Saturday, July 11, 2015

On to Thrapston

Another good day for us yesterday. Until I looked at my log this morning I hadn’t realised that we’d cruised every day since last Friday! Seven days on the trot is almost unheard of for us! No wonder we needed a break…

Ashton Lock, moorings are on the backwater on the right. OK, but a bit shallow.

A single-hander had come up the lock at around nine, we set off following another boat who’d stayed here overnight half an hour later and had a few minutes pause at Lower Branwell Lock for the guy to clear the lock.

Buzzard looking for breakfast…IMG_6290

…while his (her?) mate takes five.

Out of Branwell Lower Lock, another few minutes saw us making the awkward turn into Oundle Marina.IMG_6297
We nearly missed it, it’s a little “discreet”!

We filled with diesel and water, emptied a loo and the rubbish, and replaced the battery that had died on us the other day. We seem to have used more diesel than is usual, I guess it’s all this thrashing about on rivers. It’ll bear keeping an eye on, though.

Back out on the river and Upper Branwell Lock is just around the corner.

Upper Branwell LockIMG_6299
Oundle Mill alongside has a new lease of life as a bar and restaurant.

Approaching Wadenhoe the spire of Achurch church can be seen above the trees, and below, in a bend of the river, some ruins barely visible in the undergrowth.IMG_6303
I can’t discover what the building once was, but the flat meadow seems a likely spot for a monastery or priory. There’s also a short canal been dug leading into the meadow, which would have been a ready source of water or fed into fish ponds.

Wadenhoe Lock is a popular place to stop, with the Kings Head’s lawn running down to the water.

 With the flow of water over the gates, the lock doesn’t take long to fill, either!IMG_6309
When it’s wetter, I’m told this is the norm rather than the exception for Nene locks.

King’s Head moorings, just above the lockIMG_6310

The river loops east then west, making the reach to Titchmarsh Lock twice as long as that well-traveled crow would fly, but it’s pleasant, at first open meadows then tree lined as it gets nearer the lock.

There’s a small marina and moorings owned by the Middle Nene Cruising Club at the lock.IMG_6312
Titchmarsh Mill is now the club headquarters. Just for info, the 48 hour moorings below the lock are now being used as the lock landing, as the landing itself is in poor condition. I don’t think the situation is going to change any time soon, the notice was dated 2004…

The wooded banks continue towards Thrapston, and there are extensive worked-out gravel pits on either hand. One group is now a nature reserve, another is home to the Middle Nene Sailing Club. There are moorings here, surprisingly vacant, so this is where we called it a day.

Sailing club moorings, Thrapston.IMG_6314

Locks 5, miles 9¼

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