Sunday, July 09, 2006

The tidal trip

On a very hot Sunday we watched the tide come up and the locks were opened. No Problem went in first then us. But NP stopped on a sand bank and slid back into the lock. So we waited, with the lock gates closed behind, for the tide to rise some more, then we were off.

No Problem

 Out into the rising tide flow getting swung round up stream passing two boats coming down from the Denver Sluce. We travelled up on the right then cut across the tide to the lock on the left. Full power to avoid the sand bank as we slid sideways. Then suddenly we were in calm waters as we entered the lock alongside No Problem. The gate closed behind us and we rose up to the river level. The top gate opened and we moved out onto the River Great Ouse found moorings and relaxed over a sandwich lunch.

Great Ouse & Wissey

The Great River Ouse goes all the way to Bedford. There are four rivers which join the Ouse from the east. Like the Thames the rivers pass through private land so we have joined the Great Ouse Boating Association which rent land and mow it to provide moorings. The first of these is down the River Wissey. Turn left at the next junction pass under the rail bridge and soon found the first mooring. Long enough for both our boats and the two 'plastic' cruisers that were there. The owner of one of them came over and introduced himself as the mooring officer who had just mowed the grass. It was a very hot day and one small willow tree provided some welcome shade. We set up our table and chairs on top of the flood bank and enjoyed Ann's meal together with Sue n Vic.


Next day we travelled down to the facilities at Hilgay. Several boats were there and we were able to stop at the meadow. Used the facilities but were unable to get water. Many different varieties of water birds have been seen on the rivers so far like cormorants, grebe, swans and geese. At one time we even spotted a family of Pink Footed Geese. But then we passed through a swarm of 'orible flies which bit as we passed the smelly sugar beet factory. The river opened up into a lake before narrowing down to wards Whittington where we found a 'free for an hour' mooring'. As the GOBA mooring no longer existed we decided to return hoping to stop at Hilgay but even more boats were there and people were jumping off the bridge and swimming in the river. We slowed down and carefully passed them. After what seemed a long day we were pleased to stop again at the GOBA moorings near Wissey Bridge.

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