Friday, 10 July 2020

Rain over - on the move again

We got up early (for us) this morning as we wanted to make some progress on our journey.  It had 2overnight but stopped around breakfast time.  The first job was to fill up with water and empty the waste tank.  This completed by 9:25 we set off up the Nene in partial sunshine and a breeze.

Leaving Water Newton Lock

After after rising through 3 locks and lunch on the move we moored at our intended destination of the Environment Agency moorings at Wansford Station, the terminus of the Nene Valley Railway,  at 13:40.  The moorings are rather short with only room for about 1.5 boats of our length, but fortunately they were empty.

As we were now moored on the port side Denise was able to wash the other half of the boat as we were moored on the starboard side in Peterborough.

Thursday, 9 July 2020

We stay in Peterborough

Showers were forecast throughout the day so we have not moved. Straight after breakfast Denise went to the nearby Asda for some more fruit and crumpets for this weekend's breakfast.  We should now have all the food we need for another 5 days or so.  Despite the forecast the afternoon has been dry which enabled us to wash the boat for the first time in 10 months.

Wednesday, 8 July 2020


First thing in the morning I had a set of jobs to do on the boat. Both times I started the engine since we began our journey yesterday there was a screeching noise for a minute or so.  I guessed a fanbelt was slipping and so it proved. To tighten it was a simple job of loosening the already slightly loose single bolt attaching the primary alternator to the engine, adjusting the alternator and retightening the bolt.  Problem solved.

Next I thought it prudent to open the weed hatch to check the propellor.  Despite the waterway being somewhat weedy the propellor was clean.  Then a final check of the engine - there was plenty of oil and cooling water and finally a small amount of silicon grease was put in on the rubber bearing holding the propellor shaft.  Amazingly the engine is running very smoothly despite having only being run for about 90 minutes in the past 10 months.

The weather forecast was OK for the morning so we left our mooring just before 9am heading towards Peterborough.  Sadly the forecast was wrong and we spent most of the journey in our waterproof jackets and trousers.  Much as yesterday, the scenary was uninteresting and flat.  We arrived at Stanground Lock on the outskirts of Peterborough just before our booked passage at 11am.  The lock-keeper was ready for us and let us straight in.  I have been concerned that the waterways would be busy following the end of lock-down.  However this does not seem to be the case, the lock keeper said only 2 or 3 boats were passing through each day.
Densie moored at Peterborough

Stanground lock took us up from the Middle Levels which are below sea level to the River Nene and 30 minutes later we were mooring up in Peterborough where we will spend the night.

5.3 miles, 2 hours 25mins cruising

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Escape from lockdown

After 10 months off the boat we are on the move again.  We have left our mooring of the past 12 months at Floods Ferry near March in the fens and are relocating to Dunchurch Pools Marina near Rugby, a journey of 2 weeks or so.

All the clothes and electronic gear was packed yesterday so first thing this morning aafter transfering the contents of the fridge to coolbags we loaded up the car and drove to Floods Ferry.  An hour later we were ready to leave having loaded the bags and food onto the boat and filled up with water.
Typical fenland waterway

As soon as we left the marina it started raining and continued on and off for the rest of the journey. Fortunately the rain was not  too heavy and we kept dry in our waterproofs. The scenery is rather uninteresting, especially in the rain, with long straight sections of somewhat shallow drainage channels through the very flat farmland.  3 hours and 6 miles later we ascended Ashline lock at Whittlesey we we have moored for the night.

6.6 miles, 3.25 hours travelling

Friday, 20 September 2019

Back home at Floods Ferry moorings

We left Whittlesey moorings at 9:30 in sunny but cool weather, descended Ashline Lock and travelled on to Floods Ferry.   I drove the boat most of the way whilst Denise was packing.  There was a lot of vegetation in the water, initially from debris left by the weeed-cutter boat, and further on significant amounts of blanket weed.  We had to stop twice to clear the prop.

We arrived home at 12:45.

Statistics: 6.62 miles, 1 lock, 3hours 15 minutes cruising

Total 3 week journey: 128.53 miles, 52 locks, 63 hours 30 mins cruising

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Whittlesey - nearly home

Last night we ate at the Dog in a Doublet. Good beer, including a mild which Denise enjoys, and a moderate meal.  The focus is on flame grilled meat, and there was lots of it in our meal with some thin fries and a bit of coleslaw.

Wind turbines and the Whittlesey Brick Works seen from the Nene

Moored at Wittlesey again
We left our moorings early for us at 8:50 as we were booked to descend Stanground Lock in Peterborough at 12am and had things to do first.  The journey was enhanced by a good view of 2 kingfishers.  On arrival at Peterborough we turned the boat around,  partly filled the water tank and emptied the waste tank.  So Densie is now ready to be left for the winter.

We arrived at Stanground just before our due time and the lock keeper let us through immediately. The lock took us down about 4 ft 6in from the river to the Middle Levels.  Travel thourgh the Middle Levels was slow as the waterway is shallow and narrow with a surprising amount of blanket weed still in the water, presumably encouraged by the sunny weather.  On the positive side the water was full of fish which could be clearly seen from the boat.

We moored at Whittlesey Recreation Ground, where we had stayed nearly 3 weeks ago, at 13:15.  After a rest we completed the job of washing the boat.

Statistics: 10.39 miles 1 Lock 3 hours 55 minutes cruising

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Dog in a Doublet - the final lock on the Nene

Last night we had a good meal at the Tap and Tandoor, a gastropub serving an interesting range of small brewery beers and excellent indian food.  I was very impressed when the lady at the table next to ours picked a long green chilli from one or their dishesand put  it straight in her mouth.  She then started making strange noises and her face went red. She had thought it was a green bean.  Sadly her family, us, and the waiter though it rather funny.

A busy day today .  First job in the morning was to clean the top of the boat.  It has not been cleaned for some time and was looking very dirty. That done, after talking to the crew of the boat next to us we decided to fill up with diesel at the nearby Peterborough Boat Centre rather than follow our original plan to go on to March past our marina to fill up there which would have added an extra 2 hours to the journey.
On the way to Dog in a Doublet Lock

The Lock in sight

Moored at Dog in a Doublet

From there we set out for the Dog and Doublet Lock, named after the adjacent pub.  This is the first (or last) lock on the Nene taking the river down to tidal waters. Leaving Peterborough the wide and nearly straight river took us across flat fen country for 4.5 miles which provided little shelter from the blustery wind.  Not too exciting but it had to be done, "because it's there" and is not often visited by passing boaters.


We arrived at the EA moorings near the lock at 14:20 having turned the boat around so we could wash the starboard side.  Denise then had the opportunity to touch up the paintwork which had got scratched in the past few cruises.

Statistics: 6m, 0 locks, 2 hours 20 mins cruising.