Friday, May 30, 2008

Onwards to the Fenlands

After several days of rain the river Nene started to flow more rapidly and rose several inches. The water was falling over the lock gates and creating lots of foam which blew over the boats in the wind. Alwalton lock has a mooring to one side where the river heads for the weir. Several boats were seen moving up and down during the bank holiday weekend. We spent the time walking down the Nene Way by the river and into Alwalton village.

We left on Tuesday heading for Peterborough through a couple of locks and 6 miles of winding river. After taking on water and dumping rubbish we moved away from the city moorings. The local parkland was in need of ‘tender loving care’ and stories of unruly behaviour making for a feeling of insecurity. Having booked our passage into the Middle Levels we stayed the night outside the Stanground Lock. That special lock prevents water from the Nene entering the lower levels of the Fenlands especially when in flood conditions.

After a night of thunder storms the level was up even more by the morning. The lock keeper had us going through early due to the rising water. As it happened we only just got under the foot bridge with a centimetre clearance. Sue n Vic had to go in backwards because as with most boats the stern is lower than the bow.
Once in, one at a time, we were lowered in the lock and able to exit on to the Fens. There was a chance that other boats that day may not be able to pass through! For about a mile we had the boats tied abreast in order to get No Problem backwards to a turning point.
Then it was full steam ahead for about 5 hours against the wind to reach March in the afternoon.

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