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Jennifer McM

Wondering if anyone has cruised the River Lark?

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As we'll be passing Ely via the River Ouse, thought it might be interesting to pop onto the Lark. 

 

Wondering if anyone has done this, and how far can we sensibly cruise it (and obviously wind a 58ft boat)?

 

Thanks for any help

 

 

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Last place to wind is with one end into the slipway in the garden of the pub at Judes Ferry.  It's a nice river and the top section above the lock is nicest.

 

MP.

 

ETA the Wissey and the Little Ouse are both also worth a visit.

Edited by MoominPapa
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1 hour ago, MoominPapa said:

Last place to wind is with one end into the slipway in the garden of the pub at Judes Ferry.  It's a nice river and the top section above the lock is nicest.

 

MP.

 

ETA the Wissey and the Little Ouse are both also worth a visit.

Pub moorings not very narrowboat friendly though. We turned and moored on Isleham lock landing, being fairly confident we wouldn't see another boat. 

 

Edited to say you must visit the Drainage Museum at Prickwillow. 

Edited by pearley
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You do need good fenders if you moor at the pub. Jetty at right height to scratch your cabin sides. Islehan church worth a visit.  Also worth walking above current head of navigation to Mildenhall. Several derelict locks to inspect.

All three tributaries,  and all three lodes at Upware, worth exploring.  Good turning points for all six. I am in Ely tomorrow..

 

https://wp.me/p1Sf2V-1rS

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2 hours ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

 

All three tributaries,  and all three lodes at Upware, worth exploring.  Good turning points for all six. I am in Ely tomorrow..

 

 

But not for a 70 ft boat.

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20 minutes ago, David Mack said:

 

But not for a 70 ft boat.

 

Which ones are shorter? Little Ouse and Wissey should be fine, I think. Ditto Wicken Fen. I'm less sure about the Lark, and haven't been to the end of the other Lodes.

 

MP.

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42 minutes ago, MoominPapa said:

 

Which ones are shorter? Little Ouse and Wissey should be fine, I think. Ditto Wicken Fen. I'm less sure about the Lark, and haven't been to the end of the other Lodes.

 

MP.

The lock at Upware giving access to Reach, Burwell and Wicken Lodes is about 60 ft long. 

Brandon Lock on the Little Ouse is about 40 ft long.

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6 hours ago, David Mack said:

 

But not for a 70 ft boat.

Unfortunately not.  But a 58 foot boat will be able to get through the lock at Upware.  I am pretty sure that Willow (72') has been turned at the head of the Wissey,  Little Ouse (below Brandon lock) and Lark.  

Edited by Scholar Gypsy

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7 hours ago, David Mack said:

The lock at Upware giving access to Reach, Burwell and Wicken Lodes is about 60 ft long. 

Brandon Lock on the Little Ouse is about 40 ft long.

Of course it is. Melaleuca is 60' and has been through it without problem. 70' would not fit.

 

Brandon Lock is the effective head of navigation for many boats, but winding below it is easy.

 

MP.

 

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8 hours ago, MoominPapa said:

Of course it is. Melaleuca is 60' and has been through it without problem. 70' would not fit.

 

Yup.  This is as far as Fulbourne got in 2001. The Imray guide unhelpfully gave the width, depth and headroom, but not the length of lock!

 

Ouse15.JPG

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Of the three Lodes, Reach was the most awkward to turn a 57ft boat when we were there in June 2013. It was possible with some manual effort - but it was tight.

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16 minutes ago, Tacet said:

Of the three Lodes, Reach was the most awkward to turn a 57ft boat when we were there in June 2013. It was possible with some manual effort - but it was tight.

But at least you could see the bottom. 

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1 hour ago, Tacet said:

Of the three Lodes, Reach was the most awkward to turn a 57ft boat when we were there in June 2013. It was possible with some manual effort - but it was tight.

The foilage had I think been cut back since then. Here it is on 2016, straightforward turn.  Bows to the left, then reverse onto the Hythe (wharf)

 

dscf7670.jpg

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2 hours ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

The foilage had I think been cut back since then. Here it is on 2016, straightforward turn.  Bows to the left, then reverse onto the Hythe (wharf)

 

 

It wasn't the foliage - it was insufficient depth to swing the stern in an arc even with the bows in the bank.  It was solved by shafting the bow round.  It didn't take too long

 

But maybe we weren't in the best spot.    The channel was narrow and weedy too - but, you just keep on.

 

http://lh6.ggpht.com/-N3uP6mUy9SM/UcoHt-z8FhI/AAAAAAAAM5M/xcc-Gj51M8g/s1600-h/P1090987%255B3%255D.jpg

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11 hours ago, Tacet said:

It wasn't the foliage - it was insufficient depth to swing the stern in an arc even with the bows in the bank.  It was solved by shafting the bow round.  It didn't take too long

 

But maybe we weren't in the best spot.    The channel was narrow and weedy too - but, you just keep on.

 

http://lh6.ggpht.com/-N3uP6mUy9SM/UcoHt-z8FhI/AAAAAAAAM5M/xcc-Gj51M8g/s1600-h/P1090987%255B3%255D.jpg

It is indeed rather narrow and shallow - there are moments where you are definitely gliding through the silt.  I don't think I touched the bank with the bows, more that I carried straight on and then reversed around the corner. I can't promise I didn't use the pole. But it's different every time.... Burwell and Wicken are much easier.

11 hours ago, Chris G said:

Last year we winded a 57' narrowboat at Judes Ferry - stern into the slipway.

you can turn a 70' boat there. This is indeed the best way to turn here, the current takes the bows around very nicely. 

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On 15/06/2018 at 08:23, MoominPapa said:

Of course it is. Melaleuca is 60' and has been through it without problem. 70' would not fit.

 

Brandon Lock is the effective head of navigation for many boats, but winding below it is easy.

 

MP.

 

I nearly got nicely stuck at Brandon in November. The water level was about 18" below the normal level, due to very low fresh water flow over several months. I discovered a very nice gravel shoal that went most of the way across the river, about 100 yards below the weir (staunch). Eventually I found the gap (on the right/south side) and then got to deeper water to turn. 

 

At normal water levels it's easy to turn, as you say.  

 

Very pleasant walk along the river towards to Thetford.  There is now some serious talk about restoring that section to navigation - not too much civil engineering would be necessary.

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29 minutes ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

I nearly got nicely stuck at Brandon in November. The water level was about 18" below the normal level, due to very low fresh water flow over several months. I discovered a very nice gravel shoal that went most of the way across the river, about 100 yards below the weir (staunch). Eventually I found the gap (on the right/south side) and then got to deeper water to turn. 

 

At normal water levels it's easy to turn, as you say.  

 

Very pleasant walk along the river towards to Thetford.  There is now some serious talk about restoring that section to navigation - not too much civil engineering would be necessary.

 

I think I'm pining for the Fens. Must organise a Boston to Wisbech Wash trip, followed by an Ely Ouse re-visit and canal return via the Nene.

 

MP.

 

 

 

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50 minutes ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

 

Very pleasant walk along the river towards to Thetford.  There is now some serious talk about restoring that section to navigation - not too much civil engineering would be necessary.

I've cruised a fair way above Brandon Lock.  But as it was 45 years ago, it is a rather hazy recollection apart from my parents taking a joint, unplanned into the river.  I appreciate the lock has been built/rebuilt since, but I don't recall it at all. 

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1 hour ago, Tacet said:

I've cruised a fair way above Brandon Lock.  But as it was 45 years ago, it is a rather hazy recollection apart from my parents taking a joint, unplanned into the river.  I appreciate the lock has been built/rebuilt since, but I don't recall it at all. 

Did you mean to tell us all that your parents took drugs??  Anyway, I had thought that the lock was built when the cutoff channel and associated works were completed in 1962. But it may be more recent than that, I'm not sure.

You can see remains of an existing lock and weir quite a long way downstream, at Botany Bay.

2 hours ago, MoominPapa said:

 

I think I'm pining for the Fens. Must organise a Boston to Wisbech Wash trip, followed by an Ely Ouse re-visit and canal return via the Nene.

 

MP.

 

 

 

Sounds a good plan. I'm intending to do the same route, as part of a larger group. Also clockwise, but starting in Ely.  May go via Braunston and Fradley rather than Leicester.

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