I don’t intend writing a lot on this post; I’ll let the pictures do the talking. After taking nearly 200 there’s plenty to choose from!
So, captions only unless I feel the urge to wax rhetorically…
The crews assembled the evening before the trip.
Stacked up waiting for Boston Grand Sluice at 10:00 on Thursday morningIn the chamber are Yarwood, What a Lark and Clarence, waiting just outside are Seyella and another boat joining us, NB Panacea, and finally a motor yacht and a small motor cruiser.
Not all were going our way, just the 5 “narrers”.
The lock is only 55’ long so will only accommodate shorter boats in the conventional way. Longer boats have to wait for the bottom gates to open when the falling tide makes a level with the river above. And there’s only a short window of opportunity to go through due to the speed at which the tide ebbs. Two and a half minutes today to move seven boats through…
Bugger, I‘ve waxed already!
Red and green showing on the status lights – start your engines! The gates are just opening…
And we’re off!
Several derelicts lie revealed on the mud as the tide ebbs
And some in rather better condition are tied to the wall. One of these passed us further down The Haven.
Boston Port is quiet…
And that’s the Wash, 6½ miles after passing through Grand Sluice!
Our route took us north-east along the edge of Toft Sand and Roger Sand. As we were on an ebb tide the sandbanks slowly revealed themselves.
Dolly Peg is the northern marker for The Haven channel entrance.
Panacea follows us out
Keeping up with the Yarwoods
The red and green buoys are are designed to mark the channel for incoming craft; hence on the way out we keep the green to the left (port) side.
Panacea as tail end charlie
At the bright yellow Freemans Inner marker we start the right turn to the south west into Freemans channel.
First (long distance) shot of grey seals on the drying sandbanks
A fine motor yacht
Now turning to head south towards The Nene estuary, but it’s a way off yet.
Dave, Jo and Sarah on Panacea
Sarah, Lesley and Andy with Floyd enjoying the sun.
And that’s the open sea, Northern Denmark the first landfall, around 475 miles away!
Here we are, 7 miles from the nearest land and plagued by flies! Why, with all this water around, did two choose to land in my tea?
A lot more welcome was a flock of turnstones, diving around the boats and picking off the flies
The birds were correctly identified by Lisa and Daryl the Pilot.
The tide was heading towards it’s lowest level now, time for a run ashore…
It’s not always possible to do this, it depends on the wind and the state of the sea. We were very lucky.
Out came food and drinks, and the wreck of a barge, beached during a storm, was investigated.
The local seal colony sent one individual across to check out the intruders.
We had about 2 hours on the sand before the rising tide forced us back aboard. We’d been joined by a Dutch barge by this time, Viator had come out of Kings Lynn and was heading into Wisbech like us, so joined our little flotilla.
Viator reversing off the sand.
Heading for the Outer Trial Bank
We’ll get closer to this earthwork in a bit. The doughnut shaped mound was built in the 1970s as part of a government project. It was intended to investigate the feasibility of developing tidal power using a string of such structures to control and use the flow.
The chop eased as we entered the shelter of the estuary, passing the twin lighthouses at Guy's Head, now both in private hands.
The course of the river runs fairly straight to Sutton Bridge, with it’s small port and road crossing.
MV Fri Lake on the wharf
It was an uneventful 10 miles from Guy’s Head to Wisbech Yacht Harbour, where we’d berths booked for the night. They were a bit full, so we had to breast the boats up.
Yarwood and What a Lark breasted up mid-stream, Daryl the pilot intending to take them into a rather constricted space, but in the end they finished up on the outer end of one of the pontoons.
With the tide still making strongly we turned the boats and went backwards under control, ferry gliding into the pontoon berths.
Locks 1, miles 38.