You know your are rural when the spray-can graffiti on derelict walls goes thus “ UHT, use it when you like, it’s still milk”
We set off from our delightfully rural mooring, on the offside just downstream from the Middle Nene Sailing Club, at 10am. As we approached Titchmarsh lock (and the Middle Nene Cruising Club) we passed nb Lexa’s empty mooring as Bernard and Sandy are off doing the Thames. At Waddenhoe we stopped on the Kings Head moorings and explored the village, including the church and the dovecot, before having an excellent lunch back in the pub. Beers were Norfolk Wherry and Cocky Blonde – result! The food was very good as well.
Down through Waddenhoe lock and the head wind was getting up making outer garments essential. We saw two cock pheasants having a stand-off in the field alongside the river. Unfortunately the fight was over before we managed to get a photo. At Upper Barnwell lock, Brenda held Jannock on the lock landing whilst I set the lock. When ready, as soon as she loosed off the wind took Jannock’s bows straight across the river and all her attempts to counter it failed. The stern rammed into the bank and the tiller shot round and tried to knock her off of the back of the boat. With sheer effort she managed to stop it and then I was able to heave the bows back into wind to allow her to enter the lock. She was fair shook up by the experience and now has painful shoulder and ribs as a reminder of how close she came to being knocked into the river. A local boater waiting to ascend the lock told Brenda that this lock is an “accident black spot” in windy weather with many boats ending up across the stream. He said the locals didn’t pass through if the wind was up.
We called in to Oundle marina to see if they stocked Engine stop cables but they didn’t so we untied and continued on. We finally moored for the night in Ashton cut and walked up to the village for a look around. Nigel on nb Goosander said that the path to the village was blocked by a fallen tree last Thursday but it has been removed now, in fact we are moored in the exact spot that it fell – anyone want any free logs?
The Chequered Skipper in Ashton has 3 real ales on and offers two meal courses for £10 Monday to Thursday (lunch & evening) and Friday lunchtime. Having eaten in the Kings Head at lunchtime we were tempted but resisted. The food being served looked good and we might try to stop for a meal on the return journey. The wonderful ambience of the village, built in 1900 by the Rothschild family, is enhanced by the number of Peacocks (& hens) strutting around.