The Cruise of the Dondevoy


A long walk back to Peterborough was necessary today to draw some money from the bank, and to reprovision myself. When I got up, which was fairly late, I found that the clubhouse had been locked after all. Perhaps someone thought I had left already. I had less money than I thought, and shall have to be careful how I spend it. Maybe if I can get a tow from someone, I would save petrol.

The Nene valley is very beautiful, exactly typical of the "English" countryside; there are green fields all around, with sheep and cows dotted about, and now and then, when the river touches the edge of its flood plain, there are magnificent banks of trees hanging right down to the water. I saw several herons, and a couple of hawk-like birds hovering above the meadows. The architecture is changing as well as the scenery; most of the houses I see now are built of stone, instead of the East Anglian red brick. So too is the local accent; after Peterborough, I heard no more Norfolk dialect, and now the accent is more and more Midlands with every person I meet.

I negotiated five locks during the day, all without help, and all under the gaze of day trippers, who seemed delighted at the sight of me straining to lower and raise the bottom gate of each lock; their sneering soon turned to envy when they realised that I was going to saunter off in a boat, while they had to get back to town in their cars. Most of them seemed surprised that it was possible to get through from Cambridge to the Nene at all. I suppose this is not unusual, as not many boats use the route, and the Angling Associations are trying to get it closed off completely. Apparently the anglers on the Middle Level are a very uncouth lot, and tend to throw ground-bait at passing navigators. There is going to be a big rally of boats ending on June 25th, to show how many people want the waterways kept open.

Back on the Nene, however, I moored just above the lock at Elton, by a grassy bank, one of the best moorings I have had so far.

Moorings on the River Nene above the lock at Elton. Picture from the blog "Retirement with No Problem" at

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