Saturday, 21 March 2015

The key to Fenland boating

Last night was spent on the VM at Hermitage Lock. We didn't move until 1600 and had sunshine all the way with it just turning chilly as we arrived.







A different story today. Grey and winds gusting. Oh well, not going far.

The lock opens at 0900 in the winter. We were up and LJ walked and we're ready to go amazing.
The lock keeper here is great for a chat. In mid locking he took a call which was to tell him St Ives lock was open. yeah!

A new wide beam was behind us. It had gone in at Hermitage 4 weeks ago and had been waiting to get down to it's mooring nearer Bedford. The owners had only hired before. Not the best conditions for them but ....




We stopped for water in a brief hail storm.  Not in a rush. We only had the next lock and a short hop to the GOBA moorings just beyond the Pike and Eel. We waited until the widebeam went through and gave them another 20 minutes ...thinking it was probably their first guillotine lock. A bit surprised to find them on the lock jetty. We went alongside. Gently. They had been provided with winders but hadn't been told they needed a key to operate the locks! It was only later that it occurred to me...had  theybeen provided with Fen winders at Hermitage or CRT winders by their boat builders in Liverpool. They would have found out at St Ives!

Like good guys, we gave them our spare. Well our spare, spare, which we found at a waterpoint last summer and gave a home to. I also provided instruction on the operating system as I got the lock ready and Alistair in.  Then I climbed onboard. 



And a mile or so later, with the sun trying to peak through we were in what might just be LJ's favourite mooring, then settled down to an unbelievable day of rugby.