This morning was like summer, the sun was shining and the breeze light. We slipped our moorings at quarter past ten and made our way upstream, normally we would wind at the junction about a quarter of a mile above the caravan site, but today we were going to continue up as far as we could, passing an old dilapidated pumping station.
The rive was surprisingly clear of weed and deep, I took it very slowly as I didn’t know what to expect, the first half mile or so was easy with cows grazing the flood meadows, but then it started to get a bit more twisty. We passed a spot that I thought we may be able to wind in to come back down where a narrow channel joined the river on our right.
By now some of the bends were getting a bit tight with one of them being greater than 90° and with my slow speed and the flow against us it wasn’t easy to always get the bow round in one. I wouldn’t want to try to get much over a 60 foot boat up here. Eventually we came to the trees and after the second bend on the tree lined section our adventure came to an end, thanks to a tree down right across the river.
There was only one thing to do and that was to retrace our steps backwards to the spot I had earmarked to wind. It was quite easy going back as not only did I know what to expect but the flow helped the bow to swing out round the bends. When we reached the channel I dropped past and put the bows in, but unfortunately it was too shallow, I needed to be able to get in at least another 18” to get the stern round, so we did the whole mile and a third backwards, past the old pump house to wind in the wide junction where we normally turn.
Between the junction and the Caravan Site there are several private houses, some with their own moorings mainly laid to grass but this one had a vegetable garden and had Meercats on the top of the canes as well as a few CD to keep the birds away.
Passing last night moorings the round trip had taken us exactly 2 hours. We headed down stream under the flood gate and round the red marker buoys for whatever that are doing for the River Dove. I do hope they never want to lower this in a hurry as it looks as if there are a pair of supports bolted to the frame beneath the actual gate.
It may be possible to moor upstream of the Sugar beet factory where the river is quite wide on the left hand bank, I couldn’t see any “No Mooring” signs like in the lake section that is obviously controlled by British Sugar.
We considered stopping at Hilgay for the night and visiting the pub there for a meal, but decided that due to their conflicting information and erratic opening hours to push on to The Ship at Brandon Creek.
We re-joined the Gt.Ouse and turned left towards Brandon Creek, on the right bank as well as several fishermen there was a gaggle of 20 geese on the top of the bank/road and each car or van that came along the road had to stop for them. We pulled over and filled with water on the EA moorings by Hilgay Toll Bridge, is is a handy point because it is also a BT Hotspot, so I was able to update the map and download my emails while we filled up with water. Once full we carried on to The Ship arriving about 4 30 pm.