Cosgrove - Stoke Bruerne
6 miles, 6 locks
In which Mother Duck attempts steering, is overtaken by an impatient crew before becoming stuck behind a slow one, battles with the stream, before mooring at Stoke Bruerne, unable to proceed onto the Nene.
The rain continued this morning, so one of my first tasks once underway was to contact the Environment Agency's floodline. From this service, I discovered that the River Nene, vital connection between the Fenland waterways and the rest of the system is closed due to a strong stream. And unlike the Thames, which just 'advises' that navigation is not attempted, the EA just close the Nene completely. So we decided to proceed to Stoke Bruerne (where we had planned to stop anyway) and see what happened.
Mother Duck tries her hand at steering on the way to Stoke Bruerne.
Unusually, we were overtaken twice on the way to the Stoke Bruerne flight. One particular boat was very pushy about it, even trying to force us over to the bank where it was just too shallow for Warrior's deep draught. The flight was ascended in very wet conditions, and we were held up by a particularly inept boat. But we were in no hurry, since there was no change to the stream conditions on the Nene, and we moored up at about 3pm, in the rain.
My mum and I found groceries at the Boat, but alas there is no village shop, so Jim went without his Guardian for two days in a row (yesterday he made do with the Independent and the Telegraph but it's just not the same!). I was rather excited by the Bolinder engine in the cafe, and by a copy of Colours of the Cut in the bookshop, but we decided not to spend £5 going to he museum.
South Oxford canal, in summary
15 hours ago