Thursday, 31 July 2014

To Denver Sluice and on to Kings Lynn

Sunday 27th July
To Denver Sluice
9.25 miles, 0 locks

The day started with a lot of noise – a group of day ‘merry day’ trippers – they went past and came back again before we set off.

The next sound – a spluttering and then silence – the engine on one of the boats died.  The engine cover came up and they did manage to restart it and carry on.

We soon caught them up and the high jinks were continuing.  The boat that had engine problems was now under tow and there was a lot of dancing to very loud music!

The lead boat pulled over and we assumed they would all stop for lunch – we all hoped they made it safely back at the end of the day

The first mooring we found at Denver we soon realised had rather large neighbours and although Monty did not seem that bothered

we moved on down towards the sluice, took on water and then found another mooring 

With this as our view - not far to go first thing then!

And yet more hissy neighbours

 Monday 28th July

To Kings Lynn
14 miles, 1 lock

Our slot was for 8am at the sluice.  Cleddau and Tentatrice went through first. 

Sadly it was a little tight and we left a bit of paint behind!

By 08:50 Chouette had joined us and we were off

All suitably attired for a tidal river

Chouette in the lead

Cleddau bringing up the rear

And we were the filling in the sandwich – they both had sat nav which aided us all avoid the sand banks – something for our shopping list for next year.

There were cows


A bird box in the middle of nowhere

The derelict church at Wiggenhall Mary the Virgin
And the church at Wiggenhall St German

The remains of some bridges

A gas power station

A huge paper mill

Under the last two bridges
Past a line of moored boats in the middle of the river – some of them quite different

 And then our first sight of the moorings. 

As we approached a voice from high above us said ‘Are you mooring up?’.  ‘Yes’ I replied.  ‘Oh how wonderful’ he said ‘you are very welcome’.  Then he spied our boat name ‘Tardebigge’, he said ‘are you anything to do with it?’.  ‘Yes we live nearby and volunteer for C&RT as litter pickers’ I replied.  ‘Well my mother used to live there’.  Before any more could be said we had passed by to moor up, but it was a wonderful welcome.  It transpired that we must have been the first group of narrow boats to use this new pontoon (Jul 2013) – we inspired a ‘tweet’ from the ‘Sailthewash’ website with a CCTV picture of the three boats on the pontoon. - you have to scroll down a bit and I guess we will eventually fall off the bottom of the page, but it was great to be welcomed and acknowledged. 

First things first – off to find some grass for Monty up a relatively steep ramp

By 13:30 it was even steeper
I am glad I do not have to climb this ladder
Two hours later care had to be taken going up and down

By 21:00 the tide was in and there was hardly any slope at all
Next stop was the Information office to pay our dues for one night on the moorings.
Narrow boats do get a 20% discount as we are so long and thin.  It is quite pricey (just over £20 for us at 18 metres), but the moorings are good and it took a good 2.5 hours off the day across the Wash if we had had to start at Denver, so worth every penny.  They are safe and secure as long as you can cope with a very steep climb at low tide.  We reckoned  the difference between low and high tide was about 12 foot.

We went past this Art, Cities and Lanscape.

I found another later on in the park which they said was supposed to represent a bridge, but I am afraid I could not quite see it.  I am sure there are others I did not discover.
So to Kings Lynn – our first visit and it was all too short – there was a lot we did not see.  Our priority as always was dog walking.  Lanes Park is worth a visit whether you have a dog or not as it has many interesting things to look at and is a place of beauty and serenity.

This floral display at one of the entrances
Some small allotments
Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount 1485

An wooden monk (we have no idea if it has any significance or if it just made very good use of an old tree stump)
Part of the old city walls

A band stand 

A small stream

As well as some very green weed in places

And best of all for Monty – Lots of open space for ball throwing and some squirrels!

Other things I noted that make me want to go back again for a longer visit:

The Minster

The library

 Captain George Vancouver born Kings Lynn 1757 died in Petersham 1798.  A great navigator along the west coast of the States from San Diego to Anchorage. 

Framingham Hospital Almshouses first built c.1677 off Broad Street by John Halcott and Henry Framingham (Mayor 1690 & 1700).  They were rebuilt by one of the entrances to Lane Park in 1848 to allow the cattle market to be enlarged.  The latest alterations and improvements were done in 1999.

On one of my Monty walks I stumbled across this 

The day ended with a fantastic meal for all six of us at Marriots Warehouse right opposite the quay. And so to bed as we had an early start the next day for the biggest adventure on Tentatrice so far!

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