March - Salters Lode
12 miles, 1 lock
We filled up with diesel, and emptied the Elsan at Fox's before moving off in bright sunlight through March. We liked it even more in the sun- the water frontages of the houses are just lovely, and even the sanitary station which we'd been told was nasty, looked to be in good condition.
Carrying on towards Upwell and Outwell, there wasn't much to see, but we enjoyed the sun, the fact that we were moving under our own power, that the intake hardly blocked up at all and the familiarity of the fenlands. There is one lock to break up the monotony, and it is supposedly manned (well, womaned) but as we arrived, we heard some very angry voices, and realised that we'd accidentally arrived during some major family row at the lock keeper's cottage. We decided to leave them to it and set about working the lock ourselves. After a lot of indistict but worryingly hate-filled shouting, a man stormed out and drove off in a cloud of dust in his Land Rover. Presently the lock keeper came out and helped us through, chatting away merrily as if nothing had happened. Most odd!
We had been warned about low bridges at the village of Upwell, but although they did look low, they didn't present any problems. We really liked Upwell/Outwell (they're pretty much the same place) and we got lots of waves from passing pedestrians and even toots from lorry drivers! It seemed like a pretty, friendly place. There, we saw nb Welkin of Isis, a boat that we'd seen at Whilton earlier in the year, and had half considered buying!
After Upwell/Outwell we had bacon and brie english muffins while underway and continued to Salters Lode, where the Middle Level meets the tidal Ouse, arriving at about 3pm. We spoke to the lock-keeper who let us know that the next tide will be at 12 noon tomorrow. So we wait. But once through, its no more than 2 days to Cambridge!