Narrowboats – Day 4 – Trent/Mersey Canal

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

Sep 15 ~ Day #128
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Miles by Road
Miles by Sea
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Miles

Current Location: Trent/Mersey Canal System

Today’s Total Expenses: $70.38

Narrowboat: $70.38 (combination of transportation & accommodation)

Miles Traveled Today:
Sea Miles: 7.4 (canal miles)

Farewell to a Team Member

Just after coffee and breakfast T & E headed into town so that T could catch the bus to take him back to work.

He would rejoin us on Saturday but we would miss him as we continued on our narrowboat journey along the Trent/Mersey Canal.

Fradley Junction

We were now on our way to Fradley Junction where we would have to make a decision to either continue along the Trent/Mersey Canal or make a turn into the Coventry Canal.

This was also our “turn around” point. We couldn’t go much past Fradley Junction without turning around to head back if we were going to get back to Sawley Marina for our early Sunday morning check in.

As our map seemed to indicate that there were no locks along the Coventry Canal, at least not for the distance we expected to travel it, we chose to make the 90 degree turn at Fradley Junction into the Coventry Canal.

Coventry Canal

Now, saying we were going to make a 90 degree turn seems really simple, however, turning a 45-foot boat in a busy junction after just coming out of a lock into a very narrow canal is somewhat challenging.

Not to mention that as we turned into the Coventry Canal there was a swing footpath across the canal, and several other narrowboats coming and going into the junction.

On top of that, we needed to fill up with water and the water supply was just past the swing footpath and was crowded with other boats also filling up with water.

Old Salt

Geoff was, of course, at the tiller for this entire process and you would have thought that he’d been doing this kind of thing for years – an “Old Salt”, if you will.

E and I worked the lock, the swing bridge and the lines but Geoff did all the maneuvering of the long, narrow boat like a pro.

We replenished our water supply and were off again exploring the Coventry Canal.

Winding Holes

If you’ve not traveled the canal system in England, you may never have heard the term “winding hole”. However, if you are piloting a narrowboat on the English canal system this is a very important term.

You see, if you want to turn a 45-foot or longer boat around (which doesn’t bend in the middle by the way), you need to find a winding hole because it will be the only part of the canal wide enough where you can turn around.

The map we had was not totally clear about winding holes along the Coventry Canal, but we knew we’d have to turn around soon.

The plan was to get turned around and then moor for the night. That was the plan.

As we headed down the canal we noticed the boat ahead of us wave us off and we slowed down. It appeared they were trying to head into a section of the canal system that was still under construction, at least, according to our map it was.

We then realized that they were actually using this wider part of the canal to turn around. But, we were now too far past this wide section to do the same.

Oh, well, we thought, we’ll find a winding hole further down the canal and turn there. That’s what we thought.


We continued past lots of lovely English countryside and not much else.

Just as we were beginning to lose the light we came upon the town of Killington and decided that this was where we had best spend the night even though we still hadn’t found a place to turn around.

We moored the boat and explored the little town. We even thought we might treat ourselves to a pub dinner tonight only to find that the pub had closed, permanently, on September 11th!

So, it was back to the boat to make dinner and settle in for the night.

We decided we had better get underway fairly early the next morning because the longer it took us to find a place to turn around the longer it would take us to get back and the schedule could get a little too tight for comfort if we didn’t turn around soon.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

one × 5 =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.