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Tour 2001

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February Fenland Exploration Trip

Left home at 6.30, picked up John Chapman at 7.30, from Stopsley. Stopped of first at Brampton EA Office. JC knew some bod there. Bod has not got free Wash Ports tide tables, so phones up region at Goldenhay, Peterboro'. Go to Peterboro' and get tide tables. Look at top of River Welland and see where JC got stuck. No weeds here at present. Look at low footbridge on River Welland - OK. Stop in Spalding - quite nice. Look at open sluice to Coronation Channel round other side of Spalding (can't get out through tidal sluice at end of this, but wide enough for wind.) 
Go down to look at tidal Fulney Lock, just outside Spalding. Longish tidal drain from here to Surfleet Lock - entrance to River Glen. Look at Surfleet Lock, talk to boaty bloke that JC knows, he says local shallow draught craft creep over RAF bombing range, past orange painted wrecks, used for target practise! - when doing passage from Fossdyke (yes another Fossdyke - this is the tidal River Welland Cut to Wash!). look at Pinchbeck up River Glen. See nb that JC bought across wash last year, outside owners house. Nowhere above Surfleet Lock where River Glen wide enough to wind 60ft nb! Only chance is confluence with blocked off Bourne Eau. Go down farm track to this - seems just OK. River Glen navigable for shallow (nb?) craft up to Baston, another 3 miles - nowhere to wind up here though! Go to Boston to see Grand Sluice. This is only 45ft, so has to be passed on level with longer craft. 
Check out Tidal River Witham, below Boston Docks. Go to Sutton Bridge, near out fall of River Nene. Drive to old lighthouses at end. One was Peter Scott's house from 1933-39. See Wash for first time. It is below force three and good visibility. See island and across to Hunstanton. Can see bombing practice wrecks on sand banks. Go back to opposite Port of Sutton Bridge and famous cheese shop, in farm. (must be the only cheese shop with tidal range prediction chart up on wall!) Guvnor says all signs of wrecked coaster removed from turning point, just before Sutton revolving Bridge. 
Ship wreck of Ladik.....There was a pilot on board, but master was doing winding movement, with still a fair flood on. Useless crew could not get bow rope onto winding bollard, tried 4 times. By that time ship was across the river, nearly out of turning basin. All thrashing around only got ship more up the bank. This was at 17.00 (dunno what day). By 23.00 ebb had nearly gone and ship broke its back (eventually in three places) as suspended, just by bow and stern. Crew walk away and give up on ship! Dutch lifting barge has just finished removing wreck. Put stern section and bridge on barge an towed back to Holland for retrieval of engine and all goodies. Rest of ship dumped at side of Nene, in three bits and cut up into 30 ton bits and scrapped, by road I think! See ships that are now back in port. Go to Wisbech and see, now much extended visitor mooring pontoons. Drop of JC and get home at 21.00


Bridge over River Welland at Crowland.

The now blocked off old canal up to Crowland.

Four Mile Bar Footbridge at Brotherhouse Bar. River Welland

The Welland narrowboat! - just up from Spalding. River Welland.

Spalding. River Welland

Fulney Lock, onto tidal River Welland, just below Spalding

Fulney Lock, onto tidal River Welland, just below Spalding

Coronation Channel outfall, from Spalding

Surfleet Lock. Onto tidal River Welland, in distance.

View from Surfleet Lock. River Welland

Surfleet Lock. River Welland

Vernatt's Drain Tidal Sluice........a drain too far???? - This is the non tidal side, they appear to be filling it with sea water!

View from Vernatt's Drain Tidal Sluice. Potential good grounding place while waiting for Surfleet Sluice.

Just up from Pinchbeck - this is the narrowboat (Daisy) John Chapman bought over last year (2000).

Bridge over River Glen at Pinchbeck West.

Outfall from Bourne Eau (left) into R Glen - this is where a 60ft narrowboat WILL be winding!

Boston Grand Sluice.

Boston Grand Sluice.

Tidal River Witham, below Boston Docks - looking downstream.

Tidal River Witham, below Boston Docks, looking up towards them.

Fossdyke on the Fossdyke / tidal River Welland. The winding point

The port of Fossdyke.

The Ship Inn at Fossdyke.

The bloody great beam to protect low bridge at Fossdyke from wayward coasters!

Nene outfall, old lighthouse on North Bank

Looking upstream towards Port of Sutton Bridge. Tidal River Nene Outfall.

View of Wash from Tidal River Nene Outfall.

Training Island, out in Wash.

View of Wash from Tidal River Nene Outfall.

Peter Scott's old lighthouse, Tidal River Nene Outfall.

Port of Sutton Bridge winding point - heavy scouring on North bank from wrecked coaster.

Port of Sutton Bridge. Tidal River Nene Outfall.

Sutton Bridge. Tidal River Nene Outfall.

The now extended visitor moorings at Wisbech. Tidal River Nene Outfall.

 

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