Froggy Afternoon

Moored up near the Trent we were near a couple of pubs so we had a meal out when it wasn’t raining heavily. We had a few puddles to jump around on the way. We enjoyed our meal and got back before the rain again.

The forecast was to be heavy rain showers the next day. It certainly was rainy in the morning. It brightened and we took the opportunity to go for a walk in the afternoon.

In the sunshine lots of bright blue and green damselflies were dancing around. We walked along the canal and had a look at the river lock and the river. Tiered steps suggested that getting back on board was sometimes difficult if you didn’t like getting wet but at the moment the level were okay.

Exit of river lock
River Trent

We investigated some old fashioned steps to the river for fishermen, then moved along to some other roads and paths. I saw something move and stopped to look. It was a tiny frog. A car was approaching and Shane went ahead but I felt I was enough to the side to be safe and I wanted the frog not to be run over.

Frog on the road

I studied it closely , or tried to as it did keep moving. I couldn’t tell if the black splodge was something stuck to it or just an extra large black spot. It reached a puddle at the side of the road and happily moved to the aquatic life swimming in its shallow pond.

Legs stretched the little frog swims in a puddle

I assume the frog didn’t mind rainy days. A short while down the road and I saw another, and another. At least they were all heading for the verge and grass and keeping off the road. While it was sunny now we thought that wouldn’t last and headed back.

We saw one boat that we thought we had met before but didn’t wee the owner to check if it was the same one. There was a boat with an unfamiliar name that I am sure I haven’t noticed before. People often struggle with Bartimaeus having three consecutive vowels but this has four in a row. Even the consonants are semi vowels, depending on your accent. I have found out it is a small town in New Zealand and translates as River of the West, so a good name.

NB Waioru

We saw a marquee being put up and having seen there was space ahead for mooring with easier access, we decided to move a little way just in case there was a rowdy event in the evening. There may have been an event but it didn’t disturb us. We had a more scenic view, when it wasn’t raining. There was even some lightning and the cows looked very unhappy in a particularly driving bit of rain, so they turned walked steadily along with the wind behind them, not daring to face the lashing.

Cows enjoying the sunshine but ignoring the rainbow

Today was not guaranteed rain free but had a sunnier forecast, so we decided to brave the river, assuming the heavy rain hadn’t already raised it dramatically. Shane remembered that life jackets were wise on a river so we got those on. I drove to let Shane get into his since he discovered driving while working out the shape and clippings of the odd shaped unfamiliar garment was not as straightforward as getting a cagoule on.

We had seen that there were attached winding handles so no windlasses were required. I was able to get my life jacket in time to be ready ready to get out to work the lock but we saw there were lots of staff, five altogether working the lock. The gates were opening and a boat about to come out so no need to set me down. We could just go straight in once it had left. Beside the lock was a boat that might be an amphibian as it looked happy high and dry.

Lifeboat aloft rather than afloat

The staff were friendly, especially the trainee who offered to hold a rope. We asked if the lock was particularly rough. They said no, so we decided a rope was not needed especially going down. Happily the river level was good to go.

Water level green

All the same Shane felt a fair shove from the river and he certainly felt he needed to concentrate fully on his driving. We had short change overs in a gentler spot, but otherwise I was happy to let him helm, while I took photos or made coffee. Plenty people were out fishing but not so many using the old fishing steps.

Steps down to the river Trent

We made it safely through and saw another appropriately named boat in another boat with more vowels than consonants. This time from Irish, meaning water.

NB Uisce, Irish for water

We got to the next river lock which was round the corner from the floating jetty. I could see there were winding handles so no windlass required, but not a lot else. I helped moor up and went to see what was what and found there were no staff here. The red paddles were open to let water flow through but the gate didn’t open, so I did need to set the lock. When the gate started to open. I waved to Shane so he could start coming round and pushed the gate, then it stopped abruptly. I tried again but still it stopped half way. I hurried round to get to the other gate and a young man asked if I needed help. I explained there was a problem with the other gate and we only needed one gate but I didn’t know how this one would be, so he helped and it opened easily. He asked if he should stay to help further. I said I probably was okay and my helper went on his way.

Shane drove in and I told him that I had had trouble with the gate. He looked down on his way last and said there was a pallet there and there was no chance the gate could be opened. The rest went well, with plenty of onlookers, and I checked out the obstruction, when returning to open the red paddles before leaving the lock, as the notices instructed.

Closed lock gate. Pallet jamming the jamb, preventing it from opening.

Shane waited for me to get round to the boat at the jetty the we immediately crossed to the other side to get water. The tap was awkward to reach and even find but the long hose reached and by passing it through the fence we didn’t need the second hose. I thought it was a poor trickle but then saw the kink in the hose and Shane spotted another, and then it ran freely. This was the second water supply in a row that required clambering, awkward mooring, a fence and a hidden tap. While it filled, I went to read a notice and Shane spotted a place to get rid of glass. I had to move out of the way of the notice to let portaging canoeists cross a narrow bridge. It turns out frogs are fine of this spot too. Oh to be a frog, at home on land or in the water. Like yesterday’s ducks they don’t mind the rain.