little rocky from side to side. We left Sawley in glorious sunshine, having put £40.00 of diesel in the tank as a small insurance policy. A small section of the River Trent was passed with ease, then it was onto the lower Trent & Mersey and a few wide locks for good measure. As it was a little way to the first lock, we had some time to get used to her, even though it all felt very strange, as Marcus puts it “Aqua Roma is like an old pair of slippers”!
As we cruised on up the Trent & Mersey, we began to break in this new pair of slippers. We shared the first lock with another boat, so that prevented us form being tossed around the wide lock. It all went very well and I found that my first attempt at steering into a lock went very well, mainly because Harebell responds beautifully to what we ask her to do. We carried on cruising until about 8.30pm and then decided that enough was enough. We moored up just above Swarkestone Lock and settled down for the night. A long day cruising tomorrow, I’m sure.