After a day off yesterday we got away at around half past nine this morning. The day had started calmly, but the wind has increased steadily, strong and gusty by mid afternoon.
A beautiful stretch of river…
…but it’s not all bucolic.
The reach between Earls Barton and White Mills Locks is quite shallow and very weedy. We left a trail of chopped up blades of that spikey stuff that grows to just below the surface. Approaching the latter lock we almost stopped, so much was wrapped around the prop.
White Mills Lock and bywash bridge
We had six locks to do today, all the regular Nene type with a guillotine at one end and mitre gates at the other. We dropped lucky, at two we had boats waiting to come down, and at another an EA crew were repairing the upper landing and they offered to reset the lock for me.
They’re all fairly close together at this, the top end of the valley. Just enough time for a brew in between…
The tower of Whiston church rises above the woods on Combe Hill.
Nature will take advantage of any opportunity, a hawthorn growing out of the top of a rotten post.
Cogenhoe came and went; this one was where the top landing was being repaired, then we were at Billing, with the extensive holiday camp alongside. Lots of people about, enjoying the fine weather.
My two girls in Billing Lock
The river runs wide and deep to Clifford Hill Lock, then on to Weston Flavell. It’s here that the flood relief washlands run to the south of the river, sluices and flood gates control excessive water, diverting it to the shallow basins for release later when conditions improve.
Northampton Boat Club in the lock cut at Weston Flavell
In Weston Flavell Lock, our last for today
We motored under the flood barrier bridge, out onto the river again and turned sharp right to moor on the EA pontoon.
It’s quiet here, and if the wind changes it’ll be quieter still. It’s carrying the traffic noise from the A45 this afternoon.
We’ve been entertained by a coot family on the island opposite. The parents are busy feeding the very young chicks.
This is the second brood, there are another three adolescents hanging around squawking plaintively. Obviously feeling left out!
We’re staying here tomorrow. All being well we’ll be joined by Derek and Sheila, NB Clarence, in the afternoon.
Locks 6, miles 5½