Sunday saw us travelling from Fotheringhay to just above Ashton Lock where we found a ‘Friends of the River Nene’ mooring. It must be a new mooring as it wasn’t noted in the two Nene maps we have.
We were pleased to find the mooring, as the day was hot, and the river was quite busy with ‘Sunday Boaters’. At two of the locks we found the lock landing occupied by boaters that appeared to be ‘taking a break’! This made it rather awkward as Cyan had to tread water outside the lock while I reset the guillotine gates, then of course when I wanted to get back on Cyan, it was a case of ‘legs hanging over the lock wall’ while I slid down. The waterways have been designed for everyone to share, as safely as possible. It’s fabulous to see so many people enjoying themselves, but we all do need to share.
Little did we know though (until the evening), that alongside our mooring there’s a stagnant, but small pond under the trees in the hedge, a perfect breeding ground for mosquitos. Despite the heat, Cyan’s windows had to be closed.
We set off yesterday morning with an aim to arrive at Thrapston. We remember passing through Thrapston, and thought this would be a fabulous place to stop on our return.
Our first lock of the day was Lower Barnwell, we were helped through by Environment Agency workmen who were waiting to take their huge work boat down the lock. They are busy repairing lock landings.
At Upper Barnwell lock we found yet another boat on the lock landing where the boaters were having a cup of tea (perhaps this is normal on the River Nene?) This time the boater came over and apologised, and insisted they’d lower the guillotine gate to save Cyan ‘hovering’ while John waited for me to set the lock.
Our next lock was Lilford, as we approached, we saw there was a boat in the lock going up. John dropped me off on the landing, and I climbed the stairs to offer help. The lady boater asked if we’d overtaken a boat, as they’d been waiting half an hour for another boat to arrive as they were sharing locks with them. With that I mentioned there was a boat moored on the lock landing at the last lock landing, making it awkward for other boaters…. blah blah I moaned…! I quickly shut up when I realised this lady’s boat was one of those that was moored on a landing on Sunday! Whoops, ‘foot firmly put in mouth’! (Still if the cap fits 😉 )
By way of helping to relieve my embarrassment, I told her to jump on her boat, and that I’d set the guillotine gates. Whilst raising the guillotine gates after Cyan had gone through, I noticed the boat we’d left at the lock behind us was approaching.
At Wadenhoe Lock, the boat in front was waiting for us to join them. Despite the embarrassment about the lock landing, they were pleasant, and obliging, they thought we’d be joining them for the next few locks. But we’d had enough, the weather had been very hot, and the Kings Head at the top of lock looked very inviting!
With help from another boater, who was moored by the pub, we moored at the bottom of the ‘garden’, just as half a dozen canoeists decided to do the same!
It’s £10 per night to stay here, but if you have a meal, mooring is for free. So we had a lovely meal! Potted crab, steak and ale pie, and ice cream for afters. Fabulous!
We’re not sure where we’ll be staying tonight, the last of the current heatwave. The day so far is an unwritten page!
Yesterday we travelled over 5 miles, and through 4 locks.