Monday, 30 July 2018


Today's Navigation - River Nene

It was much less windy as we awoke this morning but still quite overcast. t\his set the pattern for the day which also stayed  comfortably warm. On a few occasions the sun attempted a breakthrough but it never lasted long enough to raise the temperatures to the levels of last week.

We did not attempt a really start but we were away just after nine as we wanted to meet up with an electrician that we have contacted regarding the possible installation of solar panels. He was recommended tro us by another boater who was very satisfied with the work that he had done for them.

As we cruised towards our first lock today we could see a number of people working in a nearby field, underneath a row of pylons. At first we wondered if they were a harvesting contractor but that did not seem right, especially as they were in the middle of a field of a ripening cereal crop.

We then noticed that one of the lines of cables above was slung on special supports rather than the standard insulators. We then also noticed that cables were linked from one of the pylons to the group in the field so we came to the conclusion that the team were replacing one set of three cables. From the photo we can also see that this line only currently has a single cable whilst the others have two,

One of our options last night was to moor bankside at White Mills marina - where we stopped in May for a lunch break. We also included a picture of the sign stating that overnight moorings were allowed. In the end, last night it was just a little too far which why we stopped above Great Doddington. Now we found that new signs have been added which indicate that a £4 a night charge is made for such overnight stays!

From just above Whiston Lock we had a good long view of the church which appears to be sited close to a large house. However, we did not have a closer view as later on it is shrouded in trees.

Cogenhoe Church, also a little away from the river, in amongst trees so that we could only see the tower. It looked unusually slender but a fuller photo on the internet shows that it has a more substantial lower section. We have not found any explanation as yet but pictures of the 2006 re-ordering of the inside looks very effective - perhaps lone day we will have time  to take a look, perhaps even on a Sunday.

Alongside the lock at Cogenhoe is an extensive mobile home park. Christine took a quick, look at a new one that was for sale - just over £49,000.

Billing Aquadrome (who also own the site at Cogenhoe) looks very popular for all sorts of accommodation - touring and static caravans, lodges and tents of all shapes and sizes. There is plenty of room to spread out. They also have boat moorings but as far as we can see the entrance is rather obscure, just above the ancient road bridge, just to the left of this photo. However, there is no sign to indicate.

After leaving the main river above the Weston Flavell washlands, a short bypass has two locks - Abington and Rush Mills. Although neither of them has much of a rise they have different paddle mechanisms each requiring around 70 rather hard turns to raise or lower. Unlike most of the locks there is no guillotine but pointed doors top and bottom. At least we did not have to empty the lock after leaving it.

We then rejoined the main river for a much wider section,passing under the main dual carriageway bypass before coming up towards the new University of Northampton campus.

At Midsummer Meadow we noticed The Ark, sitting in a short backwater which we did not spot on the way down. According to its website it was completed in 2014 by Jack Patel and his newly-graduated daughter as Northampton's only floating bar and restaurant.

The new footbridge linking to the university Waterside campus is nearer completion than when we saw it in May - work was underway to remove the barriers around its access point. The campus is due to open in September.

We were able to find plenty of room to moor at the waterfront in the centre of the town - we passed on the information to our expected electrician who said that he would be with us around 6:45.

This gave us time to pop up to the supermarket for a few items including a paper (although Christine had to go to the petrol station for this as the main shop had sold out)

On schedule, our electrician arrived and we had a long discussion about options for solar as well; as the possibility of investigating the still on-going concerns about the batteries.

9.0 Miles - 10 Locks

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