Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Middle Levels

We have to go through a lock at Denver and travel about a mile on tidal waters that come from the Wash at Kings Lynn. The last time we did this the tide was going out and we slammed sideways going into Salters Lode Lock having to turn sharp left across the flow.

When we arrived the tide was almost at its highest, a spring tide which was actually crossing the weir into the River Ouse. Far too high to get through the lock. An hour later the level had started going down and several other boats had joined the queue. Three boats went through before us so by the time it was our turn the tidal flow had slowed a bit.
After all the concern we turned across the flow and went into the lock without touching the sides! We gave ourselves 10 out of 10 but the lock keeper was not even looking! The trick was to slow with reverse thrust then let the tide push the stern round.
One of many low bridges

The sun came out and we managed to get to Upwell before it rained. Then it developed into a thunderstorm that evening.

Next day we got some meat from the local butcher, where else! The town has shops and houses spread along the roads either side of the waterway. Traffic consisted mainly of lorries and tractors moving quite fast along the narrow roads. Vegetables are good value in these parts as were the winter pansies. We then set off to March under several very low bridges and through one lock. It was quite windy as we passed the wind farm with all 18 generators rotating at 20 RPM. It was an impressive sight creating the power with no pollution. The park at March is worth a walk round while the sun is out. The council have just built a band stand. Now they need a band to play music.
March is in the middle and we have a five hour trip to Stanground Lock. Nothing much to see or do, just moving in the channel part river part drain. It rained part of the time and we took turns driving the boat. By 4 o’clock we were up and out on to the river Nene near Peterborough.

The lock keeper allowed us to stay the night at the lock landing.

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