Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Time Flies when you're having Fun

Where has this week gone?

Today we have reached a place called Ferry Meadows on the outskirts of Peterborough so, from Northampton to here, we have covered approximately 55 miles of the River Nene.  We have been blessed with lovely weather every day so we have seen the river at its most beautiful.  Like the Severn and the Warwickshire Avon, it has the reputation of flooding easily and, as a consequence, the banks are not really developed like much of the Thames.

Mooring up at Ferry Meadows.

Meadow land surrounds - used mostly as pasture for cattle and hay-making it would seem.  Everywhere is so rich in wildlife.  There are literally thousands of dragonflies and damselflies and soaring red kites are now common as a result of the reintroduction programme undertaken at nearby Rockingham Forest.

Lots of grazing cattle - I think they might be destined for the butchers!

The hay harvest is well under way .. and it's only early July!!

The Locks!!
Predominantly these have guillotine gates at one end and are electronically operated.  Those that remain manually operated, however, (too many!!) have to be wound up and down by spinning a large silver wheel!  REALLY HARD WORK!!  It's certainly how to develop muscles like Popeye without having to eat the spinach!!

Sandra - exercising her muscles!

Lovely towns and villages follow the course of the river but tend to be about a mile or so away.  The little town of Oundle felt like something out of a movie set.  All the shops (with the exception of the Co-op) are individual and exclusive and sell lovely but expensive things!  The villages are full of thatch and local stone buildings.

Fotheringhay Church!!  How come something so magnificent is here?!

Old stone bridges abound.  this one is at a place called Thrapston.

As do mills.  Some have been restored and converted into private dwellings and one at least is operating as a restaurant/guest house.  Others, sadly, remain derelict but the swallows are making good use of them as summer residences.  In times gone by, some of these mills were paper mills and others corn mills.

Entering Water Newton Lock - here the old mill has been converted into a private dwelling and the whole area is just stunning.

During our down-stream journey we have been confronted with three over-riding problems:-
1.  Where to moor.
Moorings are SO limited.  In an article I have, it says that any mooring on the Nene is a good mooring.  They are not kidding!  Our plank has been well used as have the shears!

2.  Weed!
It has been worse in certain sections but John has been having frequent intimate moments with the propeller down the weed hatch!

3.  Where to get rid of household rubbish.
There has been no-where since Northampton!  The hot weather has exacerbated things too!  An E.A. worker had the misfortune of meeting Sandra and I at a lock today and ended up taking our rubbish away with him!  He was aware of the problem and sympathetic about it but ....................... !!!!!

We have continued to travel with Ken and Sandra and they are now both sneaky, ruthless Canasta players .... as are we ............ so the evening entertainment sessions have been eventful!
Maisie has learned to swim - voluntarily - and Maggie is getting braver and braver by the day.

Shortly after Peterborough the Nene becomes tidal and flows into the Wash.  We, however, will be turning in at Stanground Lock and going onto the Middle Levels for the next part of our 2010 adventure.
Any boater who has not yet navigated the River Nene ........................ what are you waiting for?   It really is Ab Fab!!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Drunk again! Time to crack open another bottle

  3. no pics of maisie swimming?