The rain woke us at quarter to four this morning, so it was a case of getting up, removing all the fly screens and closing all the doors and hatches. The sky was bright with almost constant lightning but I didn’t hear any thunder. It rained until 11 AM so we waited until then before moving as we are in no hurry. Once it stopped we said goodbye to the boat behind and set off to Brandon, the head of navigation.
On our way upstream we were to see lots of Harriers, I think they were Marsh Harriers as they looked very dark all over.
The insect repellent we have seems to work quite well and I only got bitten once by the numerous Horseflies in the area and that was on my foot by the sandal strap, a spot missed by the repellent.
As we approached Brandon Railway bridge I spotted a life ring in the water, good job we were going this way as it was trailing a long line. Diana hooked it out from the bows so the rope was recovered long before getting near the prop. We had both guest where it came from and this was confirmed as it had “Brandon Lock EA” written on the side. When we arrived at Brandon I backed into the lock and put it in its rightful place. This lock is to short for us to pass through, if only the EA had but the bottom gates at the end of the chamber when they rebuilt it it would have made a great difference, allowing lots more boat to go up above Brandon. As you can see we are well inside the chamber but because of the positing the gate are hung we are not in the lock and it wouldn’t have cost a penny more.
We stopped at the visitor moorings below the lock for lunch, again these have been vandalised with the name board being ripped down and is probably in the river somewhere. I am glad we didn’t come down last night to overnight here.
The run down stream went well, there was an interesting structure in the water just below the Cut Off Channel sluice. It looks like a BMX ramp, so I can only guess they have been somersaulting into the river.
Last time we came this way this poor old fisherman wasn’t feeling quite so happy, I am pleased they have done something to cheer him up. The only thing that has marred the trip up here has been the almost continuous noise from the jets roaring overhead. When we reached the junction of the Little Ouse and the Great Ouse we turned left towards Ely. The first EA moorings by the pub were full so we continued on to Brandon Bank EA Moorings by the layby, there were two cruisers here already but we managed to get half on the end using the stern and centre rope, the bows are beside the reeds.
Last time we were this way some dumb dumb had managed to burn the end of one of the wooden tables by having a disposable BBQ on it. This time they have managed to smash the top of one in half, I am sure it wasn’t the weight of their dinner or even the drink that did this, but maybe after the drink was consumed.