Thursday, July 02, 2015

A good day back to Denver, and a sighting of the rare three-headed swan…

We decided to have a fairly long day today, so long as the weather held. Getting to Denver meant that we could go down to Salter’s Lode on the 10:15 tidal window tomorrow.
But first Meg and I had a walk around Brandon in the cool of the early morning. It looks quite pleasant, a lot of the buildings are built or faced with flint, one of the area's main exports.
We returned along the river, first diverting upstream a little way to have a look at the upstream moorings, those above the lock.

Furthest up, at the limit of navigation.

A little way above the lockIMG_6067

And those below for boats above 40 foot.  IMG_6070

I don’t think the lock gets much use…

I made a visit to the handy Tesco for some essentials, then we were away at around 09:30.

It was a bit quicker for the first, narrow couple of miles. In the confined channel the flow over the sluice makes a difference, further down it’s negligible.

Heading back

Looking back at the rising ground of The BreckIMG_6074

Back over the Cut-Off Channel aqueductIMG_6075

This little guy was welcome, I let him sit on my knee in the sunshine till he was ready to fly off.
Not so welcome were the couple of dozen horse flies that got slapped or squeezed and disposed of over the side. Not always before they’d had a good feed, though!

Moorehen chicks IMG_6078

We caught up with a couple of weed-cutters, the same ones we saw yesterday and in about the same spot! They pulled over and let us pass…IMG_6080

It was about this time that we started to meet boats coming the other way. If all seven that we saw are heading for Brandon it’s going to be busy up there!

There’s an abandoned and derelict stop-lock just visible in the foliage, opposite a recently installed GOBA mooring. The edge has been dredged but the silt has been piled along the mooring. It’ll be a while before it gets grassed enough to make it pleasant underfoot.

Old stop lock…

…GOBA mooring

Just around the corner is Xanadu MarineIMG_6091
Probably not what Samuel Taylor Coleridge had in mind…

“In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree :
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.” (lines 1–5)

The rest of the run downriver to the Great Ouse was uneventful. I though we were going to get wet at one point, but just a few drops fell, drying as soon as they landed. We made good time, turning out onto the big river after just 3½ hours.

A right turn at The Ship and we’re back on the Great OuseIMG_6095

I do like the decorative brickwork on this pump house…IMG_6097

… but I’m not sure about this doll’s houseIMG_6103

We’ve seen more grebes on these waterways than on any other we’ve visited.IMG_6106

Another 90 minutes or so saw us arrive at Denver.IMG_6107

We went past the moorings, full nearer the lock and the pub but with plenty of space further away, to fill with water and empty a loo before turning around and mooring up at about a quarter to three.

Depending on what time we get through onto the Middle Levels tomorrow we may stop at Outwell or push through to March. If all those boats moored nearer the lock are going the same way it’ll probably be Saturday before we go!

Oh, and that swan with three heads… big aaar.IMG_6100

Locks 0, miles 20

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