Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Summer’s back as we return to the Old West River.

We’ve had a fine day today, a gentle breeze, blue skies and warm sunshine.

We left the GOBA moorings on Noble’s Field at around half past ten, it took a bit of a shove to get the stern in deep water again. After the rain on Monday afternoon the river must have been up a couple of inches, and it’s gone down again overnight, leaving us sat on the mud.

Leaving Noble’s FieldIMG_5804

We passed through St. Ives without stopping, under the medieval town bridge. IMG_5805

Looking back, it’s clear to see that the two southern arches (one is hidden) are different in design. During the Civil War Oliver Cromwell had these blown up to prevent King Charles’ troops advancing on London from Lincolnshire. They were initially replaced by a drawbridge before a more permanent solution, only with rounded instead of Gothic arches, was constructed.

St. Ives Lock is still dodgy, I think it’s something to do with the guillotine mechanism. So it’s staffed, making passage a doddle.

In St. Ives Lock

Well I think it looks like a chicken!

A pair of oyster catchers.IMG_5819
Inappropriately named, I’d suggest. They’ll not find many oysters there… And I daresay that they’ll eat them given the opportunity, but surely they don’t take much catching?

In the bright sunshine the damselflies and dragonflies where flitting about above the lily pads, looking for somewhere to deposit a load of eggs. One took a breather on our roof…IMG_5822

We had a rare treat when we arrived at the top of Brownshill Lock. A seal! We first spotted him in the lock chamber, then he surfaced just 20 feet away, took a look and dived again. Far too quick for the camera. We waited for him to come up for air, camera poised… and waited… and waited. Finally, 200 yards upstream against the reeds, a shiny hump broke the surface.

You’ll have to take my word for it, that’s a seal!

The lock was open ready for us, so we quickly dropped down onto the short tideway section to Hemitage Lock.

Leaving Brownshill Lock and Staunch, and Sammy the SealIMG_5829
The seal is above the lock, so must have gone up with a boat at some point.

Cormorant wing drying

The Old Bedford River, with barrier and sluice gates.IMG_5842

New Bedford River, navigable on the tide 20½ miles to Denver, then another 12 or 13 to King’s Lynn and the alternative access to the WashIMG_5844

Hermitage Lock.IMG_5843
I thought we’d miss the lock, the lockie was due to break for lunch at 1 o’clock. But a boat had just left and he saw us coming so he kindly dropped us down the 18 inches to the Old West River before knocking off.

The lock’s name comes from the 15th century. At that time the Bishops of Ely were responsible for a causeway and bridge here, and employed a hermit to look after them. The old Hermitage has long gone, as has the hermit. The EA employ the modern day equivalent…

We stopped for a bite to eat on the visitor mooring below the lock before pushing on the last 3 miles to Aldreth Bridge and what Mags calls “Dobbin’s moorings”.

Flat Bridge needs a little TLC

Mum herding the nippers away from the hairy predator on the back deck of the passing boat.IMG_5859 No, not me, Meg!

There was one boat here when we arrived, but we’ve since been joined by a couple of cruisers.

Dobbin was no-where to be seen, but Meg and I found him up at the gate near Aldreth Bridge. If he’s around in the morning there’s an apple with his name on it. Not till then though, I don’t want him hanging around all night!

Locks 3, miles 10.

1 comment:

KevinTOO said...

Looks more like the Loch Ness monster to me!! LOL