Saturday, 24 June 2017

Across the Wash: The Trip

Tuesday 13 June 2017 Across the Wash to Kings Lynn and Denver Sluice
Chris Turner (Jophina 2), friend Val Sylvester who came to see us off, with pilot Darryl Hill

John and Liana (Annie), Chris (Jophina 2), Cleveland and Mick and John (Pennine Dream) waiting at Grand Sluice

testing the VHF radios

Elaine and Chris, Jack and pilot Darryl

passing through Grand Sluice lock with both gates open

looking back at Grand Sluice closing

passing Boston Stump, St Botolph's
High tide 0930 but level water both sides of Boston Grand Sluice about 1130, when we emerged to pass past Boston Stump, St Botolph's Church down the tidal Witham, past the Port of Boston and fishing boats, for miles between green and red channel marker posts, until eventually we saw the wide horizons and distant shores which marked the Wash.
passing through Port of Boston
the end of the channel to the Wash

Annie, with Jophina 2, Pennine Dream and Cleveland ahead

Fishery research vessel

Liana steering across the Wash

It was cloudy with a gentle Force 3 breeze 7-10 mph, distant fishing boats, survey vessels and sand banks gradually appearing as the tide ebbed. Darryl led on Cleveland, followed by Pennine Dream, Jophina 2, with Annie at the rear.At first we headed north east up the coast until we had cleared Roger Sands, where narrowboats sometimes beach at low tide. We turned south and headed for Norfolk about ten miles, with the open sea on our left and very distant low coastlines to south and west.

Eventually we headed south west towards the Great Ouse Estuary, along narrow channels between vast sand banks, watched by seals.

fishing boats on sand banks waiting for high tide

erm, avoid the bigger vessels ...

 Nearing the Norfolk coast, Darryl had us all beach for a while, waiting for the flood tide. Elaine's plastic palm tree made an appearance!
beaching on a sand bank

Elaine going ashore

Liana, Jack, Elaine and palm tree!

Later, Darryl took us to see loads of basking seals nearby, until the rising tide allowed us to enter the Great Ouse tidal section.

Grey Seals
The river narrowed gradually as we neared Kings Lynn, but Darryl wanted us to reach the safety of Denver Sluice and the non-tidal river above it, so we passed by quickly, seeing the Port and the huge sluice gates marking the end of the Relief Channel, which drains much of the fens during floods.

Kings Lynn

Buoy maintenance vessel at Kings Lynn

bookable visitor pontoon at Kings Lynn

Sluices at the end of the Relief Channel, which drains much of the fens during floods
the boats moved crab fashion to avoid the tide pushing them onto the banks at bends

moving the ten miles upriver in the evening light

navigation lights on!

erm, almost dark at 10PM as we reached the pontoon mooring below Denver Sluice and lock!

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