MONDAY 11TH TO WEDNESDAY 13TH JUNE 2012
On a cold Monday morning it was our turn to slip through the Murder Hole and under suspended sculptures before passing the shopping area of Lincoln and arriving at Stamp End Lock. Something else to pass under here; the top gate is a guillotine and drips on you, but fortunately electrically operated. We are now on the River Witham and this will take us all the way to Boston. The first eight miles to Bardney Bridge are nearly as straight as the Fossdyke and here we stopped on the pontoon, just before the sugar beet factory. Afternoon tea was taken with chocolate birthday cake as I am now clickety click, lucky 66 and Judy produced a delicious lemon meringue pie for evening desert, proving just how lucky I am.
The plan for Tuesday morning was for the girls to walk the dogs the three miles to Southrey, where Don and I would stop for the water point and pick them up. Unfortunately the tow path appeared to be impenetrable and a mile or so downstream after a phone call I turned around and at 2,200 revs. stomped back up river, I have never cruised this fast, but although SKYY didn't quite get up onto the plane, she did handle well and soon I glided back to the pontoon at Bardney to collect the girls and pooches and catch up with Don at the Southrey pontoon. Unfortunately there are now no facilities here not a problem as neither of us are short of water, so after coffee we moved onto to Woodhall Spa.
As you leave the river to walk to the town you first have to traverse a section of the Water Railway, this is the path that runs from Lincoln to Boston along the old railway track. The platform, signal box and level crossing gate of Woodhall Station still survive, the station now converted to a delightful home. The guide says that this small town looks like a seaside holiday resort, and it’s not wrong, Frinton on Sea definitely came to mind. The old Spa Hotel still looks very smart and everything is unspoilt and unchanged. There is an ancient cinema tucked away in the wood that has been continuously showing films since 1922, it is complete with a Compton organ, whatever that is, but more unusually, the films are back projected onto the screen.
The ‘Dambusters’ were based here and the memorial on the green shows the breaching of the Rhur dams and now delta winged aircraft regular streak across the sky.
The forecast for our Saturday Wash crossing is not good, with winds in the region of 20 mph I have had a chat with our pilot who has agreed that from Sunday onwards the winds are dropping and in the main blowing from the South West, which is much preferable than from the North East. Accordingly we have decided to stay put on the pontoon and move down to Boston on Friday and hopefully cross on Sunday or Monday. The dogs got a surprise on this morning walk when they came upon some rusty sheep that refused to move, it took a bit of reassurance before they would approach these remarkable metal sheep.