Just for a change the sun was shining when I got up to make the tea. We had to do some washing before we left as we needed to fill up with water as it may have been a few days before we could fill up again. Our plan was to go t Anton's Gowt and have a look at the navigable drains. When we got there the water levels looked okay but we decided not to venture down the drains this time as the weed situation looked a little abundant. We will have to come back sometime as we didn't get to see the Maud Foster Windmill so 'doing the drains' would give us another reason.
Anton's Gowt Lock. River Witham.
The route up river from here is quite straight so Helen went down and baked a cake and made some ginger biscuits so it was worth being on my own. To help pass the time I tried to stay close to the bank so as to be out the main current. The tide seaward of the Grand Sluice must have fallen below that of the River about 1045 as at that time the current really picked up and so it paid to try to keep out of it for speed and fuel consumption reason.
One of the long straights after Anton's Gowt.
There was a fair bit of wildlife about with some red kites flying really low and some Great Crested Grebe chicks. I don't think that I have ever seen any before. Unfortunately I didn't get much of a close up.
The chicks were quite nicely marked and could dive straight away so making it even more difficult to get a photograph of them.
We were aiming for the River Slea as we thought we would leave the River Witham and have a poke about down there. The navigation no longer goes all the way to Sleaford but it does got about 7.5 miles in from the junction. There is no lock at the entrance, just pointy doors that close when the level in the Witham is higher than the River Slea. There is a short cut and a bridge to travel down to get to the doors and we had to go quite a way down until we could confirm that the doors were open. We trickled in through the gates and cleared the bridges with a good bit of headroom.
Just passing under the road bridge and approaching the pointy doors to enter the River Slea or Kyme Eau as this first bit of the river is called.
The banks were lower so we were hoping that it would be a nice trip up the Kyme Eau. However we hadn't gone very far before we came to a floating boom across the river! I contemplated landing Helen at the bridge and getting her to let go the boom and passing it round us and fixing it again but I couldn't see where I could get her back aboard. Our trip was curtailed before it had started. I thought that the river was open for navigation and saw no notice about this so a bit of a shame really.
The floating boom across the Kyme Eau
We winded inside the pointy doors and headed out again. We were hoping to see the seal that we had spotted eating a fish on the way down but even that was in hiding as it was nowhere to be seen before we arrived at Dogdyke and moored up on the pontoon. After lunch I set to doing a little sanding of rust on the pole and plank rack on the roof and enjoyed the afternoon sun.