Saturday Oct 3rd - Wansford Station
Thursday October 1st – March to Overton Lake
Can you believe its October already!
We left March bright and early this morning and had a pretty uneventful cruise really. The most exciting bit of the journey was negotiating the right-angled bend as we were leaving Whittlesea! Just as we were coming through the village we met another narrowboat coming the other way and her captain shouted across that there was another boat not far behind him. We were very glad of this information as we knew very well that if we met him on the bend it could be catastrophic! We slowed right down and waited and sure enough the other boat appeared around the bend a few minutes later. Her captain assured us there was nothing behind him so we had a clear run! Clive did an admirable job getting Lady Arwen round the corner without touching either bank, amazing.
Right angled bend!
There was a guy watching the proceedings from the bridge and he shouted down that he thought Clive’s effort deserved a 10!
Cruising through the Middle Levels is pretty boring really – all you can see are the steep banks on either side and very little else!
Not much to see!
We had arranged our passage through Stanground Lock for 2.00pm and at one point Clive was a bit worried that we weren’t going to make it on time but his concerns were unfounded, we arrived early with half an hour to spare! Plenty of time to have a leisurely lunch.
Once through the lock we were back on the River Nene at last and in no time at all we arrived in Peterborough. The plan was to moor up and head into town to see if we could get some computer software for Clive’s family tree research. Unfortunately we couldn’t find anyone who stocked it so we will have to order it on line instead and have it sent to Vicki, she can bring it to us next time she visits. However it wasn’t a wasted shopping trip as I ended up getting something to wear for the wedding we are going to in December– well there is nothing like being prepared!
Once back on board we quickly cast off and got underway again. We didn’t want to stay in Peterborough overnight, especially as there was a huge funfair right next to the moorings and we figured it would be extremely noisy later and would possibly attract a few undesirables as well! We had set our hearts on mooring at Overton Lake again as it is so peaceful and pretty. There was one lock to negotiate on the way down but it didn’t take very long to get through and within an hour we saw the turn off to the lake. Just as we were coming out of the channel into the lake itself the sun was setting and it was a beautiful sunset, especially with the reflection off the water. I’m afraid I just had to take yet another sunset photograph! Well you have to admit, it’s gorgeous!
Gorgeous sunset over Overton Lake
We were absolutely delighted and very relieved to see that there was plenty of mooring space available, in fact there was only one other small narrowboat on the moorings. We soon had the boat tied up and got ourselves settled in for the evening. It had been a long day! You may remember that the last time we were moored here we were tied up against Rosie Piper and spent a lovely evening on board playing music with John and Irene – that was June 23rd!
Friday Oct 2nd – Overton Lake
We were expecting visitors today! My friend Marian and her sister Carole were coming to see us. As I have mentioned, Clive has been researching Marian’s family tree for her and he wanted to show her all the new stuff he had discovered since we last saw her when she and her husband Reg visited us in St Ives. They duly arrived soon after 11.00am and Clive went through all the new stuff with them. Once that was done Marian said she would like to take us out for lunch, so we all piled in her car and went to a lovely pub called The Cuckoo in a gorgeous village called Alwalton. We had a lovely lunch then after dropping us back at the boat Marian and Carole headed off home. It was really nice to see them both.
We had intended trying to get a bit further today really but in the end we decided to stop another night. We’ll get up early in the morning!
Saturday Oct 3rd – Overton Lake to Wansford Station
We set off at 9.30 this morning but Clive was not a happy bunny at all because it was very, very windy! Clive hates travelling in the wind, it really is very hard work and can sometimes be quite dangerous. Where there were trees on both banks it wasn’t too bad at all but every now and again we would get to a stretch where there were no trees, just wide open spaces and then the wind would whistle across the river and try to take us with it, not good! Our intention had been to cruise for about five hours today, which should have got us to Fotheringhay , but Clive decided it was just far too windy and after three hours we arrived at Wansford Station moorings and luckily they were empty – good job, there is just enough room for Lady Arwen and nothing else!
As we finished tying up the boat I noticed that there were loads of people (all men!) standing around with cameras and camcorders all pointing at the bridge up in front of us. Obviously they were expecting something exciting to happen so I quickly grabbed my camera and got ready. Sure enough I heard something coming and I was wondering if it would be the Flying Scotsman or The Mallard or something similar but no it was a boring old diesel engine! Old being the operative word, which of course is why all the “anoraks” were waiting to see it. Not long after it passed over the bridge another one came out of the station and then another one. It is obviously a special Diesel weekend on the Nene Valley Railway. Personally I preferred Thomas the Tank Engine! I’m sorry but diesel engines don’t quite do it for me, I like the good old choo choos, the age of steam and all that, much more romantic than boring old diesel engines! Oh well, each to their own!
For all you old anoraks out there!
We battened down the hatches and put the central heating on because it was actually quite chilly. The wind has continued to blow all day sometimes with really strong gusts that rock the boat! Still we are lovely and cosy inside so all is well.
We will have to be up bright and early tomorrow. We have arranged to meet up with Dave Bassett, the guy who made our cratch board. He is coming to assess the damage to the cratch so that he can see just exactly what needs doing. He is driving down from Redditch and we are hoping to be in Fotheringhay to meet him as it is not far from the A14. However it is a good three hours cruise for us so we need to be off early!
I forgot to mention, just after we had set off this morning I was washing up the breakfast pots and noticed something small and green on the tiles just above my cooker – a cricket! Well I obviously couldn’t just throw him out of the window as he would end up in the drink! So I put him in a container to keep him safe until I could release him on dry land when we arrived at the first lock.
Southern Oak Bush Cricket
He’s a lovely little cricket but at first I couldn’t find any reference to him in my wildlife book nor on the internet but finally I identified him as a Southern Oak Bush Cricket! I'm quite pleased with my photograph too, I used the macro setting so I could get in really close.
Oh dear it’s raining now! I’m glad I am safe and warm in here and not out there in that!
Until tomorrow then.