Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
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1999 Spring Voyage - April

Cruising Log Index

Middle Level - Whittlesey Dyke

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Friday 2th April 1999

From to Ashline Sluice arriving at 11:50 am. The time taken was 2 hours 5 minutes. 8.75 miles and 1 locks, averaging 4.68 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 2 hours 5 minutes. total cruising time, 8.75 miles and 1 locks, averaging 4.68 lock/miles per hour.

Set off through Stanground lock where a cruiser was just ready to come through. Went up Kings Dyke followed by the Mountbatten Crusader, let them pass us before Whittlesey. Stopped for lunch on the visitor moorings where we saw Kookabura and Firecrest.

Middle Level - Whittlesey Dyke to Middle Level - Old River Nene

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From Ashline Sluice to March arriving at 5:00 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 55 minutes. 10.62 miles and 0 locks, averaging 2.71 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 6 hours 0 minutes. total cruising time, 19.37 miles and 1 locks, averaging 3.4 lock/miles per hour.

Came through the lengthened Ashline lock. Saw three kingfishers and a grebe. The belt on the outside alternator broke just before March. A mostly sunny day but some rain at lunchtime.March: Town centre moorings - 3rd April 1999.
March: Town centre moorings - 3rd April 1999.

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Saturday 3th April 1999

From March to Marmont Priory Sluice arriving at 11:40 am. The time taken was 1 hour 45 minutes. 5.87 miles and 1 locks, averaging 3.93 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 7 hours 45 minutes. total cruising time, 25.25 miles and 2 locks, averaging 3.52 lock/miles per hour.

Set off after Silverfish (marked as from Bristol but actually based at March) they moored just before the lock where we stopped to wait at the lock keeper's request. She also said that we should ring and book before coming through. Saw a kingfisher and some GC Grebes.

From Marmont Priory Sluice to Upwell arriving at 1:00 pm. The time taken was 50 minutes. 1.25 miles and 0 locks, averaging 1.5 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 8 hours 35 minutes. total cruising time, 26.5 miles and 2 locks, averaging 3.32 lock/miles per hour.

Came through the lock and stopped at the visitor mooring by the church for lunch. Silver Fish came and moored there just before we left.

Middle Level - Old River Nene to Middle Level - Well Creek

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From Upwell to Salter's Lode Sluice arriving at 4:35 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 25 minutes. 6.12 miles and 1 locks, averaging 2.95 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 11 hours 0 minutes. total cruising time, 32.62 miles and 3 locks, averaging 3.24 lock/miles per hour.

A good trip down to the the lock, daffodils out all along the banks. A sunny day with some cloud, warm.

Middle Level - Well Creek to Old West River (Great Ouse)

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Sunday 4th April 1999

From Salter's Lode Sluice to Denver Sluice arriving at 12:05 am. The time taken was 1 hour 5 minutes. 0.37 miles and 2 locks, averaging 2.19 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 12 hours 5 minutes. total cruising time, 33 miles and 5 locks, averaging 3.14 lock/miles per hour.

Went through Slater's Lode and Denver Sluice with Denfold, an ex Anglo Welsh boat that was going to join a hire fleet at Bedford. Stopped for lunch on the visitor's mooring just up from the lock.

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From Denver Sluice to Brandon Creek arriving at 4:00 pm. The time taken was 1 hour 55 minutes. 6.87 miles and 1 locks, averaging 4.11 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 14 hours 0 minutes. total cruising time, 39.87 miles and 6 locks, averaging 3.28 lock/miles per hour.

Saw several narrowboats, including Fennec Fox, grebes and a kingfisher. Moored on the visitor moorings just above the junction. A mostly cloudy day with a few sunny intervals.

Monday 5th April 1999

From Brandon Creek to Ely, A142 Road bridge arriving at 11:40 am. The time taken was 2 hours 10 minutes. 9.25 miles and 0 locks, averaging 4.27 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 16 hours 10 minutes. total cruising time, 49.12 miles and 6 locks, averaging 3.41 lock/miles per hour.

Saw quite a few boats on the trip up to Ely, mostly cruisers, and a lot of boats on the move in the city. Stopped for water at the marina (1) then moved across to moor for lunch (12.10) which we had at the Town House.

From Ely, A142 Road bridge to Twenty Pence Bridge arriving at 4:35 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 25 minutes. 8 miles and 0 locks, averaging 3.31 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 18 hours 35 minutes. total cruising time, 57.12 miles and 6 locks, averaging 3.4 lock/miles per hour.

Came up to Popes corner (saw a kingfisher and two black swans on the way) and turned up the Old West River. A lot of cruisers coming the opposite way at the end of the Bank Holiday. Moored on the long straight a little way after Twenty Pence Bridge. A cloudy and windy day.

Old West River (Great Ouse) to River Great Ouse

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Tuesday 6th April 1999

From Twenty Pence Bridge to Brownshill Staunch arriving at 12:20 am. The time taken was 3 hours 5 minutes. 9.37 miles and 2 locks, averaging 3.69 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 21 hours 40 minutes. total cruising time, 66.5 miles and 8 locks, averaging 3.44 lock/miles per hour.

Came up the Old West River and through Hermitage and Brownshill Locks with a cruiser that was going back to St Ives. Stopped at the Pike and Eel for lunch (Haddock in white sauce 6.95 and Lamb steak marinade 7.95). While we were having lunch a narrow boat, based at the Lazy Otter moorings and called Capricorn, moored after three attempts in the high wind.

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From Brownshill Staunch to Hemingford Lock No 14 arriving at 4:35 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 40 minutes. 6.87 miles and 2 locks, averaging 3.33 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 24 hours 20 minutes. total cruising time, 73.37 miles and 10 locks, averaging 3.43 lock/miles per hour.

Went on through St Ives and Hemingford Locks to moor at Hemmingford Grey. A mostly cloudy day with sunny intervals and very high winds.

Wednesday 7th April 1999

From Hemingford Lock No 14 to Huntingdon arriving at 10:50 am. The time taken was 1 hour 25 minutes. 4.25 miles and 2 locks, averaging 4.41 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 25 hours 45 minutes. total cruising time, 77.62 miles and 12 locks, averaging 3.48 lock/miles per hour.

Stopped by the bridge to go shopping at Tesco's and to have lunch.

From Huntingdon to St Neots arriving at 5:50 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 35 minutes. 10.12 miles and 4 locks, averaging 3.94 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 29 hours 20 minutes. total cruising time, 87.75 miles and 16 locks, averaging 3.54 lock/miles per hour.

Nearly all the locks in our favour as we came up the river. Moored on the pontoons near the bridge. Saw a lot of Coots, cormorants, some grebes as well, as we came up. A cooler dry day but with a some sun around midday.

Thursday 8th April 1999

From St Neots to Great Barford Lock arriving at 1:40 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 30 minutes. 7.75 miles and 2 locks, averaging 2.79 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 32 hours 50 minutes. total cruising time, 95.5 miles and 18 locks, averaging 3.46 lock/miles per hour.

Set off at 9.40 and stopped for water (1) at Eaton Socan also filled with diesel (104.27 litres for 22.94) which took half an hour. Came on to moor by the bridge for lunch etc. A day of sunshine and cloud following a cold start. A few spots of rain. Had dinner at the Anchor (Grilled Chicken a La King 7.95, Batter plaice 6.95) very good.Great Barford Lock: Great Barford Bridge - 9th April 1999.
Great Barford Lock: Great Barford Bridge - 9th April 1999.

Friday 9th April 1999

From Great Barford Lock to Duck Mill (or Town) Lock arriving at 12:45 am. The time taken was 3 hours 15 minutes. 7 miles and 4 locks, averaging 3.38 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 36 hours 5 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 22 locks, averaging 3.38 lock/miles per hour.

Saw a stoat, two kingfishers and some pheasants between Willington and Castle Mills Locks. Moored at Priory Marina for lunch.

From Duck Mill (or Town) Lock to Great Barford Lock arriving at 5:00 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 40 minutes. 7 miles and 4 locks, averaging 4.13 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 38 hours 45 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 26 locks, averaging 3.25 lock/miles per hour.

Came down the river, saw a mink after Cardington Lock and met the cruiser Dawn C, from Fox's Yard at March, at Willington Lock. A mostly cloudy day but a sunny evening.

Saturday 10th April 1999

From Great Barford Lock to St Neots arriving at 12:45 am. The time taken was 3 hours 15 minutes. 7.75 miles and 2 locks, averaging 3 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 42 hours 0 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 28 locks, averaging 3.05 lock/miles per hour.

Saw a mink swiming across the river just before Eaton Socon. At the lock met Denfold, who we had seen at Salter's Lode. Stopped for lunch on the pontoon and then did some shopping in Waitrose.

From St Neots to Brampton Lock No 11 arriving at 5:30 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 5 minutes. 8.12 miles and 3 locks, averaging 3.61 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 45 hours 5 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 31 locks, averaging 2.91 lock/miles per hour.

Came down the river and moored by the Brampton Mill. A mostly cloudy day with a few brief sunny intervals.

Sunday 11th April 1999

From Brampton Lock No 11 to Brownshill Staunch arriving at 1:25 pm. The time taken was 4 hours 10 minutes. 13.12 miles and 5 locks, averaging 4.35 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 49 hours 15 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 36 locks, averaging 2.76 lock/miles per hour.

Saw quite a lot of boats as we came down the river, meeting one or two at almost every lock. Moored for lunch at the Pike and Eel but did not go in this time.

River Great Ouse to Old West River (Great Ouse)

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From Brownshill Staunch to Twenty Pence Bridge arriving at 5:00 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 45 minutes. 9.37 miles and 2 locks, averaging 4.13 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 52 hours 0 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 38 locks, averaging 2.65 lock/miles per hour.

Saw an oyster catcher on the tidal stretch below Brownshill Lock. The lock keeper at Hermitage waved us straight into the lock again. Moored at the same place we did coming up, on the straight a little way before the bridge. A windy day of sunshine and cloud.

Old West River (Great Ouse) to River Cam

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Monday 12th April 1999

From Twenty Pence Bridge to Clayhythe Bridge arriving at 1:00 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 50 minutes. 12.25 miles and 0 locks, averaging 3.2 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 55 hours 50 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 38 locks, averaging 2.47 lock/miles per hour.

Came down to Popes Corner and up the Cam to Clayhythe. Saw an oyster catcher. Moored and had a good lunch in the Bridge Hotel (Chicken Surpreme 6.95, Sausage and Mash 5.95). While we were there Foxton, from Fox's Boats, came past.

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From Clayhythe Bridge to Jesus Green Lock arriving at 4:35 pm. The time taken was 1 hour 55 minutes. 5.87 miles and 1 locks, averaging 3.58 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 57 hours 45 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 39 locks, averaging 2.41 lock/miles per hour.

Passed an eight and a four on the way up. Moored just below the weir, next to Foxton. A chilly and breezy day with short showery and sunny intervals.

Wednesday 14th April 1999

From Jesus Green Lock to Upware Junction arriving at 1:00 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 50 minutes. 10.5 miles and 1 locks, averaging 4.06 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 60 hours 35 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 40 locks, averaging 2.31 lock/miles per hour.

After two nights at Cambridge we started of at 9.05 and crossed the river to get a pump out (1) and fill with water. A lot of rowers on the river. Saw a kingfisher at Clayhythe. Stopped for lunch at the Five Miles from Anywhere (Whitebait 3.50 followed by Lamb 8.75 each) a disappointing meal.

River Cam to Old West River (Great Ouse)

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From Upware Junction to Ely, A142 Road bridge arriving at 3:40 pm. The time taken was 1 hour 35 minutes. 6.62 miles and 0 locks, averaging 4.18 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 62 hours 10 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 40 locks, averaging 2.25 lock/miles per hour.

Saw another two kingfishers, two oystercatchers and a tufted duck on the way down. A cold but mostly sunny day.

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Thursday 15th April 1999

From Ely, A142 Road bridge to Littleport Bridge arriving at 12:50 am. The time taken was 1 hour 25 minutes. 5.87 miles and 0 locks, averaging 4.14 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 63 hours 35 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 40 locks, averaging 2.2 lock/miles per hour.

After doing the shopping at Tesco's in Ely we set off and moored on the visitor moorings for lunch.

From Littleport Bridge to Denver Sluice arriving at 4:05 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 5 minutes. 10.25 miles and 1 locks, averaging 5.4 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 65 hours 40 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 41 locks, averaging 2.15 lock/miles per hour.

A fast run down to Denver followed all the way by a Fox's boat. Moored on the second visitor moorings near the pub. A cold and mostly cloudy day.

Old West River (Great Ouse) to Middle Level - Well Creek

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Friday 16th April 1999

From Denver Sluice to Salter's Lode Sluice arriving at 10:00 am. The time taken was 40 minutes. 0.37 miles and 2 locks, averaging 3.56 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 66 hours 20 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 43 locks, averaging 2.16 lock/miles per hour.

Went into Denver Lock at 9.20 to make the short tidal trip. Through Salters Lode lock and on our way without stopping at 10am.

Middle Level - Well Creek to Middle Level - Old River Nene

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From Salter's Lode Sluice to Upwell arriving at 12:25 am. The time taken was 2 hours 25 minutes. 6.12 miles and 1 locks, averaging 2.95 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 68 hours 45 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 44 locks, averaging 2.09 lock/miles per hour.

Came up Well Creek and moored for lunch on the visitor mooring by the church. Swift Fox, who had been following us, moored just after us.

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From Upwell to March arriving at 4:10 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 50 minutes. 7.12 miles and 1 locks, averaging 2.87 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 71 hours 35 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 45 locks, averaging 2.03 lock/miles per hour.

Moored on the visitor moorings by the Ship Inn. A foggy start of the day gave way to sunshine and cloud. Not so cold.

Middle Level - Old River Nene to Middle Level - Whittlesey Dyke

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Saturday 17th April 1999

From March to Ashline Sluice arriving at 12:00 am. The time taken was 3 hours 35 minutes. 10.62 miles and 0 locks, averaging 2.96 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 75 hours 10 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 45 locks, averaging 1.93 lock/miles per hour.

Saw a Kingfisher by Floods Ferry Junction. Came up through the lock and moored on the visitor moorings for lunch.

Middle Level - Whittlesey Dyke to River Nene Stanground Branch

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From Ashline Sluice to Peterborough Junction arriving at 2:40 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 0 minutes. 8.75 miles and 1 locks, averaging 4.88 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 77 hours 10 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 46 locks, averaging 1.89 lock/miles per hour.

Took 1hour 40 minutes to get to Stanground lock and 10 minutes to get through. A chilly day of sunshine and cloud with one or two showers.

Cruising Log Index

 

Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
Home Introduction Waterways List Waterways Map Links Books DVD Articles Photo Gallery
Features Contact me Glossary Boats Events List History Local Waterways Help Photo List