Last night we wandered down to The Five Alls to eat where we enjoyed a couple of pints of beer that were new to us as well as their home made steak and ale pies with freshly cooked vegetables. Its no good come here for fast food as its cooked fresh so you have to wait, but its worth it, I can’t think where I have had a nicer pie. The atmospheric pressure has been shooting up, as has the wind speed, unfortunately the temperature has been falling, but at least it stayed dry.
We pushed off at 1030 heading back down the Nene (Old Course) passing the family of swans we saw yesterday on route. It turns out she has 7 little ones. When we reached the junction at Floods Ferry with Whittlesey Dyke we turned left into a very strong head wind that made it very difficult getting round. As we made our way along Whittlesey dyke we were followed by a Tern who took great delight diving into the water by our stern to catch small fish. I saw him get a couple but his success rate was not that high. About half a mile from Angle Corner Diana noticed that something has carried out some major excavation work in the bank. It looked too big for rabbits so is ether a fox or badger.
As I rounded the corner from her I could see Angle Corner Bridge, however I could not see through it and I said to Diana this could well be the end of this trip. I approached it very slowly and the chap onboard said he thought we may be able to get round the right hand side of him, luckily for us he was right. It looks as if they are building gabions by the bridge foundations.
When we arrived at Whittlesey we found all the visitor moorings full. Two of the boats had been there for a fortnight as they were crossing the Middle Level but are unable to leave Stanground Lock because the Nene is so high in Peterborough. We were planning to wind here anyway as there is a winding hole between the moorings and Ashline lock, the question was where to moor. We felt that the lower lock landing would be a good bet, so we locked back down and have stopped here for the night.
You may remember in one of my earlier trips through here I said that the MLC had overhauled the paddle gear and it requires about 70 turns to raise a paddle. The reason for this is that the paddles are suspended on threaded rods. These run up into a threaded sleeve that is suspended on a bearing. You fit your windlass to the top of the sleeve and rotate it, this in turn draws up the paddle just like a screw jack. On revolution of the windlass only lifts the paddle by the pitch of the screw thread. so its a lot of turns.