Wednesday, 16 September 2009

March in October

On the 26th October the Duck will be coming out of the water to be fixed at Fox Narrowboats in the little Fenland town of March. The primary things are getting a new prop shaft and skin tank fitted, so that we can cruise without worrying about the engine overheating or the coupling coming disconnected. Also one of the engine mounts needs re-welding back to the hull, and we'd like to have the engine professionally re-aligned to the propellor shaft. There are a few other odds and ends as well, like the rudder mount needing a look at. If possible, since its out, we'll also get the hull blacked and the anodes checked. It will be out for a week, and we will have saved £1500 plus by then (the maximum we were quoted). So basically, we will give them a list of priorities, and a budget to stick to and see what can be done.

We are very much looking forward to getting these fundamental things sorted, but first we have to GET there! We are not curently cruising, so that we don't add to our list of problem if at all possible! We'll tighten up the coupling, check it religiously, and hope that the Duck is lucky. Because between us and March lies the tidal Ouse between Denver Lock and Salter's Lode (the link to the Middle Level) and the infamous entrance to the lock.

Lyra will be staying with some friends, and we'll be leaving our mooring on the Friday before, overnighting near Upware or Ely and then pressing on to Denver on the Saturday. The tides mean that we have to stay overnight at Denver, and then catch the 10am tide on Sunday morning. We'll then head through the Middle Level to March, arriving at some time Sunday evening. At 8am on Monday, the Duck will be slipped out. After this, we will no longer be able to stay on board, so we'll chat through the work we want doing and then take the train to my mum's house in Devon for a holiday!

On Saturday 31st October we arrive back at March, hopefully to find the boat back in the water and ready to go. Due to the train times, we arrive in March at 4pm. The Sunday tide (which we have to get in order to make it back to Cambridge and work) is at 9am. So it will be a night-time cruise from March to Salter's Lode, and an early start on Sunday. At least this means we'll be able to get quite a long way towards home on Sunday. We probably won't get all the way however, and we'll have to hop back during an evening that week, carfully avoiding clashing with rowing!

We're looking forward to getting fixed, but there's an awful lot of precise planning involved in making sure we get where we need to be on time... so fingers crossed it all goes well.

On the tidal Ouse last September.


  1. I wish you luck and hope all goes well with the journey and the work but, er...."precise planning" and "boats" don't exactly go together very well, do they? :-)

  2. eek! I hope all goes well! Remember, it's character building :D

  3. Having done some of this journey - don't get stuck at Salter's Load or Denver :p Travelling through March is quite fun, wave to 'Cubby' as you go past (Cubby's owner offered us advice on the first on many breakdowns...)

  4. We'll do our best to avoid getting stuck, but its the entry to SL that we're worried about - we've done the easy bit before: leaving it, but entry is far more difficult!

    I loved March when we came through before (except for the racist graffiti) but we will wave if we see Cubby!