Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Risky move today

Yesterday was just an awful day.. we had light rain all day and just watched the water levels go up and up thinking we won't be moving tomorrow, but we did avoid the temptation not to go down the pub.
Over night we had heard the heavy rain hitting the roof and wondered whether the pins would stay in on the bank. When we awoke the water levels had risen by 20cm which was about eight inches in old money and the flow was twice the speed it was when we went to bed.
The weather forecast was that things were brightening up and we had to make a decision, and we decided to go.. We first moved along to the pub where there is a water point and found out the hard way that the under currant was very strong.
After filling with water a boat came past us and it was handy we could just pull into the lock beside them when they got it ready. As the guillotine was opened the lock just filled with the high level of water pouring in..
It was strange going with the strong currant and the strong wind was blowing in our faces, but once again the scenery was stunning which took our mind off things.
We were warned of the levels and the bridges were a bit difficult to get under so the chimney and sat dish came off the roof..
We got to the second lock and we managed to squeeze on the pontoon. It was a difficult lock to turn into but we took our time and got in..
As the Nene twists and turns again you could feel the currant pushing the stern into the bank, but a little more power helped put Derwent6 on the straight and narrow..  We got to our last lock of the day before we got to Oundle and Del had to hold Derwent6 in the flow till the gates opened..
We then had our low bridge to contend with and we had three inches to spare.. We passed a guy with some solar panels on his roof and warned him but all we heard was the scraping and cracking of the panel's as he went under the bridge, it sounded expensive..
We moored up at the Oundle cruising club and were given a leaflet on staying here..
You can stay for seven days free and they encourage you to give a donation to the club. The gates here are closed at 6.00pm so we called the harbour master to find out how we get in if we come back too late.. "You can get a key at the marina for a £10.00 deposit", so we picked one up..
So we took the opportunity to go into town, and what a surprise it was.. It is built in the old stone you see in Yorkshire and looked very 'olde worldee'. Stunning!
We had a good walk around checking out all the shops and pubs, we also picked up a few goodies on the way..
When we got back to Derwent6 we set up the telly and had something to eat when there was a tap on the side of Derwent6..It turned out to be Alan who we met a long time ago on n.b Cream Cracker who now runs the coal boat Bletchley (A.N.A. Fuels) here on the Nene, and he is a regular follower of the blog..
He had taken the trouble to come and find us and we will look forward to a drink with him on the way back hopefully. So we will sit tight here for a few days while the Nene settles back down.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Best mooring yet

We were laying in bed when we heard the boat behind us moving at 7.00am.. They had a better mooring and the banking was a bit higher, so with the rain expected Monday we thought it best to move back a bit..

It was a lovely morning and we soon had the bacon butties going out in the cratch, what do think of our guard dog..
Del then did the brasses while Al made a cake.. We then watched the Grand Prix qualifying and then went out.. We first went for a walk up to Wadenhoe Church..
The first thing you get to is its Millennium Sundial a nice work of art..
It was nice to see the church open for visitors and it is very quaint and peaceful..
It has a 13th Century font and you were able to go in the bell tower, well worth a visit..
We then walked into the village and what a pretty little village it is.
It has loads of thatched houses, old barns and a mill.
It even has an old farmyard with the milk churns by the gate and an old post office..
 Forgetting Del had done the brasses, it started to rain so we made our way back..
We chilled in the evening, well Al had a chill watching Dr Who.. We love this mooring and it is our best so far..

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Further than we thought, but worth it

We were up and out this morning with the plan to get moored up again by lunchtime.. We were on our own through the first lock and soon enjoying our cruise through the countryside on the Nene.
This river is beautiful and it certainly isn't boring. It twists and turns and challenges you in every sense, the water is crystal clear and its undercurrents strong, we love it already.
We got to the locks at Ringstead and found that the guillotine lock was operated by a wheel and not electric like some.
We've got to say they are hard work but the exercise will do us good.
Whilst helping another couple of boats we met coming up the locks, we were caught up by another boat at Woodford and Denford which was a great help and got us moving..
Talking to other boaters who know the area also helps as we were looking for a mooring now..  Our plan was to stop at Thrapston as we passed under the A14, we always remember looking down here thinking, one day!
The visitors moorings here are so difficult to get on (and we had good conditions) and when we saw them they were full anyway, so we went through the next lock where there were more moorings.
Full as well, so we carried on!
Never mind, we will stop at Titchmarsh, no chance, they were repairing the moorings here, so it was on to Wadenhoe.
It was so pretty cruising we wasn't bothered about mooring really, but we don't want to rush things, and want to see these places.
All the easy moorings were taken, except the ones right outside the pub, which we didn't want, due to how busy it would be over the weekend, so we opted for a mooring in the reeds.
The ground was a bit soggy, but we managed to get the pins in and tie to a stack with the centre rope. That'll do!
We wanted to try the pub out and see the village which was stunning. The pub, The Kings Head, never let us down and we sat very happy with a pint and a bag of crisps, heaven! and only three hundred metres from Derwent6, perfect for the weekend..
We have just stunning views out of all the windows....... it will be difficult to move from here..

Exploring Irthlingborough

We decided not to move again today because we like it here at Irthlingborough. We are right next to the Rushden and Diamonds football stadium and all its support training pitches and leisure centre facilities, but sadly it has all been left derelict.
It was all built by Dr Martin's who make the boots and they had a factory in the grounds, but they moved and it was then run by independents. They all went bust in 2012 and only a child minding group remain. They were last used for a training camp for the 2012 Olympics. All the pitches are over grown and the leisure centre and gym empty, what a waste..  This is why the moorings here have been closed as no one will pay for the up keep of them...they seem all right to us.. Here we have some super facilities for the kids all going to waste, mad!
Anyway, we wanted to see the town of Irthlingborough and took the short walk across the fields into the small high street, and were surprised to see a Tesco's extra, a post office, a butchers and loads of different takeaways..
We then tried to look around the unusual church but sadly the door was locked and you had to obtain a key from another address.
We came back with some goodies and had some lunch.
In the afternoon Del went  out on his bike exploring Ringstead, Stanwick lakes, Higham Ferrers and Rushden.
So it has been a chilled day for us again, and we have only seen three boats pass us all day.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Wow! this river just get better

We left this morning at 9.00am, Al walked down to the first lock at Cogenhoe, and it was ready for Derwent6 to enter.. Al loves the guillotine locks, but Del is not so keen as they drip all over his nice clean roof (and his brasses) .. 
It is very pretty here as the river twists and turns though some difficult sections which are over grown at this time of year, but great fun..
We got to Earls Barton and passed these two locks with ease. The lock landings make it a bit of a challenge but also different from the canals, we like it!
This river has just had some stunning scenery and we are told it gets even better downstream.
We have seen fantastic wildlife and even water skiers.
We loved this paint job on n.b Alfie.
Derwent6 twist and turns through the overgrowth and its so exciting wondering what you will find round the next bend, its great being on new territory. We did look for some moorings but ended up carrying on through Great Doddington as the banks were covered in weed.  Bet this guy was pulling a few watts..
We got to Wellingborough and saw the big Tesco's just a short walk away and moored up for a bit of top up on shopping..
Not wanting to stop here we carried on, but there were no signs of trouble, so maybe on the way back. Once again the scenery never let us down as we got out in the open again through Ditchford and Higham locks.
We passed under the tight arches of the bridge before we moored up at Irthlingborough.
When we arrived the new moorings were all taken and these signs had been put up saying NO MOORING  warning us of loose planks on the rivers edge.
Sod that, we just moored up on them, as they looked so good. it turns out they have been like this since June. No repairs in the pipeline (so we're told), but they have managed to come out and cement and sign write the signs for no mooring.
What a waste of money, they might as well have just come out and repaired the planks.. Anyway after we moored up another four boats moored on them with us.. Yes there has been a bit more boat movement today, we saw all these boats at Tesco's.
We set up the telly and chilled in the evening, another lovely day!