I woke a little after 6 this morning thanks to the local Cuckoo, it was not only dry but also bright, but I still had no intention of setting off at that time of the day. We set off at 9-30 and continued along the gin clear River Nene(Old Course) this is much different to the muddy stuff above the lock. I spotted several pike lurking among the cabbage leaf water plants as well as other fish. The clear water didn’t last long as we approached another pump outlet, however it was not long before it cleared again.
The old diesel pumps had an interesting system for cooling the engines, it consisted of what looks like a pile of wooden trays stacked up and the water cascades from the top to the bottom cooling on the way.
When we reached the junction we turned right to follow the Nene (Old Course) as far as we could and that wads not far. We were stopped by Exhibition bridge which only has a clearance of 1.3mt. luckily the river is slightly wider up by the bridge and we were just able to wind which saved a bit of reversing. When we got back to the junction we went straight ahead right to the end of navigation almost by the railway line at Holme. The last section along New Dyke is already effected by blanket weed. There is plenty of room to wind a 60 footer at the end, but coming back was slightly problematic which I thing was due to the blanket weed we pulled up from the bottom on our way down. This will only get worse as the summer progresses. We retraced or steps passing yet another small pumping station, the chap started this one just after we had passed it earlier and the outlet seemed to boil.
When we reached the junction with the Nene (Old Course) we turned right and past an old wind pump, this is the only one I have seen in this area of the Fens which considering how many there are in the Broads I find surprising. It also looks much stockier than those found in Broadland. It was by the mill that we realised it was a Bank Holiday when we met a boat coming the other way, apart from the lads in the pinched dingy this is the only boat we have seen on the move since we have been out.
Although the morning started fine and sunny it soon gave way to short showers with strong winds and this was more apparent as the day progressed. We pushed on and decided to moor again on the lock moorings. The bottom gates of the lock are left open so anyone coming down can reboard their boat in the lock, likewise anyone coming up can go straight into the lock and alight there. So we shouldn’t be in anyone’s way.