Last night was not a bad night at all, the Leisure Centre didn’t have all the outside yellow lights on and there didn’t appear to be many trains running.
However this morning things changed. We had booked a passage through Stanground Lock for 1 PM. so that meant we didn’t need to set off until 11 AM so a lay in was in order. About 6 30 AM the trains started and the birds were singing, but I got passed that, then some time before 9 AM there was a knock on the side of the boat, I went and opened the hatch wrapped in a towel to find a lady boater stand there. They had entered Ashline lock from below with their Narrowboat and because they didn’t have a Middle Level windlass they were stuck, could we lend them one, which of course we did.
It turned out they only bought the boat in March yesterday and were taking it back to London as a project boat. They had spoken to the EA and were told if that they didn’t intend to close the Nene Locks until first thing Tuesday morning, so they were in with a good chance. They also were booked through Stanground at 1 PM and were pushing straight on to there.
Diana wandered off into town while I did a few odds and ends around the boat and at 11 AM we pushed off. One day I will get round the Whittlesey bend in one go, but not today.
By now the sun was actually shining and in the course of the day the temperature climbed up to nearly 14°C but it actually felt cooler than yesterday due to a bit of breeze.
We arrived at Stanground about quarter to one and Tina was waiting to meet us. “Blossom” the boat ahead of us had just gone out. Not only did they not have a windlass they didn’t have any decent ropes and their outboard engine kept cutting out.
First job after leaving the lock was to call in at the boatyard for diesel where we took on 90 Lt. at 94p/Lt. It was a case of backing in to a stern on mooring with the bows half way across the channel, but with very little flow on or wind just there it wasn’t a problem.
Once on the Nene we stopped for lunch followed by a free pump-out. Since the pump-out has been replaced it is really fast with a good suction, however it did result in me having to get completely changed after we had finished. This was not due to what you are probably thinking but due to the tap coming off the rinse hose. The rinse hoses are not just a bit of hose, but 22mm copper feeding a 3/4” fire reel. When I closed the ball valve feeding the reel it blew straight off the end of the copper pipe sending a 22mm fountain up inside the enclosure and the only way I could stop it was to push the valve back on the end of the copper pipe. It came off 3 times while I was trying to retighten the nut on the bottom to make it nip the pipe, so I was a bit damp. I sorted it in the end and rang Peterborough Council so they can send someone to refit it properly.
After changing cloths it was a bit of retail therapy in town. On the way back we looked at The Grain Barge a floating Chinese restaurant but it didn’t look very inviting. Returning to the boat we cast off and headed to the rowing lake for the night arriving about 5 PM to find all the moorings deserted.