Thursday, 1 November 2012

Thursday 1 November 2012 Wicken Lode

Last night we ate at The Bridge Clayhithe. The pub fronts righta smallDSCF0418 onto the river but we moored just the other side of the bridge at the Cam Conservancy 48 hr. moorings. Over night we had heavy rain again, a little over 11 mm.a smallDSCF0409

This morning we set off at 10 am. winding and heading back up river to Baits Bite  lock to hand over some photos we took to Camcon who are looking for illustrations for their new guide to the Backs. We then turned below the weir and locka smallDSCF0412 to head off back down stream.

We have often considered visiting Horningsea as we have passed but there are only two public staithes, both forbid overnight a smallDSCF0416mooring and both are only about 25-30 foot long, so it would mean mooring the bows with the stern sitting out in the river on a mud weight.
Work is still continuing on the upper landing stage at Bottishama smallDSCF0421 Lock, it is a great improvement. They are also working on one of the three a smallDSCF0423sluice gates beside the lock. Following last nights 11 mm of rain the river above the lock was up a bit. Below the lock was more like a circus act with four chaps in dry suits trying to attach a smallDSCF0427lines to the scaffolding above. I think this was to install another coffer dam behind the gate.

The work at Bottisham Lode is completed and the coffer dam in front of the slam gates is removed along with all the pumps. Maybe the same team working below Bottisham Lock removed it.

We had planned to take a look up Swaffham Bullbeck Lode on our way down stream. Our Imray guide says it navigable to Slade Farm and the EA map says restricted access.
a smallDSCF0431Both appear to be wrong as there is a “No Entry” sign at the mouth of the lock. Both sets of V doors have been removed from the river end,a smallDSCF0438 so you would only be able to pass on the level. These gates use to be back to back as it was possible for the river to be higher or lower than the Lode.
The lock is in good conditiona smallDSCF0435 and even has “Safety Chains” hung along its length. The notice a smallDSCF0434at the mouth of the lock dates back to the  Anglian Water days.

The Lode its self also looks in good condition from what I could see from the lock. I wonder if navigation has ever a smallDSCF0437officially been abandoned  or just abandoned by neglect?

With that bit of exploring abandoned, it was again back down stream to Upware, where we turned a tight right to Reach Lode Lock.
This is an automatic flood control lock, but today there was less than an inch difference in the water levels,a smallDSCF0440 but you still can’t sail straight through, the lode end gate wont open until the river end is closed. Once clear of the lock we filled with water on the lock landing and then headed up Reach Lode as far as Wicken Lode, here we turned left under the wooden bridge and continued to the end of navigation in the rain, mooring on the GOBA moorings at the far end.

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