Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Cruising down the river

It is so different, not just because that wind has blown away. The boats are short & white, the river is wide & deep, there is no towpath and the river follows its natural course. Flood defences are obvious with manmade banks to allow the water to spread out and automatic weirs to control the flow. We passed through a flood barrier to the first guillotine lock on the Nene. Two top gates with the water falling over them and the massive sheet of steel raised to allow the water to pass through. A bypass weir letting most of the flow go that way.
Billing Lock (not the first)
All we need to do is press a button to lower that sheet of steel and the lock just fills up. Open the gates and drive both boats in, closing the gates behind them. Crack open the guillotine and suddenly the boats jerk forwards as the water goes down. Once the steel is fully raised the boats and crew leave. Three locks and three miles get us to Cogenhoe (Cookno), our stop today.

It was here that we had our post sent. Various phone numbers found on the internet failed to make contact. Went up to the Post Office only to find that our post had been ‘returned to sender’! They did not understand or know that ‘Poste Restante’ meant ‘to be collected’. It was unfortunate that we could not contact them first but now have their correct phone number.
Cogenhoe has an old Mill where the river bypasses the lock, the old millers using ‘green’ power to make the flour. There is a Chalet Village set high above the river level with boats moored below and we filled our water tank here.

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