The Cruise of the Dondevoy


A hire cruiser came up to the lock this morning, so I decided to lock through with her; she was called Lazy Days. The occupants very kindly gave me a tow up to the very sharp bend in the village, where I moored for lunch.

At Stanground Sluice, the keys for the River Nene were indeed waiting for me, and soon after I was cruising along the Nene past large seagoing cruisers and barges. Soon after came Peterborough, and although I was running out of petrol, I decided to press on, as the river was full of rowing boats, and I did not want to moor there for fear of vandals. After a few bridges, I came to the first lock, where I had a foretaste of what was to come on the Nene; the lower guillotine gate had to be wound right down, and all the way back up again afterwards, and the paddles were rather stiff. I got through, after using a bit of elbow grease, and continued, looking for a mooring site so that I could walk back to the city the next day to draw some money from the bank and refill my diminishing larder. Suddenly, on my left, I found the Peterborough Sailing Club, and obtained permission to stay the night. I was then invited into the clubhouse, where I was filled up with Guinness, and engaged in conversation until ten o'clock. It is a very friendly club, and I was recommended to call in at the Northampton Boat Club At the other end of the Nene navigation, where I was assured I would be welcome.

The secretary of the club arranged for the clubhouse door to be left unlocked so that I could use the lavatory, and after wishing all my new friends goodnight, I retired to my boat.

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