Tuesday, 4 September 2018

The ups and downs of boating on the rivers

This is an example of the lockside bollards on the Nene. They are fine bollards, but I think you can see how low they are. It is easy to graze one's knuckles when untying a rope, which is what I did the other day.

There has been a lot of upping and downing of paddles (and guillotine gates) on this trip. Jan has shared in the fun.

We left Wellingborough at 0800, but we could have had a lie-in. Despite the clarity of the Waterway Routes maps I had miscalculated the time it would take to get to Northampton. Somehow I subtracted two hours from the eight shown, and thought we could arrive at the Northampton Arm locks in time to beat the 1530 cut-off. We arrived in Northampton at about 1630, i.e. at exactly the time predicted by WR, and too late to start on the flight.

On the right below Northampton Lock is a curious oversize boat. Far too tall for the bridges either side of its mooring.

I don't know if it's just me, but on all maps I find the non-navigable backwaters, weir streams etc. difficult to read. They are always too faint in comparison with the heavy blue denoting the route to take. Approaching the University Bridge the main channel appeared to be to the left as the way was broad and weed-free. To the right beyond the bridge looked narrow and weedy, but on the bridge there was a hand-painted "LOCK" with an arrow pointing right.

Confirming my suspicion that perhaps this might indeed be the correct way to go a boat came towards us from that direction.

The moorings above the lock were busy so Mary on Chedoona invited us to tie up alongside them. We were last alongside them at St Neots before the festival started.

I was sorting a few things out on the boat while Jan was shopping when there was a knock. Bob from Bimble was there, suggesting that we might like to join him and Dave and Marjorie from Constable for a curry in the town (city?) later. Well, a no-brainer really. Before we went we all convened on Jubilee for drinks.

Me, Jan, Marjorie, Dave and Bob

We plan to start on the 17 locks at 0900 tomorrow with the intention of getting to Wolverton before Ally has her second baby. The signs are that it might be coming soon: Jan might have to leave me to single hand the boat while she goes off by train. We shall see what transpires.

No comments: