Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Tue 28 Aug 2012 Alwalton Lock

Last night the railway didn’t disturb us at all, maybe it was down to being a Bank Holiday.

This morning we were in no real hurry as we were booked to do Stanground at 2 pm. however the boat inside us who kindly invited us to moor alongside was booked for midday, so when the boat ahead had left we moved forward  so he could leave in his own time.

I then took care of a couple of small maintenance jobs. The rain fall recorder on the weather station had stopped working, reason a large spider had set up home inside the metering device building a strong cobweb under the seesaw stopping it from tripping back and forth. Sorted.
The other job was the 250 hr. oil and filter change, I left the engine running while I did the weather station to get it warm to make it easier to pump the oil out.

We set off at 1110 hrs. just as a boat was coming down who wanted our mooring so that worked well. As we were leaving the town there was a chap with a crawler repairing the track, a smallDSCF9656he had a small Jack Russell who looked as if he would fall from the cab at any moment. Almost opposite where he was working was a single cow and calf, as you can see the calf has black ears and nose.a smallDSCF9653

It was also at this point we met jet another boat, so Stanground  has seen 5 boats at and 4 in today, needless to say we were the last.
On the outskirts of Whittlesey there is a layby with a transporta smallDSCF9671 cafe, parked by it we saw this rather elderly chain drive tar tanker. The signwriting indicates it comes from Turves which is very local to the Middle Level.
We arrived at Stanground at 1 pm. an hour early so we settled down to wait, about 20 minutes later there was a call from outside, the was the relief lock keeper asking if we would like to go out now, so we did. In Peterborough we stopped to fill with water, we didn’t need much, but on the Nene you take it where you can. Just as we were leaving the chap from the boat we were moored against last night turned up and asked if he could share the next lock with us, which was no problem.
Orton Lock must be the most difficult lock to enter cleanly on the whole river, maybe even the whole inland waterway system. There is a long 3 bay sluice beside the lock and this sets up a rotating water flow below the lock, so for the last 50 Mt's you crab towards the lock, bows to the left and at the very last moment it all changes and pulls your stern that way instead. After the lock our friend left us to go to Ferry Meadows to moor. we headed upstream to moor just above Alwalton Lock. About half a mile before the lock we met this family in a blow-up dingy, a smallDSCF9683I think the smallest child may have been wearing a buoyancy aid but none of the rest where, which looked like 3 kids, mum  and grandma.
We arrived at Alwalton lock at 4 pm and after working up the lock slid backwards into the weir stream for the night. a small DSCF9651There was a cruiser moored at the mouth when we arrived but he departed a little after 5 pm. I was very surprised how noisy it is here, but looking at a proper map I can see the A1 is not that far away.

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