In America We Have Bigger Narrowboats! 16th August

Salters Lode To St Peter’s Wharf, Outwell, Well Creek

Yesterday a third boat crossed over from Denver, NB Watt Way with Anita, her dog and cat onboard. This morning she was nowhere to be seen, she must have pushed off early and it being an electric boat she had quietly passed us without waking us.

Bye Salters Lode

The day started off cloudy, heavy grey everywhere. In distant fields we could see clouds rising up. Was this caused by a tractor ploughing through the dry earth? Or wind catching dust? Or a fire? We couldn’t decide what it was but with no smell of smoke it was likely to just be dust.

No boats moored at Glady Dacks. Quite a few fishermen, one asking if there would be any more of us today, not until the next crossing or boats heading eastwards. Soon afterwards we came across the first east bound boat, a hire boat from March.

The blue house

Slow going on the Creek, shallow and narrow we pootled along. This gave us time to think about the coming weeks. The need to be near transport for my final model meeting, hire car to get up to Scarborough to do a turn around. We’d also planned on exploring the Middle Level and taking our time climbing up the River Nene as we’d come down quite quickly. But with the next three weeks being full of work for me, any time we’re not moving will be spent working, not good for wanting to explore the areas.

The old windmill

I made a suggestion. Instead of trying to work and explore, which won’t work and any pleasure out of each activity will be lost with concern over time or feeling like we’ve missed something, I suggested that we leave exploration to the next time. In a couple of years we could get a gold licence again and come back to spend time earlier in the year before school holidays and weed takes over. It would also give us the excuse to cross The Wash to get here. Mentioning The Wash swung it for Mick. We’ll just need to find a boat to do the crossing with. Anyone fancy it 2024?

We passed the blue house, the windmill, sunflowers drying out for seeds. Over the Middle Level Main Drain. A house called Riverside Dreams seems to have shut off the world, locking their dreams behind a big brown fence!

A moving boat!

30 Downham Road looks like it is straight from a theatre stage, a set John Godber wouldn’t require to be broken down anymore. I wonder who lives here other than the skeleton sat in the window today.

Spooky house

Round the sharp bend after St Clements Church. We took note of the fish and chip shop number, but sadly they don’t do gluten free.

Pork pie freshly cooked today

Narrower and shallower still we slowly progressed ducking under the bridges until we came alongside the wharf by St Peter’s Church. This would do us for today. With what looked like a butchers above we went to have a look to see if they had any pork pies. It being Tuesday the pies were about to go in the oven, they’d be ready for purchase at 4:30. Mick returned for one, we’ll let you know what it was like tomorrow.

Our mooring tonight

Behind St Peter’s we spied a brick tower. It turned out to be in the grounds of Welle Manor Hall rather than in the church yard. It used to be a tower at the former entrance to a courtyard, the 30m tower is all that is left now, built circa 1480.

Octagonal tower

The afternoon was spent tracing the designs onto my panto portals then carefully painting in the black. These will be the most time consuming part of the set. I’ll make some big patterns so that I can just draw round them to help save time as most bits are repeated at least four times.

During the day we had a few short showers. A lady with an American lad came for a chat, she said they’d had two inches in March (the place not month). She asked the boy if they had such boats as ours in America, ‘Yes some, but in America we have bigger Narrowboats’!

We had rumbles of thunder in the afternoon and a short shower, but by the evening rain came properly. The almost forgotten sound of rain on the roof, it almost made us turn the TV off to listen.

0 locks, 5.98 miles, 1 boat passed, 1 skeleton, 0 shore leave, 1 pork pie, 0 fish and chips, 2 portals blacked, 1 very achy hand, 1 cruising plan for two years time.