Thursday, 15 July 2010

Wind and Waves

We are now on the River Great Ouse and the weather is back to being normal for a British Summer - we now have wind, waves and plenty of wet stuff!

Crossing the Fens
Little snippet of information for boaters:-  24 hours, free, on-line mooring at Floods Ferry.

March:-  I guess the town is considered to be the Capital of the Fens.  It is quite large and, even on a Tuesday, was quite busy and I quite liked it!  For me it had an old-fashioned feel about it.  We were, however, advised not to stay on the twon moorings overnight so we moved on to the next mooring opportunity - at the village of Upwell - near the church and opposite the Post Office.  The village of Upwell "runs into" the village of Outwell.
An interesting arrangement!  Well Creek runs between two parallel roads (one busier than the other) a vast mixture of styles of housing line both roads - homes range from old to new; tiny to grand.

Outwell to Salter's Lode
This was the most scenic part of our Fenland Crossing because you could at least see across the landscape for miles and miles both ways.  There are vast acres of cereal crops and ............... cabbages!
At Salter's Lode the lock takes you through onto the tidal section of the Ouse.  As the lock can only accommodate boats up to 60' we had to wait for what they call 'level water' - when the tide on one side levels with the waters of Well Creek on the other.  When this happened the lock keeper opened both gates and through we went.  It was a tricky manoeuvre turning upstream against the current and there was a definite moment when our bow seemed perilously close to exposed mud!  Half a mile later, however, we were safely in the lock at Denver ready to join the non-tidal Ely Ouse.

Caught off guard.
Twenty years ago I hired a cruiser from a boatyard at Ely and myself, Megan, brother Graham, niece Helen and my mum and dad had a week on the Ouse.  My dad loved boats and the water and fishing and he could no longer walk very far.  It was the last holiday he had.  As we came out of Denver Lock I was unprepared for the wash of memories and emotions I felt.  All those years ago never would I have dreamed that, one day, I would return in my own boat.

Moored on the wet and windy Ouse just outside of Denver Sluice.

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