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The Tuesday Night Club on Tour


Tour 2001


Fenland Tour Summer 2001

19 - Denver To Ely - River Great Ouse, inc River Lark and Lee Brook.

Monday 16th July 2001

We forgot to mention that the bowthruster died the day before..........the brushes were worn out. Neil got in touch with Aquafax and their Luton depot sent some home, for Linda to bring up the next week (the NPBC TNC weeks needed this item working!) Neil also located a Flojet service kit and lost plug-in hose connector at Calcutt. Good old “Support” member Cap'n Beeky brought this up on the way to a Brum meeting when he sadly (for us!!!) removed the Junior Beeky Ships Slave!!!
Beeky also located some of those bloody silly plastic clips that hold the top grille on the Valor Vanette Hob. One of these was broken and predictably Linda noticed it yesterday. 
Anyway we shoved off from Denver at 09.00, still breasted up. This was in the wrong position and Neil did an under way and under power alteration, so the sterns were nearly level. This we have found makes for lighter steering on the powered boat (ie Earnest!!), Frogmoore was set with slightly less revolutions. JC did his ultimate non steering thingy - sitting asleep in his fold up chair, on his cruiser deck, with his legs up on the taff rail!!!........this was videoed and features in the special addition JC Video, including his most amusing VHF conversations. 
We reached The Lark at 11.40 and ambled up it. There was a very sharp corner under the Prickwillow Bridge, many boats were on the staithe here, at the Drainage Museum. We went out of the boater operable Isleham Lock at 13.45. This has “curly” bottom balance beams, like locks on the Cam. Guillotine above, all electric. 
It was not known whether Earnest could wind anywhere above here, as the river was now incised and only wide enough for a Frogmoore wind, in a few places. Above Isleham the river also had a fair fast flow on. Fortunately we arrived at Judes Ferry, just before the bridge and found that you could wind a full length narrowboat here. 
Frogmoore of course just carried on passed the “End Of Navigation” sign on the bridge (14.40). JC got away without comment from people / boaters at the pub moorings, but young Beeky got an earbashing! It was a bit hairy above here and we had one dodgy moment at a shallow corner. 
We finally reached the real end of navigation - Kings Staunch the old flash lock (low footbridge built over it) about a mile up from Judes Ferry. (15.15) After pulling back and putting both boats up the bank we were able to get our rain gear on and to take some video / photies. Earnest started back first. Peter Wright had already been borrowed by JC, so it was up to Neil and “Doug of the bow pole” to get the bowthrusterless Earnest back to Judes Ferry for a wind. Earnest soon left Frogmoore behind and a very interesting fast reverse followed. 
After a brief wait for Frogmoore at Judes Ferry (easy wind) Doug and Neil set off without Frogmoore (16.15). At the entrance to the tiny dyke like Lee Brook (outlet onto the River Lark of the River Kennett), Neil decided to spring a surprise on JC and reverse into this teeny weeny creek. (16.25)..............and we just kept on going! It was very deep and weed free, but with some seemingly impossibly sharp turns and a few (now pruned!) trees. Frogmoore of course sailed passed, but spotted us, then reversed back up the creek. We must have got half a mile up and only gave up when Earnest was just too long to get around a corner!!! 
We were back on the Lark again at 17.10. The Frog boat was leading and predictably went up the weir stream before Isleham Lock. There was a few floating pontoon dwellings and narrowboats up here, Frogmoore managed to wind before the weir, but Earnest just failed and got stuck across what was actually quite a fast flowing current. With much poling and shoving we eventually got the stern free and a very difficult reverse out followed. 
After Isleham Lock, Frogmoore and Earnest also went into Isleham Marina Village, the amazing “A” frame housing development, amid a myriad of tiny channels. We crept through to a large winding point (JC has been there before).......a fascinating and strange experience. Three nice wooden cruisers had images taken for Ian Clarke. At the entrance to the Marina Village are some new GOBA moorings. These were not yet officially open, but a pair of narrowboats were already testing them out. 
Back again on the Lark (18.30) Doug was now steering as Neil tidied up he washing, now that the Travelpower could power the washing machine. We were back onto Great Ouse at 20.15, for a whiz up to Ely .........We arrived at 21.15 and had another “Spice City” curry.

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JC in his favourite steering position. Ely Ouse.

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The closed pub at Denver Cruising Club. Ely Ouse.

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We have just started up the River Lark.

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River Lark.

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River Lark.

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Prickwillow Bridge, Visitor Moorings and Drainage Museum. River Lark.

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Looking back at the rail bridge. River Lark.

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Prickwillow Bridge, Visitor Moorings and Drainage Museum. River Lark.

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River Lark.

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River Lark.

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Moorings just before Isleham. River Lark.

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River Lark.

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Angry flock of geese below Isleham Lock. River Lark.

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Isleham Lock. The blue narrowboat is heading to Isleham Marina. River Lark.

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Isleham Lock. River Lark.

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Totally electric Isleham Lock. River Lark.

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Isleham Lock. River Lark.

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Leaving Isleham Lock. River Lark.

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Leaving Isleham Lock. River Lark.

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River Lark.

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River Lark.

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River Lark.

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River Lark.

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River Lark.

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Judes Ferry House pub and moorings to left, wind between the staging. New Judes Ferry Bridge beyond. River Lark.

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Looking back at Judes Ferry House pub and moorings. River Lark.

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New Judes Ferry Bridge. What "End of Navigation" sign? River Lark.

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Above Judes Ferry. River Lark.

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Kings Staunch and the low footbridge. River Lark.

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Kings Staunch and the low footbridge. River Lark.

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Looking back from Kings Staunch. River Lark.

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Lee Brook.

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Lee Brook.

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Round the top of Isleham Lock weir stream. River Lark.

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GOBA Moorings in Isleham Marina. River Lark.

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Isleham Village Marina. River Lark.

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Isleham Village Marina. Doug Beeky on the helm. River Lark.

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Isleham Village Marina. River Lark.

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Exiting the River Lark, now on the Ely Ouse.

The Tour continues

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