Wednesday 19 December 2012

Wednesday 19 December 2012 Floods Ferry

It was cold,damp and miserable this morning and we set off at about 10 30 AM.

We were just creeping along through the town when I noticed a fishing line go tight. One of the riverside residents had left a line out fishing for pike, he didn’t even have a proper float to see, just a lump of polystyrene. The owner had gone indoors and just left it. The line went taught, the reel paid out, once all the line was gone the rod flew out of its stand and shot into the river. I stopped and caught the rod with the boat hook, Diana cleared the line from the bows and the owner came down to the bank. The situation was under control then the rod owner told Diana to just throw the hook, bate, weight  and lump of polystyrene back into the water and before I could say anything, she did. I now had the rod on the roof and the tackle in the water, so I now had to retrieve it before I could put the boat in gear to try and get the boat back under control and not hit the cruisers moored along the bank. After all this I reversed back and gave the fisherman his equipment back, he said he wasn’t expecting any boats to go by.

After this it was an uneventful trip back to the moorings where I set to and drained the water system in case we get any bad frosts before we get back to her after Christmas.

Tuesday 18 December 2012

Tuesday 18 December 2012 March

This morning was not as bright as the last couple of days and we have had a few spots of rain.
Before setting off we went to look at the mud and water at Denver and outside Salters Lode lock. The tide was still just making slowly and it was not a particularly big tide. I think I could have probably got over to Denver, but there is no way I would have chosen to come back. I have set the photos against yesterdays at low tide.a smallDSCF0634a smallDSCF0633

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It was twenty past ten when we set off with a target of March for the night. I rather like the village sign for Outwell depicting the light railway that use to run from Wisbech through Outwell to Upwell. The two villages join each other and run along the banks of Well Creek.  a smallDSCF0639

  I rang Marmont Priory lock as we passed through Upwell and left a message that we were on our way. When we arrived the lock was exactly how we left it, I rang the bell for the lock keeper and we proceeded to work our way through, We were almost down before Maureen appeared for a chat. As you can see there is a bridge over the lock with about 6 feet headroom when the lock is full, so you have to remember to remove the chimney when cominga smallDSCF0649 up.

By now the weather was getting brighter and the slight breeze dying away, as we passed the wind farm the generators were coming to a standstill and therea smallDSCF0663 were even bits of blue in the sky.

At the end of the wind farm we passed the moorings that were our first choice on Sunday but we discounted due to the noise of the turbines, today they would have been fine.

It was 3 pm by the time we reached March and of course all the moorings were deserted so we pulled over on the first stretch of straight on the town moorings. March has all its Christmas lights out and about 4 pm they started to come on.a smallDSCF0686 This was the view from the front of the boat, unfortunately due to the fact they are floating boats don’t make the most stable platform for long exposure photographs.

Monday 17 December 2012

Monday 17 December 2012 Salters Lode

It was a nice little mooring down Popham Eau. We had a bit of rain just as we were going to bed but it didn’t come to much. This morning at dawn a crow decided that to sit on the bridge we were moored by would be a good thing, a smallDSCF0603then he could call his mates in, I appeared he didn’t have many friends, regardless of how often or how loud he called no more came, so he just sat there calling away.

When we got up it was a fine day with a very light covering of cloud, we were away at 9 30 am and I gave Maureen a ring to tell her we were on our way to her lock. I only got the answer phone and when we arrived at the lock there was no sign of her so we worked ourselves through.a smallDSCF0606

On the way to the lock, back on the Old Nene we passed farm trailer with a hovercraft on it, it didn’t look as if its run for a few years.a smallDSCF0604

Well Creek was its normal slow drag in the mud, but the weather was getting better all the time. The mile posts along the road that run parallel to Well Creek are interesting with the sign of the crossed keys on them.DSCF0608

I found it difficult to get any information about this marking. There is a place called “Cross Keys” which is not a million miles away and also I found a reference to St Paul who is the patron saint of travellers. But if anyone know a better answer I am all ears.
As we made our way passed Nordelph I heard the call of birds and looked up to see a flight of swans going over, a smallDSCF0612we could hear them calling last night when we moored up and guessed they were at Welney.
We tied up at Salters Lode at 1 30 pm and went to have a look at the river beyond the lock and already you could see the mud and it was only 3 hrs. after high a smallDSCF0614tide. When we looked again at p.m. with the time still falling this is what greeted us, a sandbank just about filling the entrance to the locka smallDSCF0633.

We decided to take a walk down the river bank to see the state of the silting at Denver sluice before it got dark and what we saw was not a happy sight. The silt bar runs from the east bank, upstream of the lock landing out as far as the edge of the sluices and right up to the face of the sluices so you can’t even get round behind it.a smallDSCF0623 The water is just covering the mud in this photograph right up to the buoys. Something with less than two feet draft may be able to get along the back on the top of a good tide.

The last few times that we have come this way there has been a sunken boat opposite The Crown Lodge Hotel at Outwell, as we passed today it was gone, but we found it at Salters Lode sitting on top of a bonfirea smallDSCF0617.

Again we were treated to a grand sunset with the sun going down over Well Creeka smallDSCF0619, if we get another three days like this I shall be very happy, even the ducks seem to be enjoying this nice weathera smallDSCF0630.

As you can see from this photograph there are a couple of boats waiting to cross to Denver if the silt gets scoured away, one of them has been here a month now, but as he said “If you don’t need to be somewhere there are lots worse places to be stuck”

I will try and get some more shots of Denver in the morning before we leave, but the tide will be higher.

Sunday 16 December 2012

Sunday 16 Dec 2012 Popham’s Eau

First an apology, I have had to turn on the anti spam verification on the feedback page of the blog. I hate these things trying to guess what the wobbly word is but the level of spam has built up to such a level over the past week or so it has become a real pain.


Right as you have probably guessed we are back out on Harnser. We did visit her last week to drain all the water and check the mooring lines. Talking to some of the moorers it seems that the water level was up over the walkway but a couple of the moorers when out every few hours including through the night to check every ones boat was safe.

We arrived just after lunch time and after filling everything with water including the main tank we were off by 1315 hrs. heading towards March. The weather was grand with a gentle breeze and warm sunshine, it was so nice that we decided to continue on through March and investigate the moorings opposite the wind farm.

Just beyond the railway bridge the land owner looks to be extending his moorings and has scraped all the bank undergrowth away and installed a short length of pilinga smallDSCF0594.

Not only has he done the section in front of his bungalow but he has also carried on to the east as far as the radio mast.a smallDSCF0595

We were expecting to drag through this bit of the river as the level looked well down when we left the moorings but we had no problem at all.
Once by the wind farm I slowed down to moor against the small landing platform opposite the first wind generator but Diana who was standing on the bow well away from the engine said that she could hear the generator quite plainly so we continued on leaving the sun falling towards the water behinda smallDSCF0597 us.

I knew that there was another small landing stage by the first bridge down Popham Eau which runs off the river to the right at the other end of the wind farm. By the time we turned down Popham Eau the sun was getting really low and with the lack of sun it was feeling decidedly cool and on turning it was time to put a coat and gloves on. As we approached the bridge I turned as the waterway narrows through the bridge and then backed down to the landing stage. With our bows against the landing stage the stern just came in by the piling around the bridge abutments, luckily for us there had been a hole bored it the top of one of the piles which I could thread the stern mooring line through. This is not piling like you get along the canal towing path but steel sheets about 250 mm wide and 5mm thick, so there is no chance of our mooring rope damaging it.
We were tucked up a little before four o’clock and went for a short walk, it was still quite light with a clear blue sky and the thinnest crescent of a moon.