Last night we watched the lights of the Jenyns Arms from our windows. Even we didn't want a pint badly enough to answer that siren call!
That's Yarwood in the sandwich over there - at 9.00am we were told our only hope was the pm tide. At 9.30 am they phoned and said they'd call us through in 30 mins and we could sit in Salters Lock and wait for a level tide - if we didn't get one they'd close the sluices at Earith for 30 mins to stop the flood water coming down and give us a level water.
All hell broke loose with dogs needing emptying, anchors attaching and life jackets donning. I gave us a 0% chance of getting out in the morning and 30% in the afternoon so we were really rather caught out.
Up comes the gate at Denver and off we go with Yarwood pulling across from behind us
Nice to have a change of scenery
A nice straight path thanks to Bill and the rest of the dredger crew - very different from the convoluted route we took coming in
We could still feel the sand lifting us underneath though
Looking back, Yarwood gives us a head start to give themselves space for the sharp manoeuvre into Salters Lock
(Sorry - blogger won't let me delete or enlarge any pics at the moment!)
Turned into Salters just gently kissing the side - 9/10 for the skipper (1 point deducted for knocking over a bottle of ginger beer). However, as we turned in the lock wasn't open so we had to brake sharply and Joe, behind us, had nowhere to go.
A glimpse of freedom through the gate - but still no guarantees it would be opened
Looking back at Yarwood in Salters - our bum hanging out and they are outside tied on to us
G off to see what's what or not
Lesley just chillin'
...and then the gates open. Out we go onto the middle levels at last. Snow? What snow. Cold? What cold. Adrenalin carried us through.
Salters Lode Lock receding into the background and .. oh bum ...forgot about this low bridge and we still have the bike and stuff on the roof. I hover the boat whilst G gives the bike a firemans lift down the gunwhales - how they didn't both go in I'll never know!! Wish I'd had a hand free to take a photo
Safely under and moored up at Outwell/Upwell in good time to walk the dogs before lunch and a pint at the pub.
All quite ordinary really.
Thanks again for all the good wishes - that's what made the difference!