Monday, 7 May 2012

Monday 7 May 2012

Last night we had a lovely sunset followed by a clear view of theDSCF8292 small starts and planets and it was all topped off with the still almostsmallDSCF8293






full moon. What an evening and night after a month of rain. smallDSCF8300

I just love this mooring by the lock, its so quiet and no dawn chorus.
We set off about 10 am. passing a willow tree that looked as if it had been filled with spray foam insulation.smallDSCF8305

At the end of the arm MLC have built a natural looking Otter Holt using old logs.smallDSCF8308

At the end of the arm we turned right onto the Sixteen Foot Drain. Apart from keep removing the chimney for most of the bridges there was not much to report other than the railwaysmallDSCF8313 crossing with adjacent level crossing, this appears to spend more time closed to road traffic than open.

At the end of the Sixteen Foot we went straight on down the Middle Level Main Drain as far as it is possible to go, which is where Mullicourt Aqueduct crosses it with about a foot betweensmallDSCF8316 the bottom of the trough and the water surface. I wonder how many other boaters have had this view of the Aqueduct. By now the rainsmallDSCF8326 had increased and I had the steerer’s shelter up. I find it a bit claustrophobic but its dry on long open stretches. The reinforced concrete bridge that spans this section requires its own reinforcing.smallDSCF8322 

A bit closer to the junction you can see where the course of Pophams  Eau goes off to re-join via a weir at Nordelph.smallDSCF8328 We will save this one for better weather.smallDSCF8331Back at the junction with Popham;s Eau, at Three Holes we turned right until we reached Low Corner where we re-joined the River Nene (Old Course). Here I rang the lock keeper at Marmont Priory to tell Maureen we were on of way, as usual we only got her answer phone and left our details.
It looks from the marks on the bank as if a car or something has left the road and entered the water along this section, with mud on the bank as if its been dragged out.
When we arrived at the lock Maureen was out in the rain working a Fox’s day boat down, as soon as it left we went in and as we were coming up a Fox’s hire boat stopped below the locks waiting to come up. Just after leaving the lock the rain eased and a swansmallDSCF8334 took the opportunity to have a spruce up while still on her nest. We moored at Upwell by the church for the night, Here you will find one of the only two water points on the Middle Level. It was installed by The Well Creak Trust and to gain access to it you have to collect the key from the local pub. This is loaned to you against a £5 returnable deposit. I think last time we used this tap it had a MLC lock on it.
Just as we finished taking water the Fox’s hire boat came by, stopping alongside, I thought he may be mooring, but he just wanted to thank me for posting a blog about the area as we travel round.

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