Peterborough - March
16 miles, 2 locks
River Nene, Middle Levels
Our appointment with Tina at Stanground Lock, onto the Middle Level, was at 9:30. We were soon through and onto the 'boring bits'! The first part, to Whittlesey, and around Brigate Bend are not too bad actually. The Potato Factory (where McCain's chips are made) is visibile from miles away, and dominates the landscape. Here, the drain is above the level of the farmland surrounding it so you can actually see what's going on around you. We saw lots goats and horses, and had several tractor drivers give us a cheery wave.
Of course, one of only three boats we met going the other way was just before Brigate Bend - the notorious 90 degree angle with high concrete walls - in the middle of Whittlesey. At Ashline Lock, on the edge of the village, there were three boats waiting to go through. As the lock is only 11' wide, we had a bit of a wait! We helped the other boats through and gave out advice about navigating the Fens, and one of the boats was new to the area.
Beyond Whittlesey, it gets really dull. A corner is cause for excitement. The banks are high, and there are numbered markers for fishing competitions (a secret ploy by the fishermen to drive boaters mad). I did a bit of this on my own, as James was inside, and so I turned the music up loud and actually quite enjoyed it! Eventually we reached March. We stopped in Fox's Marina, and have chosen to moor there for the night, despite the cost of £7.50. We think it's worth it for the security. We walked into the centre of March and checked out the town moorings, which are full, so it was the right decision!
Salters Lode at 4pm tomorrow, and then back onto the Ouse and Cam!