Wednesday 10 July 2013

Mailers Meadow Wednesday 10 July 2013

I woke this morning sometime before 6 am with the sun beaming through the porthole. I don’t do starting at silly o’clock so buried my head and went back to sleep, by 8 am the sun had decided to do the same thing and we had full cloud cover.

We set off a little after 10 and the temperature was 1° cooler than at 6 am so today the tea shirt was on again and no need for the hat. It was mid day before the sun thought of peeping out and then he decided he wasn’t going to stay long. By the time we moored up this evening it was fleece weather at 60°F.

We continued upstream to Offord Lock where a boat was waiting to go up so we were there for some little time, it wasn’t helped by me trying to share  with the cruiser and having to back out again, then when we were going up the timer on the top guillotine gate failed to start, so even after the lock was full we had to wait another 3 minutes before we could fully lift it and leave. After leaving the lock cut the river runs parallel to the railway and the trains are almost constant with both local and East Coast Mainline trains going by.

Passing Paxton Pits we spotted this small family, I suppose its a bit like mum going round the supermarket with a baby on her back.DSCF2711

When we arrived at St Neots lock it was against us so Diana went up to set it, as she was some time I went up to see if I could help.DSCF2720
For those that don’t know it, St Neots lock is the longest on the river at about 150 feet, it has chevron doors at the head and a guillotine gate at the tail. The control is by the guillotine and the gate will only lift if the top gates are fully closed. Twice Diana closed both gates, crossed the foot bridge at the head and walked back to the control, both times by the time she had got back the the control box the top offside gate had opened slightly, so it wasn’t until I came up and held the gate shut, could she lift the guillotine to empty the lock. This still left me plenty of time to cross the main road and walk back to the boat before the lock was ready.

We moored at The Priory Centre moorings and whilst Diana prepared lunch I topped up the water tank, you never miss an opportunity to top up on this river as you can never be sure of finding another. This was followed by a trip into town where we visited the towns museum, this is quite a small museum housed in the old Victorian Police Station and still has the glazed tile lined cells on the ground floor. Being old it only cost a pound to get in and worth every penny. Returning to the boat the moorings were now full. Once the slow cooker was loaded we were off again, this time downstream. The notices to indicate the channel to St Neots lock and the weir stream are now almost completely hidden. I wonder how long it will be before someone who doesn't  know the area misses the turn and gets caught on the weir.DSCF2716 We had planned to moor on the GOBA moorings at Paxton Pits but when we arrived there were already two Narrowboats on there, so it was on the the moorings just below Offord lock. On the way we stopped to pick up a new wooden shaft that we had spotted floating in the bushes on our way up, the end is rotten on ours.
Dropping down through Offord Lock and we find a boat already on the moorings so it’s plan C, Back to Mailers Meadow in the same spot as we were last night, but facing the opposite direction.

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