Monday, 31 October 2011

Whittington 31 October 2011 Day 3

At about five to ten this morning I untied and started to move down to the lock landing, Paul called from his garden to go straight into the lock and he would be there shortly. Once in the lock with the gates behind closed it is immediately obvious the danger of coming up under the walkways attached to the gate. I am going to suggest to the MLC that they remove them as they serve no useful purpose now that the slackers are mechanised.

High tide at Kings Lynn was at 0853 hrs. local time so by the time DSCF6976we entered the lock it had turned but we still had to wait for the river level to fall further before Paul commenced filling the lock. A little after 1030 hrs. he cracked the first slacker, thank goodness it wasn’t the one on the side we were sitting as dark brown water fountained up into the air. I had already removed the stove chimney and at Pauls suggestion I also removed the exhaust. The lock slowly filled and Harnser rose closer to the arch of the bridge. By the time the lock had filled the phone aerial was bent over and the pigeon box was about 2 inches from the under side of the arch, the water was just lapping the top gates. The bottom guillotine gate lifted and we could see out onto the river. We still couldn’t go anywhere as the lock at Denver was not ready but not only that we still wouldn’t fit under the bottom edge of the guillotine gate, when the water had dropped about another 4” at about 1050 hrs. we were just able to slide out. Even so early into the tide I was surprised how fast the river was running . It took a lot of engine power to turn into the flow and start making progress to Denver. I was advised to keep the power on to get there as soon as possible as Denver has a big problem with the lock mouth silting up and the more water there when we arrived the less problem it was likely to be. I held to the right of the river until I rounded the bend and then made my for the middle of the sluices reducing power as we moved out of the flow of the river, when I guessed we were past the bank I turned left to the lock sliding in by the right hand wall.

DSCF6985After locking down onto the none tidal Ouse we chugged round to the left to fill up with water. There is a water point and a free pumpout just by the slipway almost opposite the lock that drops down to The Great Ouse Relief Channel.

DSCF6994With the water tank once again full we headed south until we came to the River Wissey where we turned sharp left and stopped at the GOBA moorings for lunch. There was one small cruiser moored right in the middle of the moorings, he shot out and offered to move up a bit, saying he had not expected to see another boat on the river, I replied neither did we. As the moorings are probably in excess of 100 Mt. long there was tons of room for us without him moving.

DSCF7011The next point of interest is the Sugar Beet factory, East Anglia has several of these and from September to spring time they can bee DSCF7009seen belching out white steam, they are often adjacent to rivers both for the water they use and in times passed transporting the sugar beet by boat. One thing that has changed since last time we were here is the old concrete bridge has had its deck removed.

We winded at what is classed the end of navigation where the river forks, I understand you can get a bet further TNC style. If the bank had been better I would have moored here, but we have to get the poor old dog off, I am sure it would be much quieter than our intended mooring on the GOBA moorings at the caravan park right by the road bridge.

The moorings are only about 70 ft. long so we have taken it all up, but I am not expecting any one to turn up in the dark. Once moored you have to report in at reception, as expected there was no one there, but a couple in a caravan, who I suspect live on site said they were then coming to see me as the site manager was away. I gave them my name, the boat name and my GOBA membership number and then settled down for what looks like being a noisy night on Harnser.

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