Saturday, 26 April 2008

Listing to Port

5 locks, 8½ miles, Now moored at Irthlingborough on the River Nene

Early this morning, 2am in fact I was forced to ease off the mooring ropes as we had a list to port caused by the river level dropping leaving us sitting on a mud bank. At 7am I awoke to find that the list had got worse and it was difficult to walk around in the boat. Overnight the water level must have dropped quite considerably because we had about 4 inches of the hull visible that is normally under water. After easing off the ropes further I found that we were firmly aground mid-ships and no amount of pushing would free us. By this time Ann and Sue had appeared thinking we were leaving but even with their help we couldn't move. Only thing for it was to move the boat forward and as luck would have it we had Kalimera breasted up alongside as they don't have a mooring plank. With all the commotion going on outside Derek and Christina appeared and soon had the engine running to pull us forward into deeper water. Once safely moored again we could at least sit in an upright position and have breakfast.

About mid morning we finally said our farewells to Sue,Vic, Ann, Chas and of course the 3 girls (dogs) They are staying put for another 24 hours but I have a feeling that they will catch us up at our present moorings because we may decide to stay for the weekend.

River Nene 026

I wasn't allowed to take Lucy with me!

The journey today was again full of surprises starting off with the EA river patrol passing us just before we set off. Not long after we started we found a dead cow floating in the water which surprised us that the river patrol guy's appear not to have done anything about it, we would hate to hit it or for it to float into a lock and jam up the works. The river was a test of driving skills going through many, many 'S' bends, a radial lower gate (the only 1 on the Nene) and passing through Wellingborough where the town moorings are handy to Tescos,unfortunately it was necessary to travel just that little bit further to ensure we don't get behind schedule as there is a lot to see and do before we return to the cut sometime in June.

The Irthlingborough bridge was a bit scary in that it has 9 or 10 archways but only 1 is navigable. This archway is also very narrow, low and one way only. You cannot see if anything is approaching from the opposite direction and it is not until you are completely through the arch that you can see which way the river goes and which way to turn.

River Nene 059

I think we have seen more swans in the last few days than we saw all the time we were on the river Thames last year. We have now seen 3 colonies or whatever they are called of at least 50 birds in each colony. We did see one pair doing their courtship dance but were not quick enough with the camera. With all these swan's we have only seen half a dozen sitting on nests so I guess a lot of them must be immature birds.

Wellingborough litter, does no one have any pride anymore?

1106 locks, 1422 miles, 41 Tunnels, 41 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

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