Shed After Shed After Shed. 19th May

Burnthouse Farm Bridge to Glady Dacks, Well Creek

What’s going on here?

Plenty of miles to tick off today so no lounging around in bed with a cuppa. Other people were up and at work, as we sat having our breakfast two Middle Level Commissioners vans arrived on the bank above our mooring, they’d come to make the mooring official by adding a sign.

The chaps worked away and as we got ready to push off they headed off to position the next new sign.

We pushed off and headed towards March. The birdies chirped and darted about in the reeds to each side of us. The banks a suitable height to give you a bit of a view, not block it totally. Yesterday we’d passed several pill boxes today at least one more.

Fairly soon we were approaching March, passing the marina where the hire boats have been coming from. Everyone in March seems to have a detached garden. Houses sit on one side of a road, their gardens on the other, terraced down towards the water. Plenty of people have made a great effort, places to sit out, landings, windmills, crocodiles. One stretch seems to have an epidemic of sheds going on, one after the other with just a narrow path between them.

The first public mooring we came across was closed the bank subsiding into the water. The moorings opposite the services was full, we pulled up to top up with water, dispose of rubbish and as it was on the right side we emptied the yellow water too. Thankfully through the bridge there was space, plenty of it for us to pull up to go shopping. Yes I did a shop in Peterborough, that was really just in case we couldn’t stop here in March, there was plenty we wanted and with Sainsburys close by it turned into a four bag shop. A visit to Boots too for some Hay Fever tablets of the right variety, I spotted a Boyes (possibly the furthest south they come), we’ll be stopping to have a better look later.

After an early lunch we pushed on, passing more houses and gardens, one stretch trying to mimic beach huts. The sky was now blue with fluffy clouds, no need for the extra layers we’d started the day with.

Straight on past the Twenty Foot River which seemed a touch wider than it’s name suggests. At Popham’s Eau junction we veered left keeping to the link route. We passed Charlotte Rose whom we’d shared the last Nene locks with and a hire boat sat nestled in amongst the reeds enjoying the afternoon sunshine, no rope visible, the gentle breeze just holding them to the bank.

As the channel now narrowed there was an increase of weed, the sort that hampers your progress somewhat. Thankfully today it wasn’t too bad, just the occasional blast of reverse to free the prop was needed.

A Lock!

A lock! Marmont Priory Lock would rise us up from the lower level by 6ft 8inches onto Well Creek. The lock was partially filled, hydraulic paddle gear needed to be wound so many times slowly inching up the slackers.

Oleanna waiting below the lock

Inside the lock was a layer of scum, possibly dead duck weed mixed with polystyrene, there was also a big plank.

The paddle gear at the top end only required one to be lifted and that had a marker on it. Oleanna rose up to Well Creek right by the rather pretty front door of the lock cottage. Progress was now slower than before. The gates of Marmont Priory Lock need to be very well closed so that the creek stays in water, a drop here can take days to rectify.


Progress slowed even more as we reached Upwell where the channel narrows even more. We ended up on tickover to make any headway, the water around us just about enough for us to move.

Upwell and Outwell reminded us of villages we go through on our scenic route from Scarborough to York. The linear villages cling to the road and have a stream running alongside, driveways crossing on small bridges. Here the stream is far bigger and it’s mostly footbridges that crossed over our heads requiring us to duck.

The houses mostly have plaques boasting their names and dates. A butchers was spied and the fish and chip shop has it’s own mooring! I’ll have to check to see if they do gluten free. We made note of moorings as it looks like we’d need to have a good explore around here.

Sign posts to Littleport and Wisbech. An old college friend came from Wisbech, she used to say no-one had ever heard of it, well I have now! At the most northerly point of the Middle Level is where the Wisbech Canal used to head further north, now it is just a steep bend for us to negotiate. There’s a mooring here, but maybe you’d get biffed by passing boats!

That’s pretty wide

Over Millicourt Aqueduct we crossed over the end of the Main Drain, such a romantic name. It looked very wide down there so possible to wind, we’ll have to check our maps for any low bridges that would stop us from getting there.

Now a busy road, A1122 hugs close to the creek. The banks now lower giving more of a view. Pylons stretch off into the distance both ways, only broken up by two smaller towers. I checked on the OS map, almost 21 km straight before a slight kink.

Our planned for mooring just came into sight, Glady Dacks. A rather rickety afair, one end looked better than the other. We pulled in and stepped off cautiously. A bench and table sat by Oleanna, a good means to be able to step up to see the other side of the high bank separating the road from us. On one side it looked like Tilly heaven, the other side it looked like she’d be assisted on her way. Sorry Tilly, no chance.

But please!!!!

Now there were secret things to do. A birthday cake was mixed up, popped in a loaf tin to bake. It needed a bit of attention as it baked, added toppings, foil and an extra five minutes in the oven, then once cooled off some lemon icing.

Lower banks

Dinner was Turkey Schnitzel with spaghetti, I was too busy to take photos so the recipe will follow the next time I make them. Then Tilly and I had to hide away in the bedroom to do secret things. Wrapping on a bed isn’t the easiest of places but we managed. All done and ready for tomorrow just before the 10pm news, I don’t think Mick noticed a thing!

1 lock, 16.84 miles, 2 maybe 3 straights, 1 left, 1 big bend, 2 boxes wine, 1 Boyes, 60 hayfever tablets, 1 slab of salmon, 8 asparagus tips, 1 warm dry evening hoped for, 3 evenings no shore leave, 1 long day, 3 presents wrapped, 1 blueberry lemon cake baked, 2 much icing, 1 pooped Pip.

One thought on “Shed After Shed After Shed. 19th May

Comments are closed.