Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Up the Creek…

Brandon Creek, that is. AKA the Little Ouse.

We moved down to Ely yesterday, arriving at around 10:30 and finding a mooring spot opposite the marina.

Leaving Little Thetford EA mooring, a little quieter now.IMG_5976

The entrance to Soham Lode, un-navigable. IMG_5978
Or is it? If anyone’s had a go, it would have to have been the Tuesday Night Club! They made around 1½ miles…

Jersey cows, Fens cathedralIMG_5979

IMG_5984And again. 

You can see why they built it there. It’s pretty awesome to 21st century man, imagine the impact on 12th century man. Of course, the railway station wasn’t there then. That would have made an impression too!

Moored on Ely waterfrontIMG_5989

I spent part of the afternoon shuttling to and from Sainsbury's to top the cupboards up, another hour or so investigating the source of that annoyingly intermittent coolant leak on the engine, then a fruitless hour walking around town checking out every likely source of a bit of hose. Yes I found it, finally. A dribble from where the top hose runs from the thermostat housing to the header tank. Not easy to spot with the hose fitted…

Looking on the front of the engine, the top hose removed. You can see the dribble on the front of the header tank.
The stub was crusty with oxidation, so both were thoroughly cleaned with a pan scourer, coated with Blue Hylomar and the original hose refitted. There was actually nothing wrong with the hose, but I thought that while it was off I’d replace it anyway. It is 9 years old, and I had to change the hoses to the calorifier earlier in the year. I’ll get one ordered, as well as the two long ones that connect to top and bottom of the skin tank. Then I can change them at leisure.

This morning we were away at 09:30, but just timed it too late, arriving at the service point just as another boat pulled on in front of us. Thirty minutes and a pump-out later we were on ourselves to fill with water and empty the loo cassettes and rubbish. Another was waiting to come on as we left…

A last over the shoulder look at Ely CathedralIMG_6013

Different styles, a steel truss bridge carries the Norwich railway line, and the decorative concrete Queen Adelaide Road Bridge to carries the B road to Prickwillow.IMG_6014

Lonely river this morning…IMG_6015

We pulled in for lunch on the EA moorings half a mile south of the Ship Inn, then headed for the junction at the pub…

…and turned right into Brandon Creek.IMG_6019

It’s slow going for a start, Little Ouse Moorings stretch for a mile from the junction, but then it’s wide, fairly deep and good going for the next six.

It’s called Busted Flush, loosely styled on a Mississippi riverboat.IMG_6021
I did say loosely…

The steel supports of Iron Bridge at the hamlet of Little Ouse straddle the earlier timber posts.IMG_6022


Lakenheath Lode takes a weedy route off to the south east. IMG_6030
RAF Lakenheath is off in that direction too. The occasional rumble of jet engines and the distant sighting of aircraft show that they’re taking advantage of the fine weather.

The fairly straight first five miles gives way to a few twists and turns as the waterway threads it’s way between shallow meres, then we arrived at the GOBA moorings about half-way to Brandon, expecting them to be empty.IMG_6034
They weren’t, nor were they very deep. We finished up with the fore-end as close as possible but still a couple of foot out, and the stern stuck well out. Still, we’re secure and it’s only for one night.

Although the consensus of the two crews already here is that Brandon isn’t worth the trip to the end of the navigation, we’ll go anyway. We’ve got this far…

Hi, Naughty-Cal. I think Wicken Lode would be deep enough for you, it’s just the width if you meet something coming the other way!

Hi Lesley. Yes still on the Great Ouse and still enjoying it. Off to the ML next weekend, though.

Hi Ellen and Phil. Sorry about the misnaming! Maybe we should have joined you, it was a bit busy out on the river! Glad to have met you, we’ll look out for you next year on the cut.

Locks 0, miles 19¼ (two days)


Naughty-Cal said...

I do hope you make it to Brandon as we are using your photos as a guide to what to expect and we plan to head down that way also.

We spoke to the lockie at Denver yesterday to discuss our plans for our trip up the 100ft on Monday morning and it turns out we have a bit of a bonus as our tide to leave the Fens on Monday 13th isn't while 5pm in the evening so we have almost a full extra day to explore, hence our desicion to head right down to Brandon if we can.

Graham and Jill Findlay said...

We loved Brandon when we stayed there for a couple of days last year. well worth the trip.