THURSDAY 14TH TO SUNDAY 17TH JUNE 2012
John and Kim appeared coming down the pontoon having just arrived by car at Woodhall Spar on Thursday morning; whenever we consider doing something out or the ordinary or risky, they are always invited to join us, after all, they are the ones who persuaded us to buy a boat and if we are going to go ‘down’ in the Wash then they are definitely going with us. Judy and Don had, earlier in the day moved on five miles to Dogdyke and as we set off to catch them up, we were continually over flown at very low levels by Typhoons, John knows about these things, as they did circuits and bumps at the nearby Coningsby Airfield.
We moored on The Packet Inn’s pontoon and in the evening enjoyed a good meal there, whilst J & D got to know J & K.
In the morning we decided to take the short walk to Coningsby Airfield whilst J & D looked after Duggie. After some come confusion, caused by us getting on the wrong queue, we were rescued by Dick who took us on a close up tour of the hangar where the Battle of Britain Memorial flight is kept. A Dakota stood on the tarmac and inside there was Hurricane, several versions of Spitfires, a taildrager trainer and right at the back of the hangar there, loomed the menacing bulk of the black bellied Lancaster Bomber. Dick was a great guide and having served in the RAF for 45 years there was nothing he didn’t know, his knowledge was passed on to us, with just the right amount of technical detail and humour so much so that the girls really enjoyed the tour. As we left we were treated, to what seemed to be our very own, personal aerobatic show, from fast jets to an old wartime Seafury, fabulous.
In the afternoon we all moved on to Geordies Boat Sales at Langrick Bridge. This is really a small garage and shop, but with a landing stage for boat services and very accommodating and helpful the owners were. A couple more miles and we stopped for the night at Anton’s Gowt. There is a lock here which leads onto the Witham Navigable Drains, which if we were further delayed from our crossing we might explore.
The weather was gradually improving, as we did the final couple of miles into Boston on Saturday and the famous Stump of St. Botolph’s Church came into view. We were concerned about the supposed lack of visitor moorings, in fact there was plenty of space on the finger pontoons and it was all very secure and only a short walk into town. I called Daryl, our pilot, to confirm that we were in place and ready for Sunday, when he said that he thought the water on Monday would be smoother. Slightly disappointed we decided to spend the time exploring Boston, relaxing and chatting to Mike the Lock Keeper, who was a mine of information, but be warned, leave plenty of time. Whilst sitting in the town square having coffee, who should walk pass? but Dick our Coningsby Guide, now in his weekend role as verger to St. Bolotph’s, he invited up to climb the 365 steps to the top of the tower and with good intentions some of us thought we would, but in fact none of us did.
A little more exploring on Sunday, but unfortunately the splendid Maud Foster Mill was not open, we should have visited on Saturday. We viewed the tidal river downstream from the Grand Sluice, we would be cruising this stretch on Monday and on the way back we were puzzled by what the building with the huge swan on the roof could have been built for. The evening presented us with a lovely sunset, a good omen, but the forecast for Monday morning was drizzle, no couldn’t be, sunshine and calm seas all the way tomorrow was what we had ordered, we should soon see.