Last night we ate in The Anchor Inn which is just across the road from the EA moorings as well as having a drink with Sue and Vic plus a couple of their local friends. These are good EA moorings with the GOBA moorings on the opposite bank, before we left this morning people were shuffling boat from one to the other probably for the weekend.
We waved goodbye to Vic and Sue and then moved into their spot to top up with water, its was a rather urgent requirement as its the first fill up since Denver.
We were away through the bridge heading upstream at 1020 hrs. There is a team doing maintenance in the bridge archers but luckily not the navigation arch. They have a plastic raft which is moored by driving scaffold poles into the river bed. This is a multi arched bridge that also crosses the flood plains and a couple of weeks ago water was flowing through all the arches.
The new Bedford Bypass now crosses the river on Castle Mill Viaduct. This is a short way before Castle Mill Lock. This is an unusual lock as the paddles of slackers to both fill and empty the lock are mid way along the lock on one side. The water entering the lock also comes in on one side and erupts against the opposite wall pinning a Narrowboat quite firmly to the right hand wall. At the lock there were notices warning of construction work ahead, what they didn’t say was where it was and it was some time before we found out. It was Cardington Lock where they are installing new lock landings. Because its a “construction site” we were not allowed off the boat and a workman came and worked us through. The downstream lock landing looks complete but fully fenced off, however they are still working on the upstream one.
Not long after this we passed the GOBA moorings near the pyramid and this turned out to bee our moorings for the night but we were not stopping yet. Onward towards Bedford and I had to do an emergency stop at the footbridge, the exhaust was about an inch to high to get under and I stopped about 6 inches short of the bridge. At the end of the park there is a boating lake and they have Gondolas on it for hire. Bedford lock is a very sharp turn to the right as it is set at right angles to the river and effectively connects two parallel waterways which are still the Gt. Ouse. Coming out of the lock you are right into the town and turning left takes you upstream past the Law Courts, Swan Hotel and other fine buildings. A short way further upstream to the right of the island are the Town/EA visitor moorings and a water point. Now we were this far we had to continue to the head of navigation, this involved navigating some quite low railway bridges. I am not sure that we reached the head of navigation because we did not see any EA signage to that effect but we did come to a very narrow fork with no indication which was the channel so at that point I decided to turn round and head back down stream. There are lots of new flats being built along side this part of the river some of them 7 stories tall. We didn’t want to moor overnight in town even though the Town/EA moorings looked fine so we headed back to Bedford Lock, again at right angles to this section of river to lock down, unfortunately someone had turned the lock since we came up and the electricity supply has not been connected to the recently motorised guillotine gate yet. We wound it up by 100 turn which was not full up but sufficient to get under and then anther 100 turns down. Out of the lock and hard left downstream passed the park. There is a very nice mooring here long enough for a Narrowboat and a cruiser but being such a fine afternoon we thought the park could well be popular later tonight so continued on to the Pyramid and GOBA moorings. The Pyramid is actually The Oasis Beach Pool with a water feature round it.