Day 9 Still on the Nene

The boat (Equinox) that couldn’t get through Doddington Lock yesterday morning did make it later in the day but Nick on Ebenezer and I decided to wait until today.

The rain stopped and the river has gone down quite a lot, even so there are advisory notices on the locks but we persevered through three locks to White Mills Marina. Filled up with diesel and water, and emptied the loo and bin. Put a load of washing on in the launderette so while that’s happening I’m writing this.

There is an area upstream known as Northampton Washlands, ie a vast low lying area of flood plain with flood barriers either end. During times of flood water from Northampton is stored there then released slowly. During such times the barriers prevent boats passing through. The manager at White Mills has phoned around trying to find out if the barriers are shut but no-one knows. Not even EA at Northampton Marina. There’s no advice on the EA app either. Nick has gone on ahead and will phone me.

Just discovered Equinox is going to Llangollen as well!

End of week 1

Well I have another tip to add to my piece on solo boating, carry more oil. But we’ll come to that.

Another bright sunny morning so I was awake at 06.00 and set off just after 07.00 thinking that if it was really hot again I’d have a nice long siesta after lunch.

I’d moored just below Woolaston lock so I was through there by 07.40. Then ran into weed that wrapped itself round the prop and brought me to a stop. I cleared it three times between Woolaston and Doddington locks. It doesn’t help that there’s nowhere to moor, both banks are lined with weed so approaching them is asking for trouble. I tried letting the boat drift while I got down in the weed hatch, but by the time I’d finished we’d drifted into the weeds anyway. So at Doddington I stopped on the lock landing stage to deweed for the third time and have a coffee break.

Above Doddington things improved and I got to White Mills marina about 10.00. Took on fuel and water and emptied the toilet. And picked up more weed just a few metres after rejoining the river.

It had been getting harder and harder to select a gear on Seren and then the whine from the gearbox got noticeably louder. I added what ATF I had and pressed on but it was obvious I needed more. My waterways sat nav suggested there were boat supplies to be had at the next lock, Coggenhoe. But it’s wrong, there’s just a mobile home site. Abloke in the sales office gave me directions to a garage, 40mins walk away.

Coggenhoe is closw to the river but on a small hill. Good for flood protection, not so good when you have to walk up the hill and down the other side at midday on a sunny day. When I got there it was by the next bridge over the river, but of course there’s no towpath alongside the river so I walked back up and down again. Then had a siesta.

Pretty uneventful after that, just one more case of weed then moored for the night on an EA mooring on the Northants Washlands.

At this rate I could be 2 days early but I’ll take the 17 lock flight on the N’hants Arm very slowly. I remember it was hard work last year and I had Linda working the locks then!