Farndon Marina Cruise – The pictures & all the adventure details!

We set off at 07.30 on Thursday 28th March intending to make a 4 day 3 night return cruise to Farndon Marina situated a couple of miles upstream from Newark. The forecast on the day was for 50+ mph gale force winds by early afternoon and torrential rain, so it was important that we made an early start. Due to the unusually high water level in the Fossdyke, our start was unexpectedly delayed due to Duncan’s boat Mr Blue Sky (a Sealine S42) being unable to fit through Saxilby railway bridge, despite Duncan’s best effort to get her through. After a quick return to Burton Waters, Duncan was able to switch over to his other boat Carpe Diem a Sealine S28 and we were on our way. The river level in the Trent was really high, so much that the passage through Torksey lock saw the water level only needing to drop by around only 12-18 inches. We made good progress upstream towards Cromwell Lock, despite having to battle a heavy flow of water against us. As we approached Cromwell lock it was clear that the storm that had been forecast for the afternoon was upon us, so we decided once we had locked through, that we would moor up for the night topside of Cromwell Lock and hopefully see out the storm. It was an eventful evening to say the least with not much sleep.
Next day and the winds had dropped to a moderate breeze, so after breakfast we continued on our way to Farndon. The amount of water coming down the river was incredible, which made it quite challenging at times, especially negotiating the weir flow at Nether Lock and Town Lock in Newark saw the water level come up almost to the top of the Locksides. Newark arches had a tremendous flow of water coming through, meaning little room for error, but we finally made it into Farndon relatively unscathed by the whole experience.
We had a pleasant couple of days at Farndon with the weather improving, but so much water had come down, plus the exceptionally high Spring Tide, meant that on Good Friday afternoon, the Environment Agency closed the flood gates at both Newark Town and Torksey, meaning that we were now stuck in Farndon. As we had to get back home on Easter Sunday due to other commitments, there was only one thing we could do and that was to leave the boats safely moored in Farndon Marina and return once the water levels had subsided to a safe level. What we didn’t bank on was that it would be two weekends later before the floodgates at Torksey would be re-opened to allow us to make the return trip.
So, on Sunday 13th April, we headed back to Farndon to make the return journey. This time, whilst the river levels were still above normal, the journey was a completely different experience. With light winds and a sunny and moderately warm day, we made the trip back in no time at all and totally without incident.
I must say a massive thanks to Duncan Roberts and Jo Rogers for their guidance, knowledge and at times ‘hands on’ support on this journey. Without them we simply would not have attempted the journey given the conditions. Their support & guidance, has given us a massive amount of confidence to want to attempt future trips further afield.
Please keep a lookout on the events calendar for anyone who wishes to join us on future club accompanied cruises and contact me at javarley@gmail.com for details
Posted in Navigation.