Four boats had passed us this morning, two weed cutters and two narrowboats.
Just up from Nordelph we went past the end of Popham’s Eau, unpassable due to the change in level.
We’ve come up Marmont Priory Lock since we saw the other end. Complicated, innit.
Popham’s Eau at Nordelph
I do believe that this is a rather fine Lagonda…
We caught up with the weed cutters outside Nordelph, they pulled over to let us pass…
…before continuing with the work.
Despite they’re best efforts the weed was a problem, and combined with the very shallow channel made the going pretty slow.
We arrived at Salter’s Lode Lock at around half-past one, pulling in behind the two boats that had passed this morning.
Waiting for the tide
Too low yet but it’s on the rise.
That sandbank gave NB Pamela a bit of grief later.
The bottom of Salter’s Lode Lock
The first boat went through on the level, waiting in the lock till the creek and the tide were even. Then we had to wait for a boat coming the other way, against the now rapidly-flooding tide from Denver Sluice. It all went a bit wrong when he turned in too early for the lock entrance and was carried by the tide to broadside on that sandbar.
NB Pamela, a bit stuck.
It took a bit of toing and froing to get clear, then he moved further downstream before attempting the turn again. This time he got it right…
The second boat went down without incident, and an uptide boat made the turn with aplomb. He’d done it before…
Then it was our turn. It’s a good job that the last boat didn’t take too long, the tidal window for passage was rapidly closing… If the water reaches the top of the concrete bank opposite we’d have to wait for the ebb.
In the lock, filling now up to the tide level.
We had to wait a couple of minutes while a motor-sailor went past the entrance, then ducked under the downstream guillotine with only a couple of inches to spare, and out onto the tideway. Our turn out was far less exciting than the previous two boats, they heeled over as they crossed the flow but by now the flood was slowing down as the river channel filled.
Looking back at Salter’s Lode.
Heading up the slackening tide to Denver Sluice.
The lock is on the left, the guillotine gate open ready for us.
And out, having dropped down about 5 feet to the river level.
We’ve got three weeks on the river and tributaries, before our EA licence expires. We’ll need to be back on the Middle Levels by then (no licence required) heading for Peterborough, where we can purchase another 14 day permit to get us back up the Nene to the Grand Union. From there it’s north again, all the way up to Ripon for early September. All go, isn’t it!
Hi Ade, yes Mags did enjoy it, after being a little nervous. The fens deserve a bit more time than we’re able to give them this time, I reckon. The same might well apply to the Great Ouse. We’ll use this trip as a sampler…
Hi, Steve, Angela. We’d followed your relocation here, so knew we’d be in your neck of the woods. Look forward to seeing you, the Lark is on our “must do” list!
Locks 1, miles 4