Saturday, 20 May 2017


Today's Navigations - Fossdyke, River Witham

The day began bright, sunny and pleasantly warm, a change from yesterday. We began by pushing across to the opposite bank to the water point. whilst a rather slow tap was filling (yesterday Christine had run the washing machine so we were already down to just over half full, despite filling up before we left Torksey) Mike walked to the village shop to collect the weekend's newspaper.

The pipe bridge alongside the footbridge, site of former swing bridge, is significant in Saxilby's history. It was constructed following a typhoid outbreak in the village and, for the first time, supplied healthy water to the residents.

This photo is mainly to show the blue skies as we left, but the modern road bridge removed the need for the traffic to wait at a level crossing - only those wanting to access one street of houses now have to do that.

It was a pleasant run down to Lincoln. This was perhaps the only boat we passed until very close to Lincoln.

Although the cathedral stands on a small hill above the rest of the landscape, we saw little of it - this was our first glimpse as we rounded Fiddlers Elbow some four miles out. It was not until we were almost there before we saw it again.

There are several sports facilities just before we reached Burton Waters Marina  entrance - not often we see people playing (Petanque - although even here we could only see their heads!

An amazing cloud formation.

Pyewipe Inn has an unusual three-tepee marque alongside.

There is quite a long line of moored boats at the approach to Lincoln, many of which seem to be residential. There were a couple of quite large former barges . . .

. . .  and the African Queen.

This car, and a large van, appeared not to have heard the message that the grass was being cut this week!

We had to negotiate the channel not only with the trip boat but also a flotilla of youngsters in their canoes.

We stopped briefly at the service mooring for the usual disposals before continuing on into Brayford Pool. This is a large area of water with the university on one side and the entertainment quarter on the other.

By way of sharp contrast, the route through changes immediately into a very narrow channel before passing under the Glory Hole.

Just the other side we moored up. Firstly we anted to walk back to Homebase with the faulty hosepipe. We had spoken with them yesterday about it and the same, very helpful, young man was on duty again. He speedily arranged a replacement.

Today is the anniversary of the Lincoln Battle and several costumed groups were providing entertainment for youngsters and other passers-by.

After returning from Homebase we had lunch and then went back to the market for some shopping. Finally we went to the nearby Co-Op for the last few items. Alas, they are about to move, away from the centre, and only held a much reduced stock at the moment. We managed to get our immediate needs.

Eventually we set off once more - our plan was to stop at the mooring pontoon at Washingborough so that we can walk a short distance to the church in the morning. However, when we arrived at Stamp End Lock (just a  few minutes away) we were greeted by a rather disconsolate single hander who informed us that the guillotine gate mechanism had ceased to work, part way through its cycle. Despite all efforts to persuade it to complete the opening, nothing happened. We contacted CaRT who promised that an engineer would attend. It was almost three hours later when a very cheerful chap arrived and quickly discovered the problem. A small branch with weed hanging from it had interfered with the detection light beam that checks to see if the gate is fully open. It took just a couple of minutes to fix and both boats were then on our way.

It did look as if the control mechanism was perhaps as old as the lock gate - we have heard quite a few reports of it breaking down. However, the engineer told Christine that there have been discussions about an upgrade but as the quotations have been for over £1 million, the project is on hold for the moment. Since no other boats arrived to use the lock in the time were were waiting for it to be fixed, it is understandable that priorities may lie in busier parts of the network.

There a few more glimpses of the cathedral as we headed away from the city.

The other chap was also heading for the same mooring - proper visitor moorings are really the only places to stop and they are quite scarce. By now heavy rain had arrived but just as we reached the mooring, sunshine returned - with dark clouds in one direction and low evening sunlight the other way, it was a somewhat strange feeling.

Fortunately there was plenty of room for both of us as we tucked up for the night - for the first time for several days we could get a tv signal - but will there be anything worth watching?

From the mooring we could see the local church, not far away. Hopefully we shall not find the footpath too muddy in the morning!

10.9 Miles - 1 Lock

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