What an evening we had last night! We’d been following the local weather at Denver Sluice, and saw the Met Office had issued not one, but two ‘Yellow Weather Alerts’ for thunder and lightening. After a lovely afternoon where the river was calm, and hardly moving, we suddenly found ourselves in a ‘mother and father’ of a storm. The wind got up, dark clouds formed, then we suffered thunder and lightening. Rain and hailstones hit Cyan with force. We were on deck securing the canopy, and forgot there were a couple ‘hopper’ windows open. It was shocking to see rain had been ‘driven’ into Cyan through the small window openings. The ceiling was soaked, as was the galley, and our laptops! The rain lashed on and off right into today’s early hours, as did strong gusts of wind.
We were rather worried (at least I was, if John was worried he kept it very quiet); we had a 9:00 am passage through Denver Sluice, and with today’s high winds, and strong gusts, it all looked very daunting. Unfortunately, five other boats had also been booked to go through at 9:00, and we all turned up on the dot of 9! There’s really only room for one boat on the lock landing, which resulted in three boats breasting up together. The fourth boat turned around and managed to get into the only space available by ‘Jenyns Inn’ PH. As we were the last to arrive (still on the dot of 9), we were forced to try and seek a little shelter from the wind, near the back of the lock landing, all the time trying to tread water. It seemed hopeless…. eventually John managed to get Cyan’s bow into a short space at the end of the landing, where I managed to jump onto the landing, securing Cyan enough to stop her being blown off course by the strong winds.
By the time we were through Denver Sluice, it was 11:00, and without too much time to spare before the tide turned. A quick dash down the tidal stretch and John balanced the wind and tidal flow to swing Cyan into Salter’s Lode Lock entrance. I couldn’t see the lock and thought we were heading for a fence, luckily John’s eyes are better than mine, and he knew Cyan had to be manoeuvred behind the fence to line up for the entrance. Hairy moment, thankfully completed without any drama!
Chatting to Paul, Salter’s Lode’s lock keeper, it appears Upwell had a mini tornado go through the village last evening, causing quite a bit of damage. Part of the village had it’s power supply cut, including the Five Bells pub. Apparently the pub’s Landlord took orders for fish ‘n’ chips from his customers; picking up the order from the local chippy in Outwell, which still had power.
The journey to Upwell was quite a battle with the wind. Most of the time Cyan ‘crabbed’ her way through the water.
With four boats going through the lock before us, we thought we wouldn’t be able to find a mooring at Upwell. When we arrived we saw one of the boats moored on the landing, but there was also a Fox’s hire boat taking up two spaces. We stopped, and asked the ‘holiday makers’ if they would make room for us. They said they weren’t stopping, and after having a nice bit of a natter with them, they moved off, and we tucked ourselves next to the other moored boat. At lease if any boat needs to take on water, there’s now space.
We’d like to move on to March tomorrow, but the weather forecast looks abysmal. Perhaps we’ll hunker down, and wait for the better weather that’s forecast for Monday. There could be worse places to shelter from the stormy weather!
Today we’ve travelled 6.5 miles, and through two locks.