The moment we set off this morning, the rain started. To be fair, the forecast had been for showers, and the rain was hardly heavy enough to get me wet. We soon passed our locking partners of yesterday, moored up and fishing. I apologised for having started the rain as we went by. The first lock of the day had a pair of swans on guard duty at the far end. They didn’t seem to mind us passing through.
After two more locks we reached the Great Northern Basin at Langley Mill. The basin used to be the junction of the three canals. The Cromford Canal continued north to Cromford, near Matlock. The Nottingham Canal went south on the other side of the Erewash valley. The ends of the other two canals are now private moorings, so this is the navigation limit for us. We used the junction itself to wind and moored up on the visitor moorings.
This is another Silver Propellor Location, our first for a while. After lunch we had a little explore, and then went across to the discount supermarket (other discount supermarkets are available). We got back to the boat just as a heavy shower was starting. A resident called over to complain that we had brought the rain. I promised him we’d take it away again soon. I took the opportunity to rinse off some of the accumulated muck in the guttering along the roof. I’m not quite sure what accumulates, but it is black and best shifted when wet.
Once the rain had gone, we filled up with water before setting off back the way we’d come. We were delighted to spot a kingfisher darting in to a tree ahead of us. That’s the first one since January – and not something we’d expected on this canal. Clare worked all three locks on the way down, though I hopped off at each one to push the recalcitrant offside gate closed and save her a long walk round. The tail gates are very heavy and require all her strength.
We returned to the same mooring spot as last night, knowing that it is peaceful and unshaded.