Last night when we went to the pub for diner we were the only boat on the moorings, when we came out a couple of hours later there was a Narrowboat moored in behind us, he must have been dead lucky to get through Hermitage lock last night.
We left this morning at 10 am. the wind had moderated a lot and it was a bit warmer, as I write this it 12°C. The river had come up another 4” over night but didn’t seem to be flowing fast. What were fields when we came up are now lakes.
At Brownhills lock the guillotine gates are completely under water when shut. The sluices are fully open but the level is the same both sides being held back by the flow down to Kings Lynn and the height of the tide. From here we had to call the Hermitage lock keeper as there are no pontoons above his lock. As we left the lock it looks as if the EA are going to replace the two floating barges with proper floating pontoons some time soon.
The levels through Earith were also higher with just odd spots of land visible where there should be fields.
Most the the equipment has been removed from the services so at least you can get water now.
Arriving at hermitage Lock we found the other pontoons moored waiting for completion. Also the Earith road bridge over the New Bedford River is closed today foe repairs, so they had a barge moored in there to work from. There was just enough head room to get it under.By now another Narrowboat had caught us up but the lock is not big enough to take two so he had to hang around and wait for the lock to turn. The lock keeper did this straight away not even letting a waiting boat come up to save time.
The Old West river seemed a bit low on level, well the signs said “Submerged piling” but it was about 3” above the surface. We chugged along meeting a few boats until we reached Popes Corner where we turned right up the Cam, the flow was now noticeable and we carried on to Upware where we planned to go through Reach Lock to the Lodes. However the lock gate was wide open, it is normally closed as its an automatic flood control lock. Nether the green to enter or red to stay out lights were on, but all lights on the panel were showing correctly. We went in but were unable to operate the lock, so it was a case of reversing out again, not helped by a boat moored on the lock landing. Maybe they were waiting to go through, but there was no one about. Backing out I picked up a blade full that included polly bags and a length of 8mm rope with a chain link on the end, which made an interesting noise as it spun round hitting the swim.
I reversed onto the pub moorings where I removed the offending items by cutting it up with a Stanley Knife. We will stay here for the night now. The pub is quite busy with people sitting out in the garden drinking.