Friday, 26 May 2017

Shopping and Bardney

Today's Navigation - River Witham

With the Bank Holiday weekend fast approaching we needed to re-stock today and so we spent the morning shopping in the centre of Lincoln. In fact, Mike had to return to the boat twice with part loads! We went to one of the small butchers as well as a fruit and veg stall alongside the canal outside the market hall. We also bought some fish for tonight from inside the market itself.

Supermarket shopping is, as we mentioned last week, a bit restricted in the city centre so we were limited to the rather small range offered by Tesco Express. In the end we found most of what we wanted.

Christine wanted to look in M&S for some new bed sheets - she thinks that a larger size may be easier to handle - but this store does not extend to that range of goods (only fashion and food) and Mike had found earlier that the memory card in his camera had failed so walked to Maplins. He also picked up a USB external disc - he has been promising for some time to institute a better system especially in case we have another theft of our laptop. In the past it has been the loss of photos that has been the special aggravation rather than the loss of the item itself.

Just after mid day we unhooked ourselves from the electricity supply and left the mooring pontoon. First, we had to go upstream a short distance to the service block on the long Lincoln Moorings (mostly long term - even those labelled Visitor Moorings!).

After completing a 'full service' we tentatively set to turning the boat in the opposite direction. We just made it (anything much longer would not have succeeded) which saved us a further trip up to a winding space)

We were now ready to cruise back down the River Witham (which actually enters Brayford Pool at the lower end). Brayford Belle trip boat seemed to be doing reasonable business - the right sort of weather anyhow.

The channel under the Glory Hole has never been wide. When the rest of the improvement works were done, engineers tried to get permission to demolish this bridge and replace it with something much wider. In the end the chief citizens of thew city did not approve and so we have this narrow part still with us today. Whilst it looks picturesque, the problem is when the river is in flood and the water, which elsewhere flows smoothly, is compressed into a tight corner and becomes especially dangerous for navigation. Hence the need for warning lights at the exit from the pool (there are matching lights at Stamp End)

We moored at the 14 day stretch just before the lock in order to have lunch. Just as we were setting off again, a cruiser came down ahead of us to the lock and soon after we set out another came along as well.

Coming up was a boater we had met a few days ago who greeted us warmly. This helped as he offered to open the gates for us - there is not really enough room below to pickup crew when a boat is already on the landing. (We do not manoeuvre within  100 m of anything plastic!) \what he did tell us was that the next two visitor moorings (the second, Fiskerton Fen, was where we had hoped to stay tonight) were already full. We left, therefore, more than ,musing about what we might do if no spaces turned up anywhere!)

Between Five Mile Footbridge and Fiskerton Fen is one of the sculptures along the Water Rail Way. We don't really know what they are called but our names is Corn Sculpture - really imaginative, isn't it!) A particular feature of this one is how it changes its shape depending which direction you view it. From upstream, it seem,s as if the two parts form an arch whilst from the other they seem to be bending away from the centre line. (It never seems possible to get a really good picture from both sides at once - especially today given that we had very sunny weather)

Sadly the information about the moorings proved correct and so we set sail for the unknown. In fact we were very pleasantly surprised to find just the right space free on the Visitor Moorings above Bardney Lock - when we passed before they were full, mostly with boats that seem to be here permanently - plugged into the mains as well) It was here that we found a very late evening haven on our first visit here in 2012.

In the wonderful evening sunshine, Christine explored along the Water Rail Way that is just above the level of the boat.

She was particularly trying to find a sculpture that we glimpsed just as we were coming in to moor but which we had not spotted before.

9.5 Miles - 1 Lock

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