Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Heading back downstream.

One of the problems with doing an out and back route is that it’s difficult to find different things to talk about or even take pictures of. At least there’s one thing that’s ever changing, even if you stay in the same place – the weather. Today started cool and cloudy, and has finished up bright and sunny. Even that pesky wind has dropped.

We were away about 10 o’clock, doing a U turn at the end of the backwater and onto the main channel above Godmanchester Lock.

Mags waiting as I set the lock.IMG_5785

The protocol on the Great Ouse is to leave the gates or guillotine open when you leave the lock. It paid off for us on the way upstream, most of the locks were open at the bottom, ready for us to use. Today has been a different story. All three had to be turned, which involved closing the bottom gates (in one case the slackers (paddles) too) then going through the slow procedure of raising the guillotine to fill the lock before we could use it. Shouldn’t complain though, swings and roundabouts I guess.

I meant to mention yesterday that heading up to this lock I thought I’d taken the wrong channel. From the broad deep river at Huntingdon it suddenly shrank, became very overgrown and shallowed considerably.

Below Godmanchester Lock.
The answer lies to the east, towards Godmanchester. The flat land has allowed the water to spread in a network of shallow streams, apart from the lock cut there are no less than four alternative routes for the water to take, all falling over fixed weirs or adjustable sluices.

Through Huntingdon Old Bridge againIMG_5787

There’s a view I didn’t catch on the way up, Hartford church peeking above the trees.IMG_5788

Cormorants are a bit camera shy…

Houghton Lock was next, followed by the short reach past the Hemingfords.

A swan playing chicken…IMG_5791

We caught up with this chap, taking his young daughter for a trip on the water.IMG_5796
I was pleased to see the child wearing a life-jacket, but it would have been a good idea if Dad did, too.

Another view of St. James, Hemingford GreyIMG_5798

Our last lock was Hemingford, then there was just a mile or so before we pulled in on Noble’s Field, just outside of St. Ives.

Twin churches at St. Ives over Hemingford MeadowsIMG_5801

Tomorrow we’ll descend the last three locks this side of Denver, mooring somewhere above Pope’s Corner. Not sure where, yet.

The river is busy with racing shells this evening, they kick up more wash than the narrowboats!IMG_5803

Hi Sue, yes I went down the backwater to take a look later in the evening. Loads of space to turn around, and some pleasant moorings there closer to the town.

Steve, Angela – we may review our plans, then, in the light of what you’ve said. Thanks for the advice.

Locks 3, miles 6

No comments: