Saturday, 23 March 2013

An end to nine months on the Great Ouse

We left our overnight mooring at Hilgay Bridge this morning at 8.15 and headed down stream towards Denver lock and our date with a possible escape from the River great Ouse.  To add to the brisk cold wind of yesterday we also had snow today but Joe was wrapped up in a myriad of layers including a rather fetching balaclava to combat the wintry conditions.   It is in weather like this the stove in back cabin is such a bonus and that was lit early enough to be well and truly up and running before we pulled pins this morning.
With  text messages flying back and forth between Yarwood and MR re the latest news on our escape we arrived and moored up across from the lock to await decisions.
 Yarwood tucked in on EA moorings opposite the  Denver complex
 A glimpse of MR through the snow waiting on the lock landing
Close to 10.30 we were summoned across to join Matilda Rose in the lock.  The plan was to be locked out on to the tidal Great Ouse and head down stream on the ebbing tide/flood waters to Salters Lode.   Here we were to wait in the lock entrance until Paul (the Lock Keeper at Salters Lode) could get level water between the Middle Level and the tide.  We may have to wait until noon but if level water couldn't be achieved then Dan, Lockie from Denver, would scoot off to Earith in his batmobile and close the sluices that were letting down flood water from the upper Gt. Ouse.  The news that we were getting out whatever had us feeling jubilant!  Don't get me wrong, there is nowt wrong with this part of the world but we had out stayed our welcome after nearly nine months being out here...
 Nb Matilda Rose leads us out of the lock on to the tideway - through the recently dredged channel

 As soon as MR is safely away Yarwood follows and exits Denver Lock

 Nanook, aka Joe, at the tiller with the Denver complex safely behind us

 There goes MR with a big enough gap to allow Graham to turn her into the awkward lock channel at Salters Lode without Yarwood shunting her up the rudder.
 Safely turned in, us next
 And there we are
And here we go!!! Out into the Middle Levels
Paul did get level water within 10 minutes of us arriving in the lock channel and fortunately it didn't involve closing Earith sluices and flooding half of Cambridgeshire in the process. 
The journey to Upwell was a bit of a shock to system after being on rivers with plenty of water under the boat.  Progress was excruciatingly slow because this channel desperately needs dredging but hey ho, we are out and now moored at Upwell.  Lunch was in the Pub with a celebration round to toast our successful day.  Tomorrow we might just have to do that again and treat ourselves to Sunday Lunch before the Malaysian Grand Prix starts...


  1. Back to following you on the blog from my armchair rather than scouting along fen side roads in the hope of seeing you moored. Glad you escaped at last. We are off on What a Lark with David and Lisa at the beginning of April for a week. So looking forward to it. Not sure of the route we are taking but I have requested lots of locks. Kitchen looks great. Much lighter.
    xx Amanda

    1. Hello Amanda
      It was lovely to see you when you managed to track us down and we look forward to a visit from you both when you are in CRTland again. The galley is much improved by the change of doors and we are BOTH pleased with the result.
      Have a lovely week with David and Lisa up and down and up and down the Foxton flight and maybe we will see you at Crick if we get there this year!!


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