Passing Through Marmont Priory Lock

Yesterday was a pretty dire day, not so much wet, but depressingly grey after being use to such sunny weather. We even had to run the engine a couple of times during the day to boost the batteries, quite a difference from last week where the batteries were on float for most of the day after being charged by the solars.

This morning we left our Upwell mooring around 9:30 am; after ‘borrowing’ the key for the water point from The Five Bells PH to brim Cyan’s water tank. We wanted to get Cyan’s bow as low in the water as possible. We had a bit of trouble going through the low bridges on the Middle Levels when we passed through a month ago. We’re not absolutely sure, but we think the Middle Levels have risen by an inch or so because of Friday’s storms, therefore it was essential we stripped the roof, making Cyan sit in the water as low as possible.

You can see in the pic below; there wasn’t much room to spare.

It wasn’t long before we arrived at Marmont Priory Lock, and we rang the bell as requested. Out came the lovely Maureen, the owner/lock keeper. While we were working the lock, she had me in stitches with her tales of being a lock keeper. I felt quite humbled that she helped us through the lock; what a lovely lady she is. She was rather made up with Rusty as she used to have two German Shepherds. To her credit, they were both 17 years old when they died. She kept wistfully saying that Rusty looked so much like her ‘Shadow’.

Maureen also mentioned the Friday storm, saying she’d never seen anything like it. The mini tornado that whizzed through Upwell, also visited her garden. It brought down a tree, and stripped the apples from her fruit trees. She lost electric, which didn’t return until after midnight.

Passing the wind farm, I didn’t notice how high the turbines were when we passed through a month ago.

We managed to moor just before the bridge in March. There’s a Portuguese chippy right next to the mooring, which was too tempting to ignore. After lunch I took myself off to the shops.

One of the handiest ‘tools’ we use, is a long handled paint stick, the type you stick a roller on the end. We bought it after we saw another boater use a ‘paint stick’ as a hook when he picked up the end of a mooring chain, after threading it through a piece of armco. It ‘saves’ arthritic knees! We’ve had our ‘stick’ for a while now, using it for many jobs, such as hooking ropes from bows, and other items that are just beyond our reach. The trouble was, I’d used the ‘stick’ as a sort of ‘poker’ for the bbq, and managed to leave it on the side of the river bank. Therefore, I was on a mission to replace the stick as soon as possible. I found a great shop in March, the sort that’s full of all manner of interesting things. I bought two paint sticks (one that extends), spare water tap connections, jubilee clips, fly swats, elastic, sticky tape…. you get my drift. I also had a quick scoot round Tesco Express.

Tomorrow, after visiting the sanny station, we’re heading for Whittlesey. At 10:30 am on Wednesday we’ve booked our passage through Stanground Lock.

Today we’ve travelled 13.25 miles, and through one lock.

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