Monday, July 20, 2015

Meeting up, into Northampton and The case of the Missing Sanitary Station!

One for old Sherlock Holmes!

Derek and Sheila arrived on Saturday afternoon as planned, and moored next to us on the washlands pontoon. We hadn’t seen each other for a few weeks so had some catching up to do over tea and cakes.

Looking out over the washlandsPanorama


The pontoon moorings IMG_6436

The Washlands was created in the 1980s to manage floodwater in the Nene valley. Excess water is diverted into the basin, then allowed to slowly return to the valley as and when conditions allow.

Both boats left the pontoon moorings yesterday, reversing out into the main river. It was entertaining, with the gusty wind pushing us back up towards the lock!

Clarence follows us out – backwardsIMG_6443

There’s a lot of river here…

The navigation channel leaves the main river about a ¾-mile below Weston Favell Lock, turning sharp left to pass under another barrage bridge and enter Abingdon Lock

Abingdon LockIMG_6448

The cut continues around to Rush Mills Lock, passing some ad-hoc moorings…IMG_6449

…and rejoins the river under the A45 dual carriageway.IMG_6450

We pulled in on the Midsummer Murders Meadows moorings, while Derek and Sheila pushed on. I helped them up the last of the river locks, Northampton Lock, then said goodbye. A bit of shopping from the handy Morrison’s then they were off up the narrow locks of the Rothersthorpe flight, up onto the Grand Union Main Line. We’ll not be following them till tomorrow.

Superb sunset last night

Now then, the missing sanitary station. There should have been a facility block providing water, loo emptying and rubbish disposal just along here somewhere… but it was nowhere to be seen. No wharf, no building, no tap, just a depression in the ground with a grating over. Further essential investigation showed that the whole kit and kaboodle was now in the new marina opposite Becket’s Park.
It turns out that the old facility was owned and maintained by the local council, and, when the jointly funded development of the marina was planned, they decided to close the park-side one in favour of a more secure position in the marina.
We really did need the chance to fill and empty; we’ve guests arriving this afternoon to help us up the locks tomorrow.

So, just a short cruise this morning, around the corner, up the last lock, a sharp left into the marina and find the services. Having done the necessary we intended to come back out and moor alongside the flats above the lock.

Mags bringing Seyella into Becket’s Park (Northampton) LockIMG_6457

Into the marina

This looks pleasant, now where’s the facilities?

The warden came out to meet us and directed us to the appropriate amenities, no charge as the marina is EA run. Then I had a word with him, a fee changed hands and we’ve a berth in here tonight. I’m sure it would have been fine where we’d planned, but here we’ve power and water on hand, as much as we want. And it is more secure…
So now we’re waiting for Simon and Ros to arrive, they’re due shortly. They’ll spend the night with us, then help us up the 17 locks to Gayton Junction tomorrow before heading home again.
Locks 3, miles 3 (two days)  

1 comment:

Carol said...

So that’s your big adventure done and dusted and now back to the ditches. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed coming with you! Love to you both. x