Narrowboat on the Trent - available from http://www.richlow.co.uk/
The tidal River Trent between Cromwell Lock and Keadby Lock
These images are of the tidal section of the River Trent, for those who do not have a clear idea of the nature of these waters, nor what it would be like to navigate them.
We cannot cover here all that is needed to be known. But subjects such as equipment, ropes, anchors, tide calculations, charts, moorings, etc have been collected together in our book Narrowboat on the Trent, based on Richlow's 35 years of cruising the tidal Trent, and regularly updated.
The book covers the whole of the navigable Trent, but in this blog we have only covered the tidal section because those are the waters about which boaters need the most information.
Many narrowboats navigate the tidal Trent. They do so because it gives access to canals and rivers not otherwise reachable, or as an alternative to climbing across the Pennines to reach the waterways east of those hills.
And often because they want a change, a challenge.
Approaching Cromwell Lock, from upstream.
The Trent flows over the adjacent weir, the structure which prevents the tide from progressing further upstream.
All locks on the tidal Trent are operated by lock-keepers.
The exit from Cromwell Lock, onto tidal waters.
At first the tidal Trent is narrower than expected, with charts necessary to avoid shallows, but it opens out into wider channels.
When used to seeing and handling narrowboats on the confined waters of canals it takes a while to get used to the scope of a major river.
Yes, large commercial vessels sometimes use the Trent. But good planning, common sense and preparation will make the experience something to savour.
A scene sometimes seen on the tidal Trent, but now rarely. However, carrying contracts come and go.
The first "port of call" is Torksey, the entrance to the Lincolnshire waterways - the Fossdyke, the River Witham and their links to other canals and rivers. An "Images of Lincolnshire Waterways" section is available on this website.
This scene is from Torksey Lock, along the approach cut, with the Trent in the background.
Further downstream is Gainsborough. This scene is from the town's bridge, one of the few road crossings this far downstream.
Two narrowboats cruising downstream on the ebbing tide. Save diesel, let the river help you along whenever possible.
Before railways, when the waterways were the main transport routes, Gainsborough was a major inland port. It was the point where cargoes were transhipped between large coastal vessels and smaller boats which could navigate further upstream.
On any flowing water - always turn into the current before manoeuvring. As here, approaching a mooring.
Remembering this important fact makes life so much easier on any river. And if it's tidal? Know which way the river is going!
The next junction is West Stockwith Lock, the entrance to the pretty and secluded Chesterfield Canal - the only narrow canal in the area.
The narrowboat is going downstream on the ebb tide, the cruisers have turned into the flow, waiting to enter the lock as the one in the foreground is doing.
West Stockwith Lock entrance. Although it's a narrow canal the lock opens into a basin for larger craft.
An "Images of the Chesterfield Canal" section is available on this website.
Just downstream from the Chesterfield Canal is the River Idle, into which is cruising Richlow's Madeley Wood. There is a right of navigation on the Idle but there are sluices at the entrance - for passage of which a high fee is levied.
Richlow is campaigning for the resolution of the Idle navigation problems.
The distinctive Keadby Bridge.
Beyond Keadby Bridge, the Trent becomes wider.
There are wharves on both banks...
...regularly used by shipping.
Near the bows of the coaster is Keadby Lock, the entrance to the Stainforth & Keadby Canal.
This is the furthest point downstream regularly navigated by narrowboats. It is possible to cruise down to the Trent's confluence with the River Ouse - and then up that river, or down the Humber estuary to Hull and other waterways. It needs very specialist local knowledge to safely do so in a narrowboat and Richlow guides do not cover those waters - our guides are "Written by People Who Go There" - and we've never been there - yet. And when we do, it will be in convoy.
So respect the River Trent - don't fear it.
Narrowboat on the Trent is available, post free, from our website. Study it, do your homework, make your boat ready for these waters - and enjoy yourself.