Another Day Another Rendez Vous. 12th August

Houdini’s Field to Welford Marina

NB Cleddau was ready for the off before us this morning, they’d originally planned on being out for a few days, but due to a last minute appointment they would now have to head back to the marina. They pushed off in shirt sleeves and once winded at Elkington Bridge they returned with coats on a touch chilly in the breeze. Good to see you both, until somewhere next year.

It wasn’t until 11:30 before we pushed off and soon we were making plans for our next boat rendez vous. Plenty of boats on the move, many we’d seen in the last couple of days, everyone making the most of the drier weather and pootling up and down the summit pound.


As we’d sat out last night we could hear the combines busy harvesting in the fields, today we got to see where they’d been, bales lined up in the fields. A constant drone from more fields followed us.

A pause for lunch, a quick chat about the wind and if it would affect plans. No plan A was still on the cards, no need to abort as yet, if we could find a suitable mooring for two boats.

Right please

Another half hour and we’d reached Welford Junction. We made note of plenty of room along the hard edge before the junction, enough for at least three boats on rings. Oleanna turned right towards Welford, we’ve not been up here for an absolute age.

Busy lock

We passed one boat coming towards us, would we be lucky in finding a mooring? As we approached the lock two boats were waiting to go up, fingers were crossed. I walked up to help. A boat came towards the lock to come down, there was space to moor before you reached the end, still fingers crossed.

One in , one out

The boat in front of us was a hire boat, I chatted to the lady. I asked if she would like some help, she checked she knew what to do. ‘Red before White’, they’d come up Foxton. I explained the difference with normal locks rather than staircases and checked she’d know what to do on their way back down tomorrow.

Our turn!

Another downhill boat, then it was our turn and time to find a big mooring! We were in luck, our preferred mooring was available and there was room for two Oleannas, we pulled in and tucked ourselves up to the boat in front. Mick then noticed a woofer with this boat and went for a chat with the owner, always best to make them aware we have a cat. We pulled Oleanna back to leave a safety gap between feline and canine. The chap sat down had a hold of his dog, when we got the thumbs up Tilly was allowed out. The dog was interested, but soon it was obvious that they’d both do their own thing.


A while later Tilly and I wondered back to the lock with a windlass. A woofer coming towards us meant avoidance tactics and a return to the boat for Tilly. A boat was ascending and my arrival with a windlass confused them a touch, especially when I closed the top gate behind them.

There she is!

I kept a keen eye open down the cut and as soon as I saw the bow of NB Panda I lifted the paddles to empty the lock for her. Lizzie has had other things keeping her away from boating for a while and today Welford would be Panda’s first lock in a couple of years!

A perfect fit

Thankfully Panda fitted in the gap in front of us. Drinks on the terrace for a second night in a row. Then we walked down to The Wharf where thankfully we’d booked a table. Blimey it was busy, a band playing outside and just about every table taken inside.

Steaks all round

The menu was pretty good, although the gluten free options were limited to the normal suspects. We all opted for a steak and glasses of wine, very nice. Mick persuaded us all to have a pudding, these filled us all up to the brim!

Mick, Pip and Lizzie!

A good evening had by all and a nice catch up with Lizzie.

If you’d like to show support to The Fund Britains Waterways then please sign the petition Link here

1 lock, 2 nebo voyages, 6.7 miles,1 right, 2 days of rendez vousing with boats, 6 boats assisted through the lock, 2 hours, 1 big woofer, 1 G&T, 2 Pimms, 3 steaks, 6 glasses wine, 2 sundaes, 2 scoops chilled medication, 3 very full boaters.