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The 1996 Fens / Avon Cruise

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5. Cambridge to Peterborough, via River Cam, River Great Ouse, Middle Level Nene / Great Ouse Link, River Nene.

Saturday 13th July Neil and Colin shoved off at 8.30 after John and his brother Paul left. Swaffham Lode was passed at 10.45, Reach Lode at 11.10 and Popes Corner at 11.45. We arrived at Ely, getting the last awkward visitor mooring overhanging the water point at 12.25. Ian was going to pick up Julian, Mike Berthoud and Danny from Cambridge Station and meet us at Ely. Ian was going to leave his car at Ely and Mike and Ian stay with us till March, where they could get a train back to Ely. Neil wanted to get across from Denver Sluice to Salter's Lode that night and we were booked out from Denver at 17.00. Ian wanted to show Julian and co his new works, so after an annoyed phone call from Neil they eventually arrived at 15.00 for a very quick getaway. 


Danny was strangely quiet and looked a bit pale. Neil asked him why this was. Danny replied that Ian in his SAAB 900 company car had done the journey in 10 minutes! Now Neil had to do a similar assault on the River Great Ouse to make Denver Sluice in time. The River Lark junction was passed at 15.40, Little Ouse junction at 16.35 and River Wissey junction at 17.30. Denver Sluice was eventually made at 17.45. The lock keeper still let us out and we hit the flood at 18.15. Neither lock keeper had given Neil any instructions. The small cut going to Salter's Lode points down stream, so Neil thought the best thing to do was to battle the flood a bit down stream, then come flying up into the lock cut (the outer gate was open for us), braking at the last moment. The flood was going it a bit, if anything Neil thought they had let us out too early. The Salter's Lode lock keeper started gesticulating, but Neil made a sign to show he was going downstream, then tuning. We came flying up the lock cut, with Mike Berthoud on the roof and Ian fiddling around in the front cockpit. Neil told them to get down / inside in no un-certain terms. We shot into the lock chamber under maximum reverse thrust. At this point Neil glanced up at the bridge over the lock bottom guillotine gate, to see Linda, Peter and Wendy waving! “Beatty” pulled up perfectly, Ian then came out and got the centre rope over a bollard and the slow guillotine started whirring down. 


When we were nearly up in the lock, the keeper came over and said he was trying to beckon us over so he could take our bow rope. He then wanted us to grind our way round the large posts at the entrance to his lock cut. He admired our style, saying that the Captain had a steady nerve and a trust in his craft to be able to pull up. He also said that the last and only time he had seen it done like that, the narrowboat Captain lost his bottle and side swiped one of his posts, rather bending it and the side of his boat! Linda was at the time fortunately unaware of this. Linda, Peter and Wendy had come out for a day out. After a short meeting we set of again at 18.45, as we wanted to get to Outwell that night. We got the same mooring in Outwell and were tied up by 20.30. Julian had been preparing a meal that was ready as soon as we stopped. Later we walked around the village and investigated the entrance lock to the infilled Wisbech Canal. After this we walked over the road to the “Red Lion” pub.


 Sunday 14th July we set off at 8.20. Mike and Ian left at March at 10.50. Fox’s boatyard was passed at 11.15, Floods Ferry Junction at 12.05 and Angle Corner Junction at 12.30. Ashline Lock took between 13.30 and 13.45, Stanground Lock between 15.00 and 15.15. That night we stopped at 15.35 at Peterborough visitor moorings. Julian went shopping to ASDA and we ate out in the floating Chinese restaurant, not far upstream from us. This we found to be rather expensive and not very good, being best described as “provincial”.


Racing along to make Denver Sluice. The new crew, Ian Scott, Danny, Colin, Julian and Mike Berthoud. River Great Ouse. 

"The Chequers" pub at Nordelph. Well Creek, Middle Level.

The bridges each side of Mullicourt Aqueduct. Well Creek, Middle Level

Mullicourt Aqueduct (On the way to the River Great Ouse.) Well Creek, Middle Level.

Passing over and looking up the Middle Level Main Drain. Well Creek, Middle Level.

The sluice on the Main Drain just below Mullicourt Aqueduct. Well Creek, Middle Level.

Mullicourt Aqueduct. Well Creek, Middle Level.

The jam of Fox Hire Boats when on our way to the River Great Ouse. Well Creek, Middle Level.

The approach to Outwell. St Clement's Church in the distance. Well Creek, Middle Level.

"The Red Lion" pub at Outwell. Middle Level. 





The filled in lock chamber that was the continuation of the Wisbech Canal, the channel of the Old River Nene to Wisbech.




The basin at Outwell, to the right Well Creek starts and to the left is the infilled Wisbech Canal. "Beatty" moored nearest, Fox Hire Boat beyond. Image from in the way to the River Great Ouse. Old Course of the River Nene, Middle Level. 

Outwell, looking up the Old Course of the River Nene towards Upwell. 

Upwell village sign. Old Course of the River Nene, Middle Level. 

Upwell, St Peter's Church. Old Course of the River Nene, Middle Level. 

Passing through Upwell on route for March. Old Course of the River Nene, Middle Level. 

The "Globe Inn" in Upwell. Old Course of the River Nene, Middle Level. 

Upwell, The Commissioners at work piling. Old Course of the River Nene, Middle Level. 

Waiting for Marmont Priory Lock. Old Course of the River Nene, Middle Level. 

Marmont Priory Lock. Mrs Norton the Locky and her daughter insist they help us through. Old Course of the River Nene, Middle Level. 

Passing by and looking up Popham's Eau towards Three Holes. Old Course of the River Nene, Middle Level. 

The Twenty Foot River goes off to the right. Old Course of the River Nene, Middle Level. 

Looking up the Twenty Foot River. Old Course of the River Nene, Middle Level. 

The railway bridge just before March. Old Course of the River Nene, Middle Level. 

March. The visitor moorings start to the right. Old Course of the River Nene, Middle Level.
 

March,  the Bridge. Looking back to the visitor moorings. Old Course of the River Nene, Middle Level. 

March Sanitary Station with the sad self pump-out machine. Old Course of the River Nene, Middle Level. 

Leaving March. Old Course of the River Nene, Middle Level. 

Fox's Marina. Old Course of the River Nene, Middle Level. 

Looking into Fox's Marina. Old Course of the River Nene, Middle Level. 

Pumping Station just beyond Fox Boats. Old Course of the River Nene, Middle Level. 

Botany Bay Bridge. Old Course of the River Nene, Middle Level. 

The propped up Floods Ferry Bridge. Old Course of the River Nene, Middle Level. 

The Old Course of the River Nene continues to the left, to Ramsey. We take the Whittlesey Dyke to the right. 

Looking up the Old Course of the River Nene towards Ramsey. Whittlesey Dyke, Middle Level.

Burnt House Bridge. Whittlesey Dyke, Middle Level.

Looking back at Burnt House Bridge. Whittlesey Dyke, Middle Level.

We are burned of by a sunbathing couple in a small cruiser. Whittlesey Dyke, Middle Level.

Angle Corner Bridge. Whittlesey Dyke, Middle Level.

The "crossroads" at Angle Corner Junction. looking up the Twenty Foot River. Whittlesey Dyke, Middle Level.

The crossroads at Angle Corner Junction. looking up Bevill's Leam. Whittlesey Dyke, Middle Level.

The remaining crew. Danny, Julian and Colin. Whittlesey Dyke, Middle Level.

The railway bridge on the approach to Whittlesey. Whittlesey Dyke, Middle Level.

Approach to Ashline Lock, Whittlesey. Whittlesey Dyke, Middle Level.

Ashline Lock, Whittlesey. Whittlesey Dyke, Middle Level.

Ashline Lock, Whittlesey. Whittlesey Dyke, Middle Level.

The winding point just above Ashline Lock. Whittlesey. Whittlesey Dyke, Middle Level.

The visitor moorings just above Ashline Lock. Whittlesey. Whittlesey Dyke, Middle Level.

Coming out of Briggate Bridge to do the famous bend in one. Whittlesey. Kings Dyke, Middle Level.

Captain Arlidge stirring the mud up a bit. Briggate Bend, Whittlesey. Kings Dyke, Middle Level.

No, we did not slap the wall! Briggate Bend, Whittlesey. Kings Dyke, Middle Level.

Swirling muddy traces of a power turn! Whittlesey. Kings Dyke, Middle Level.

And yes.. we did miss this unexpected little craft! Whittlesey. Kings Dyke, Middle Level.

Coming out of Whittlesey. Kings Dyke, Middle Level.

One of Danny's "Little snacks"! Kings Dyke, Middle Level.

Leaving Whittlesey on King's Dyke, railway bridge in the distance. Kings Dyke, Middle Level.

Brick clay pit, Whittlesey.  Kings Dyke, Middle Level. 

The A605 Bridge. Kings Dyke, Middle Level.

Looking back at the Whittlesey Brick Works. Kings Dyke, Middle Level.

The "Chip Foundry" in Whittlesey. Kings Dyke, Middle Level.

Pig Water Bridge. Kings Dyke, Middle Level.


Looking up the un-navigable Pig Water. Kings Dyke, Middle Level.

Peterborough in the distance. Stanground Lock Cottage and Lock to the left. Kings Dyke, Middle Level.

Arriving at Stanground Lock. Kings Dyke, Middle Level.

Stanground Lock. Kings Dyke, Middle Level.

The Stanground Locky soon gets into gear. Kings Dyke, Middle Level.

Waiting at Stanground Lock. Kings Dyke, Middle Level.


Waiting at Stanground Lock. Kings Dyke, Middle Level.


In the recently extended Stanground Lock. One reason "Beatty" was bought, was that at 50ft, it would have fitted the old lock! Kings Dyke, Middle Level.

Neil caught un-aware at Stanground. Kings Dyke, Middle Level.

Waiting to go out of Stanground Lock. Kings Dyke, Middle Level.

Leaving Stanground Lock. Kings Dyke, Middle Level.

Leaving Stanground Lock. Kings Dyke, Middle Level.

Leaving Stanground Lock. Looking down the un-navigable Morton's Leam. Kings Dyke, Middle Level.

Branston Boats at Stanground. Kings Dyke, Middle Level.

Stanground. Kings Dyke, Middle Level.

The railway bridge at Stanground, River Nene beyond. Kings Dyke, Middle Level.

The A1139 Bridge in Peterborough. River Nene. 

Our mooring in Peterborough. River Nene. 

A long overdue free self-pump out at Peterborough. River Nene. 

"Fat Bloke". Peterborough. 

Peterborough Cathedral. 


Bloody noisy (All night!) Mill at Peterborough. River Nene. 

The not very good and expensive floating Chinese Restaurant at Peterborough. River Nene. 

The Bridge and new apartments at Peterborough. River Nene. 

The tour continues...


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