Saturday, 31 August 2013

Elton Saturday 31 August 2013

We only had the dawn chorus to wake us this morning and then we went back to sleep. Last night dinner was taken at the Boathouse. This is part of the Old English Inn chain and dinner was fine, service good and they had Timothy Taylors Landlord on the pump.

This morning we set off at 9-30 back down to Peterborough embankment to fill with water and empty the black tank. I also called in at Poundland and bought a card reader, guess what, it doesn’t take the cards from Diana’s camera.

It was 11 am when we finally started our journey up the Nene, the first lock we came to was Orton with very little water running over the weirs other than the canoe course but even this was enough to set up an eddy current below the lock mouth.DSCF3369 As we were about to leave the lock a Narrowboat turned up so we left one top gate for them, however a second joined them so they opened both gates to get in one at a time.

The Ea warn of shoaling below Waternewton lock but state that it is buoyed, The shoaling is almost right across the river with the channel to the left of this row of buoys. You can even see the sand bank in this photo.DSCF3372

This Swan was somewhat upset that the one under it had joined him and is wife and signets, last I saw he was still chasing it out of the water and across the field DSCF3374

We were just closing the gate on Alwarton Lock when Diana spotted a Narrowboat coming upstream, so of course she raised it again for them to come in.  The only problem is that even if the gate is not closed you still have to wait for the delay to open it so it was not a quick job. It turned out to be Sumo from Nene Valley Boats and we shared with them for the rest of the day..DSCF3377 Again we were lucky with a cruiser turning up just as we were leaving. With the Nene locks, for some reason you have to leave the lock empty with the gate up, this takes a good 10 minutes as even with no boat in the lock you still have to wait for the gate timer to time out before fully lifting the gate.

There was a rather nice launch moored just before Pat Buckles yard at Stibbington, I could see my self behind the wheel of this going up and down the Thames.DSCF3380 Not long after this we passed the Obelisk at Stibbington Hall and then trough the old A1 bridge that says County of Huntington  on one side of the river and County of Soke of Peterborough on the other.DSCF3383 

Needles to say I met another two Narrowboats coming downstream on a bend with a big willow sticking out on my side on the inside of the bend making it blind. I tucked it to let the first through but the second very kindly hung back for me. Shortly after that it was three swimmers that came round the bend mid channel causing a rapid application of the breaks.

In Yarwell lock we said goodbye to our locking companions, they were going on to Elton but we planned to pull in at Nassington.DSCF3386 However as we passed we could see that the moorings were full of cruisers and that there was a large bouncy castle on the green so we just carried on slowly waiting for Sumo to catch up. At the two arched bridge just before Elton I took the wrong arch as its much easier to line up if no one is coming downstream, I had just completed the manoeuvre  when a wide beam came down stream, i guess he had seen what I had done because as Sumo rounded the bend below the bridge he gave a good blast on the horn to let everyone know he was coming down and not to try the same thing. We worked through Elton lock together and then moored just above the lock for the night.

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