Thursday, 29 August 2013

Benwick Thursday 29 Aug 2013

last night they finished harvesting some time between 10-30 and 11pm. and I expected a peaceful mooring.

DSCF3322 This morning I pulled the mud weights at 10 am. but they didn’t have time to get dry. We went a short way up river to Nightingales Corner and turned right then less than quarter of a mile to Exhibition Bridge, where after winding the mud weightsDSCF3325 went down again. The published clearance of Exhibition Bridge is 1.2Mt but it is actually 1.5Mt but we still can’t get under it so it was time to inflate and launch the canoe. When we got to the other side of the bridge the gauge shows the bridge as 1.8Mt, yes it slopes and they have gauged each side differently to the height  of the entrance. I am very glad it slopes the way it does or I may well have tried to get under it.

We paddled up stream (officially as there is no flow) as far as Bevill’s Leam Pumping Station which now straddles Bevill’s Leam. We have come down to the other side of the pumping station on Harnser from Angle Corner.

A quick photo and we turned and went back to the junction of the North western Cut where we went just through the bridge before turning back. We did consider going all  the way to the end but that would have been another 2 miles each way and we are not that fit yet. In places the weed covered the surface from side to side, it was surprising how hard it was paddling through this. The round trip took us 2 hr 45 min. with only floating stops for a slurp of juice and a biscuit, a total journey of 5.5 miles.  (Red line on the map)

Back at the boat we loaded the canoe on the roof and set off back towards Benwick. This Grebe hasn’t realised that the breading season is over.DSCF3337We met another boat as we made our way to the Benwick moorings in almost the same spot as yesterday.

While motoring along I rang Stanground lock to book a passage for 4pm tomorrow as you have to give 24 hrs notice, this would give us plenty of time to get from Benwick, however the latest they could offer was 1 pm. so it looks like an early start in the morning.

Work was ongoing on the flood defences at Benwick and the new path is only happening because the sheet piling machine destroyed the old one, it wasn’t in the plan. Also they are just capping the imitation brick walls, not back filling and there will be removable gates to each property stored by the bridge. As we passed we could see piles of the brick tile covered sheets,DSCF3339 the don’t have half bricks but a half brick gap on the end so when the fix the sheets they but two halves together and then fix a DSCF3341 brick in the space so when finished and pointed you cant see the joints.

We had been moored here about 20 min. when another boat arrived from the other direction. We invited them to moor along side, but as they had two dogs they asked if we could move up a bit so they could just get their stern onto the moorings, which we did. She then told us that she was surprised to see us here as her friends  had only left a short time before and when they met told them the mooring was free.

The evening was capped off with a BBQ and the most glorious sunset with a bright red sun going down behind the horizon.

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