Following some feedback I am changing the layout of my log.
It was high tide a Kings Lynn at 8 51 am (Tide Table) and Salters load is between a hour and a hour and a quarter later, so at 10 am was just about the top of the tide, but with this much water in the river, it was a 7.5 Mt tide we wouldn’t be able to get through the guillotine and we had to wait another hour before we could lock out.
The water was within 2” of the top of the bottom gates and we were almost against the bridge roof, well into the arch.
Had the water been any higher then the Ouse would have been flowing down Well Creak which probably wouldn’t have been a good idea. By the time we left the lock the tide had been ebbing for a good hour and was traveling out a a fair lick, I had to give her loads of welly to get the stern round and we still ended up close to the far bank.
By now we could just see Denver Sluice in the mist. The mud bank in the mouth was just as it was before but with this big a tide I knew we could go between the mud bank coming out from the left and the now submerged island in front of the sluices. When we arrived some 15 minutes later there were three chaps with lifejackets on with a bucket on a rope at the end of the landing stage, this is the one you can’t use because its actually sitting on the mud bank. They were collecting mud samples for analysis prior to dredging the lock mouth, maybe next time we come we will be able to sail straight in.
Once locked down to the none tidal Ouse we turned left at the sailing club to fill with water and empty the toilet tank. Thanks EA for free pump outs. Once this was done it off to new grounds for us into the relief channel lock and down onto the relief channel. This lock is all button operated and hydraulically powered with a control station at each end. As we we were leaving the lock I spotted a crab sitting on the lower safety chain below the surface. I have never seen a crab in fresh water before.
Once out of the lock it was hard right and down the very straight relief channel.
This channel is wider than the river but with the sluices closed has very little flow on it. I wouldn’t want to be here in times of flood.The banks of the channel are very high and you probably see less than on the Middle Level. The railway runs parallel along the right hand bank but nether can see each other over the bank, just the tops of the electrification wires show you where it is.
There are tree very good floating moorings along the channel, each by one of the bridges. The first is at Downham Market probably about half a mile from the town centre. The next is by The Pelican or Heron Hotel, at Stow Bridge, The sigh at the front says Pelican but on the end wall Heron and the third at Wiggenhall. They all have water taps and you could probably get 4 Narrowboats along side the first but only 2 at the third.
We carried on in the murk to the official end of navigation although I see no reason why we couldn’t have continued for at least another half a mile beyond this point and through the next bridge. The building behind the sign looks as if it was an old sailing or maybe rowing club but all their pontoons have disappeared, maybe they will replace them next season.