Well that was an eventful trip! The first time the SSA came off since December and we decided to go for it, figuring we could be in Bedford in a couple of days. So at 10am we left Hartford Marina and set off up river. Now if we had been more experienced we might have noticed that the water was still flowing pretty fast and we probably would have checked with the environment Agency that the river was clear of winter debris, but we were keen new boaters so blithely set off.
It was a beautiful day though a tad chilly and we made fairly good time. In fact we reached St Neots by early afternoon and were feeling confident.
As dusk fell we came to Roxton lock. Getting through was ok, but the flow of water was so great coming out we couldn’t make it to the pontoon where we figured we could spend the night. In fact Hamish had to really push the engine to get us off the weir protector!
So we carried on as night fell towards Great Barford. By the time we were close it was pitch black and we were navigating by torch light having found out that the headlight on Apple is actually pretty rubbish. It was pure chance that swinging the torch around the river bank we found the lock pontoon and tied off.
Now, we were both being brave while travelling the last couple of miles but in fact as soon as we tied off our knees were shaking and we had a big hug and admitted to each other how worried we had been.
so tea and bed was called for to get warm and recover. The next morning we went through the lock and moored up by The Anchor pub where we had a well earned couple of pints.
As it happened what we didn’t know was that whilst we were travelling the SSA had been re-instated and we probably shouldn’t have been out on the river!