Monday, 25 July 2011

Day 2: Littleport - March

22 miles - 3 locks
Sunday was a bit of a fraught day. It started well with a nice, sunny (if windy) trip from Littleport to Denver. At Denver, we were waiting for high tide to make the passage through the lock, out onto the Tidal Ouse, and then back in, to Salter's Lode and the Middle Level drains. We arrived at about 11:30, with the tide supposedly at 12pm. We moored up and headed over to the lock, to chat to the lockie and see what was up. He said that while he hoped he could let us through, we would have to wait and see what the tide did and if there would be enough water to allow passage... So for the next two hours we waited, getting increasingly nervous, since I was due back at work the next morning, and didn't fancy the thought of heading to work and spending the day wondering if James had got across the tidal river safely.

Thankfully, at 2:30pm, it was our turn. So we headed to the stern to start the engine. When it should have gone Click...Bruuuuuuum, it went Click...CLUNK...Silence. Ah. Bugger. James surmised that something was up with the high current starting circuit, since the low current circuit was firing the solenoid but the high current circuit wasn't spinning the fly wheel. His thoughts went straight to the 1-2-OFF switch which has been a bit dodgy for while. The flywheel was turning freely so the engine wasn't stuck. So he took the back off the switch and connected the wires to the same terminal. Success! Click...Bruuuuuum! Relief. New switch required, but engine fine.

And so, hearts still beating too quickly with all that adrenaline, we set off through the lock and on to Salter's  Lode. The tide was on the turn, and we had been asked by the lockie to wait in the mouth of the lock while the other boat who locked through Denver with us went through, since the locks are different sizes. Paul, the Salter's Lode lockie gave James a 10/10 for his entry! Yay! We sat there while the other boat went though, and then it was our turn. It was nice to see Paul, who remembers all the regulars, like us, and we had a bit of a chat. And then we were on our way! Safely on to the Middle Level, and headed to March.

Waiting for Salter's Lode Lock

It was gloriously sunny and not as windy as it has been so we enjoyed the 4.5 hour trip to March a lot more than we have in the past. The twin villages of Upwell and Outwell, where the navigable drain runs along the main street, looked particularly lovely, as did Marmont Priory Lock. We reached March at 7:30pm, having eaten while underway. We stopped on the town moorings and went for a little walk before retiring to the boat to read and sleep. So glad to have got here! I'm at work today and will be meeting James in Whittlesea tonight, all going to plan!


Marmont Priory

The Main Drain

March Town  Moorings

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