Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Tuesday 13 March 2012 Brandon Creek

Last night we decided to eat at The Angle in Watlington http://theangelpub.webs.com/, it was a good twenty minute walk each way along mainly unlit and pavement free roads, however the food was worth it with very good portion sizes and both Woodfords and London Pride on the pumps.09

I have since discovered that what I thought was a sailing of rowing club is in fact a water ski club, which would account for the ban on navigation on safety grounds. The clubhouse looked in good condition but the rest quite run down.

We left the moorings at 1010 hrs. making our way back towards 01Denver. On the way we stopped of to look at The Heron or as I thought Pelican pub. It is in fact The Heron but anyone could get it wrong looking at their sign. 04They don’t do food on a Monday or Sunday evening and the railway level crossing is just at the end of the bridge. 
The next stop was at Downham Market where we visited the Factory shop and the charity store next door, being big spenders we cam away with Shortbread Biscuits from one and 6 glasses from the other. These moorings are defiantly long enough for 4 Narrowboats singled out. We had lunch while we were moored up.

The next port of call was the lock to take us back onto the Ouse, I dropped Diana off on the floating platform to work the lock and then turned the 90° into it. No one had used it since we came down yesterday. Diana went to the first control panel, unlocked it10 and closed the gates. She locked the panel, walked to the head of the lock and opened the second panel, but was unable to lift the slackers, the reason being the bottom doors had crept open a tad and was locking it out. So close the top panel, remove key, walk to bottom panel, unlock and close doors again, close and lock panel, remove key, hurry to top panel in case the doors creep, unlock and raise slackers, we are in business. We leave the lock with the gates open ready for the next user and head off up the Ten Mile Bank passing an interesting house boat with a human sculpture fishing from the rear deck.11

Along this stretch of river we saw some strange cages made from about 1” weld mesh and fitted with floats on the inside, they are about 3’ by 2’. I had noticed some cages made of the same material suspended between the floats on the mooring walkways.13

We passed a very jolly fisherman who took great delight pointing out his beard was better than mine, on his bivi he had a TV aerial so I guess he is planning to stay all night.15 you can see what a clam day it is from his reflection, In the words of Jeff’s song “Not a ripple to be seen”

A little further on is the home of The Denver Cruising Club, they have a large floating clubhouse carrying an advertisement for new members with moorings available. I could only see one slot18 amongst the mixture of cruisers with all their TV aerials looking like a colourful shanty town, maybe the don’t cruise but watch TV.
Our stopping place for the night is The Ship at Brandon Creek, we had only just moored up when another Narrowboat went by, they were the only boat we have seen on the move since we left our moorings, well not quite true, there was a chap in a rowing boat filling his bottles with water.

One of the things that has struck me is the number of Great Crested Grebes in the area, also how much tamer everything is on the river than they  were on the relief channel. This chap was sitting just across from where we have moored.24

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