Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Middle Levels

This area describes part of East Anglia between the two main rivers Nene and Ouse. We had travelled on manmade ‘drains’ to March. The original course of the Nene passes through March and beyond making our journey more interesting. The Post Office in March was less than helpful so arranged our posting to go to Upwell. We had seen several wind farms in the distance and were very impressed by their appearance and huge size as we passed by several units near the river. No smoke or steam to make clouds, just slowly turning quietly converting the breeze into electrical energy.
Are these 'green' chips?
We arrived at Upwell in time to collect the post and found several shops selling produce from the local farms. An excellent fish n chip shop providing our evening meal. Next day we continued to Salters Lode in time to catch the tide. It is here that the navigation returns to the higher levels of the river Ouse. The tidal Ouse below Denver is the link we have to use. The tide lock systems at Salters Lode and Denver are under the control of the Environment Agency and other waterways are here to prevent flooding and feed water to Essex.

We got our instructions from the lock keeper. Sue n Vic went first as their boat was the longest and needed the tide at the highest level. Due to some delay they found the tide on the turn and just managed to get away. We had to wait for a boat to arrive from Denver and watched as they struggled almost getting stuck on a sand bank!
Then it was our turn. We were a little concerned but managed to get out ok and passed another boat coming down. The tide did not seem to be going out very fast so there was plenty of time.
Once up on the Ouse we found it wide and calm so after taking on water we found moorings for the weekend.

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