Day 7 (13th Sep 2013) – Keadby to Torksey Lock

Today saw Team Gutless parting company with ‘Michael Hayes’, their trusty support boat. After getting them to Keadby it was returning to Thwaite Mills and Canal Connections. Also leaving were Patrick and Curtis, but not before a farewell pasta dinner cooked by Curtis. Curtis’s Mum Lesley and partner George joined Justin, Alice, Stuart, Stevo, Terry and Curtis for a slap up meal on ‘Michael Hayes’, Patrick having already left for the London train. A good night was had by all.

In the morning Justin and Terry went through Keadby lock at 9:30 sharp to catch the start of the incoming tide. Stevo had decided that discretion was the better part of valour and that the 27 miles to Torksey lock was more than his old body could handle in the five hour tide window and so was taking a rest day on Merlot. Arriving to assist with the tidal Trent were Chris and Rachel from the Yorkshire Waterways Museum, their local knowledge of the river proving extremely helpful. The ‘Merlot’ followed the lads through the lock at 10:15 with the flood tide and the crew waved farewell to the moored ‘Michael Hayes’. Somebody would be picking her in a couple of days. Stuart decided to take a day off and let Chris and Rachel take the helm which left him and Stevo to busy themselves with our dwindling alcohol supplies, making cups of tea and sausage, bacon and egg butties. Later they set themselves up on the foredeck with deckchairs and drank beer in the sunshine while listening to a few tunes. An exhausting day.

Meanwhile, back with the kayaks, the lads seemed to be staying a little ahead of the tide and weren’t initially getting the boost they’d hoped for. They kept soldiering on and eventually got some tidal help as they got further upstream. The crew on ‘Merlot’ eventually sighted them in the distance but couldn’t reel them in. When Torksey lock finally appeared Justin and Terry had broken all previous Gutless records for a day’s run, 27 miles in six hours with the final half hour against the turning tide. Well done.

At Torksey lock the gang moored up their remaining support boat, pitched a couple of tents and retired to the White Swan pub for debriefing, and possibly food and drink.

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