FRIDAY 6TH TO SUNDAY 8TH JULY 2012
If the new water tank gauge wasn’t showing empty, if we didn’t need to fill with diesel, if we hadn’t got bags of rubbish to dispose of, if the Elsan tank didn’t need to be emptied and most importantly if we hadn’t got a substantial first Tesco home delivery booked for between 1 & 3 pm, we would have stayed put, as the rain, this Friday morning, was torrential. But we did and we had, so at 11am we left the security of the little Wissey and headed out onto the bleak wide expanse of the Great Ouse, and after a sodden hour and an half cruising, at the Ship Inn we turned into Brandon Creek and a few minutes later we were tied up at the fuel pontoon of the Little Ouse Moorings.
Our Imray guide makes no mention of this operation, but fortunately Sue from Retirement No Problem has written about it, very positively, several times in her blog. Nathalie welcomed our two boats alongside and said she would wait until the rain stopped before she fuelled us, but there wasn’t a problem in our waiting for Mr Tesco, in fact he arrived within fifteen minutes of our arrival, brilliant, the driver said that it was the biggest single delivery he had ever made, we shall certainly be using that service again and more thanks to Sue of N.P. as she has a special section on her blog detailing how to do it.
The rain stopped and Nathalie did the diesel, the cheapest on the fens at 90p. a litre and we filled and emptied our various tanks, all before the tennis started. As the Murray semi final didn’t finish until 7pm we took the liberty of staying on the service pontoon overnight, Nathalie said that this would be OK and on Saturday morning we paid a fiver each for the privilege. If you are coming this way, do avail yourself of their friendly and efficient service and also their free range eggs. Sorry, no pictures, but the rain just wasn’t conducive to getting the camera out.
It was a mix of hot sun and substantial showers as we moved upstream on Saturday morning. The river, the Brandon Creek is also known as The Little Ouse, gradually got narrower and weedier and faster flowing. Frequent use of reverse thrust, got rid of the weed from around the prop and restored progress, but nothing in my armoury would deter the horseflies, nasty stinging b*****s. Happily by the time that we tied up just before the lock and wier at Brandon we had left the flies behind. There is a bike and skate board park nearby and we were visited by several curious kids, but that is exactly what they were and not a threat to our boats. The town is a short walk alongside the river up to the attractive road bridge, the surprising thing is the number of building that have been constructed from flint, which I guess means that there must be a lot of chalk hereabouts.