As we wandered round the lock which is in amazing condition considering you can’t use it, I saw this stone set into the off side lock wall. What a shame all that money and effort going to waste.
We set off at 9 30 and reversed back the 1.2 miles (from Google Maps) to the junction of the Sixteen Foot Drain and the Forty Foot drain, arriving at 1005 hrs. Just before the junction we passed this Otter holt under construction using cut logs and plastic piping. The MLC have installed lots of Otter holts in the banks but this is the first I have seen made of wood. The others are completely underground with two large plastic pipes leading into them. A fisherman at the junction said that we were the first boat he had ever seen down there.
From here we carried on along the Forty Foot Drain right beside the main road, we received several hoots and waves from the passing cars and lorries. The weather was quite miserable and we considered trying to moor near The George at Ramsey Forty Foot but there was nowhere suitable so we continue on through the bridge where a water side house has a full size plastic cow in the front garden, a fisherman opposite told us that they turn it round from time to time.
When we reached the junction of the River Nene (old course) we turned right towards Benwick. On the junction there is a large motor home sales ground with several thousand pounds worth of stock parked at the back. Just beyond this is a very active Rookery with some large nests and lots of birds making quite a racket, not a spot to moor overnight.
This being the course of the old river is quite bendy and unlike the dead straight drains we have gotten use to. Just before Benwick there is an old wooden sluice on the right hand side. We have moored for the night on the new public 36 hour moorings. When I say new I am referring to the pontoon which is new, the actual moorings have been here for some time and last time we visited in 2008 we tied the stern to the trees and put a stake in at the bows, it was then a mater of using the gang plank to get ashore.