It's Thursday and it has dawned beautifully sunny and windless for our crossing of the Wash. A WhatsAp message goes around the group of 'Washers' to say we will start off for the lock at 9.15 in the order we go into the lock.
Nb. What a Lark is first into the lock so of they go, we are next so just casting off to follow them down to the Grand Sluice Lock
Following WaL into the Lock
Nb. Clarence follows us down and he will slip in between WaL and Yarwood
Joe and Derek getting Nb. Clarence secured to Yarwood's stern
I think Lisa is getting her husband David slavered in sun block
Sarah and Andy and Ship's dog Floyd on the tug deck anticipating the opening of the lock gates. No sun block for this rufty-tufty pair but our guests looked a bit more 'ruddy' at the end of the trip!
Clarence leads off followed by What a Lark
After 30 minutes waiting in the lock for the tidal Witham to reach the level of the non tidal river the gates are opened and we have two and half minutes to get out before they are closed again, no time to dither about then.
We are now on the tidal stretch of The Haven and about to pass under St. Boltoph's tower
Looking back towards the lock Seyella and Panacea have followed us out
Andy and Floyd check out some of the commercial boats tied against the haven walls
We were warned to expect quite a 'race' as the tide narrows through the swing bridge
Here comes Nb Seyella with Mags and Geoff - Where's you hat Mags?
A fishing boat overtakes us
Sarah takes the helm while Joe fiddles with the marine radio
Seyella making a photo op
Geoff and Margaret
Nb. What a Lark takes the lead of the convoy, they had Daryl our Pilot aboard, Nb Clarence drops back to number two boat as we play follow-the-leader.
A lovely elegant motor yacht ...the crew were very interested in the convoy of five ditch crawlers....or was it a mirage?
The weather conditions were conducive to a beaching on a sandbank for lunch. WaL turns 90 degrees and takes her bow on to the sandbank followed by Clarence.
WaL is aground and Clarence follows suit
Now we start the turn
NB Panacea turning in to beach
Amanda capturing the moment from WaL's cabin top
Derek talking to the Pilot
Lots of these about
Here we be, five narrowboats beached on a sandbank in the Wash
David Lewis, Derek and Sheila enjoy a celebratory glass of fizz! The smiles say it all.
The food came out and the beers, ,tea, whatever the requirement, and a happy band wandered about and paddling of just sat and talked. So far it had been a brilliant experience and the weather had blessed us.
The boats had behaved really well considering the environment they are designed.
From Sandbank to Wisbech harbour tomorrow.