Saturday, May 27, 2006

A little irony

Lucy is getting better and needs to be collected from the vet at Peterborough. A bus from Thrapston is quickest. It is raining and the river is rising but 'needs must' and we prepare to move down. Just then a boat passes and takes the lock! We only see one boat a day, normally! Got into the lock eventually and raised the guillotine. The river is so high that we have to remove items off the roof to get out. The river seems calm enough but the boats are moving fast down stream. Slipping sideways round the bends and past a few bridges. One is a bit narrow and we just made it, with a glancing blow. Got round to the left off the main stream into a safe Visitor Mooring by Thrapston Bridge. The girls rush off to catch the bus. Then we see the notice. Strong stream, do not move! Elsewhere in the country several counties are issuing drought restrictions due to lack of rain!

Strong Stream

Lucy has been returned to her boat and family and is recovering quietly.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

We are back

Yes, been away, five days off the boat. Got back to a great welcome on board No Problem with food n wine after our journey. We went to look after our two grand children while their parents were on holiday. Several days of rain has caused the river to rise and flow fast. Our two boats are safe in the approach to the lock with the river passing round behind over a weir and bypassing the lock. While we were away the Environment Agency lock keepers came to advise Sue n Vic not to move the boats. We were happy to stay a while to recover from our trip! A Tesco order placed on the net duly arrived a few days later. Just got to be careful with the use of our water and diesel while we wait. Several boats have made it going up river.


Sadly our friends lovely dog Lucy has been taken to the vet in Peterborough for an operation. She had hurt her leg badly while on a walk and we are all missing her.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Sorry, no pictures

My pictures are stored on another 'server'. Unfortunately it crashed and lost them.  There was no back up.  I will have to upload them at some point. 'Normal service will resume as soon as possible'.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Thrapston history

On the west wall of the 13th century St. James' church is a tablet depicting the crest of Sir John Washington (Stars and Stripes). He was a former lord of the manor of Thrapston and died in 1668 and was the ancestor of the more famous George Washington. The family crest formed the basis for the flag of the United States of America a century later. When we arrived here we walked to the church but there was no tablet outside and sadly the church was locked so could not get inside to see.

District of Columbia flag.  Is this similar to the family Crest?

It is here at Thrapston that the pronunciation of the river changes. From it's source it is 'NEN'. Then from here to it's outfall it is the 'NENE'.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Little Irchester

We left our mooring early with a long trip planned. Heading first to Little Irchester to shop at Tesco. This time a real place full of people pushing trolleys just like we were. The river passes through parkland with rows of trees for the public to enjoy.


Then through more locks to Rushden & Diamonds Football Ground where facilities are available. Chris on Moore To Life stayed here on the visitor moorings but we continued on to moor before Upper Ringstead Lock. Five locks and ten miles done in five hours today. Stayed here for the weekend against a grassy bank to climb out on. A lake nearby is full of fish and many fishermen are camping out.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

To Great Deddington

Vic walked on to 'set up the lock' at Cogenhoe. He called on the walky talky "Lock in use". So M2L and NP were allowed to drift with the wind towards the bank. EA have a crew painting the bollards and their boat, with engine problems, is being pushed into the lock. Some time later we were able to enter the lock and filled our tanks with water. EA had installed a stand pipe close to the lock.

Cogenhoe Lock

Continued on down stream through open countryside following the river along its bending route. After two miles and through Whiston Lock we passed through White Mills Lock with help from the EA crew. They had arrived from Cogenhoe and kindly opened the lock as we approached. Now most of these Guillotine locks have electric motors to raise and lower them. But the next at Earls Barton is one that is not. A large wheel is turned by hand. "Tis hard work and takes time". Another mile and another lock and we found a grassy bank to stay a few days.

Earls Barton Lock

Next day we all walked up to the very pretty village of Great Deddington and yes there is still a Post Office but it has moved next door. A small shop will be handy for bread n milk when we need them. Then on back down the hill and across the river to the Summerleys Nature Reserve. Originally old gravel pits. The Nene Way is a foot path partly using an old railway route following the river. Vic and I returned to the boats while the girls continued their longer walk. It was another of those fine sunny hot days with temperatures in the high 20's.

Summerleys Nature Reserve

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Error !!

These pictures were for the previous post.

Weston Favell Lock

No Problem leaving Weston Favell Lock

Billing Lock

This much water before it rained!


On the Nene


Northamptun and Southamptun existed in the 11th. Century and 'Hamptun' means homestead. The towns were linked by an old route way. In 1213 the footwear industry made a pair of boots for King John then a hundred years later boots were made for Cromwell's army. Another 150 years passed and they made more boots for the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars.

The local football team are known as 'the cobblers' !

Washlands Mooring

Moving east

Moved about 3 miles and through 3 locks on Sunday after morning rain and watching F1 racing. A sunny afternoon trip to Cogenhoe. Moored against a grass bank and put the plank out at the bow. The fields are common ground so we wont be charged for staying unlike on the Thames! Seen the boat called Moore To Life here but nobody is aboard. Yes, that is our previous boat.

A few days of rain is causing the river to run a bit faster over the locks. Seems normal on the river to allow the river to flow through the locks. The top gates are left shut and the bottom guillotine gate is raised. Our ropes are deliberately long and loose to allow the boat to rise and fall with the water level. But often the boat settles on the mud!

Friday, May 05, 2006

A different environment

Well we have got down the Rotherthorp flight of 13 locks and a further 4 to the River Nene. Our grateful thanks to John and Paul who read our blogs and came a long way to help both boats down in about 5 hours.

Bridge 5

Stopped to shop at Morrisons at moorings in Northampton before continuing on through a further 3 locks to find moorings at Western Favell. A total of 20 locks but only 6 miles. The sun shone all day which helped make the trip a 'picnic'.

Rush Mills Lock

The river is very wide here in the flood plane. There are huge lakes created to prevent flooding. Have already seen some different wildlife. Brent Geese, Grebe, Tern, Sandpipers and a Heron. As well as the usual ducks and swans. The swans are nesting at this time as many other birds are. The locks are neat and tidy having been freshly painted for the season.

Weston Favell Mooring

The Grand Union and the canal system seem a world away already. That is a major road in comparison to this country lane. The lack of boat movement is very noticeable.

River and Water

We are heading for the river Nene soon. Just waiting till after the Bank holiday weekend as a boat gathering in Northampton are coming back up. Lack of rainfall this winter will ensure a quiet calm river flow, but will it be a cause for concern if there is not enough of it? Will be travelling with Sue n Vic on No Problem who toured East Anglia last year. It will be back in 'discovery' mode for us. Got a 'Gold Licence' which allows us to navigate the rivers controlled by the Environment Agency.