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MichaelG

River Great Ouse in winter

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Hi all, just wondering if anyone moors on The Great Ouse or tributaries such as the Little Ouse or Lark. I have had crusiers on those waterways before but only used them in the summer, in the winter they were hauled out. Just wondering what the waterways are like to cruise and moor on in the winter months. We kept our cruisers at a marina in St. Ives and most of the marina was under a foot or two of water for much of the winter. 

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We moored on the Little Ouse for a time and boated all year round but you have to watch out in times of flood as they open Denver Sluice and drag the river level well down

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There are two answers here.

 

1. The Bedford Ouse from Earith to Bedford is a fairly standard river, which floods (subscribe to the alerts!) and goes up and down. People do cruise all year round. But as you will know many take their boats out for the winter.

 

2. The Ely Ouse, and tributaries, and the Old West, is essentially a man-made drainage system, feeding water down to Denver complex. The water levels are closely managed, and in conditions of flood goes up near Cambridge, down near Denver (people end up on the bottom) and stays level in Ely (where I moor). The currents are usually pretty gentle, due to the huge capacity of the system (and the way the cuttoff channel works, though I don't think  it has been used for real for 15 years plus).

 

I cruise all year around, with no problem.

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As above ^^^ .

I have not long got back from a great cruise over Xmas/ New Year down to Ely and Cam and took the opportunity to have a sedate meander round the Lodes.

Last year I got well caught out and stuck between St Neots and Offord lock for a couple of weeks when the River came up somewhat rapidly after some heavy rain on Boxing Day (it wasnt even on caution when I left). All part of the fun of winter River boating-winter is a great time to get about-LOADS of moorings 😀

  • Greenie 1

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This is what Denver looks like when they open the sluice gates The water level is normally about 6" below where my misses is standing

DSCF0992small.jpg

DSCF0991small.jpg

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Have moored on the Little Ouse for the past three years and no problems experienced whatsoever. As has been said winter cruising is fine  but as always watch the weather. Will be leaving the Great Ouse system this coming spring to head back to the canals as were mis them 🙂

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As aĺl above, there is something special about the Fens in the winter, the only caution is as has been posted above ref levels.

Phil (river Lark)

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My family has owned moorings up by St Neots for most of my life and we usually keep at least one boat on the water, on flood poles, all year round.

Flooding usually curtails winter cruising though in recent years it is much better controlled. Years ago whilst living onboard i was marooned, stuck onboard for over 2 weeks.

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Fortuntaely no need for flood poles on the lower end - never even seen the water breach the jetty on the Little Ouse.

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I had the opportunity to navigate the Whissey in late October and thoroughly enjoyed it, you can turn a 70' boat at the head of navigation and there are moorings available. 

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Years ago it was extremely rare to see any narrowboat on the waterway at all. The Whissey is a lovely river.

 

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So true, Clodi. The only one's appeared to be those conning from Fox's hire yard on the Middle Level. Now there are loads of 'em 🙂

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2 hours ago, Clodi said:

My family has owned moorings up by St Neots for most of my life and we usually keep at least one boat on the water, on flood poles, all year round.

Flooding usually curtails winter cruising though in recent years it is much better controlled. Years ago whilst living onboard i was marooned, stuck onboard for over 2 weeks.

Thats an interesting section to moor on Clodi (presuming you are below PaperMills)- you can see why all the marinas/boat clubs are above you!

Paxton pits is one of my fave moorings-had Xmas dinner there this year without getting stranded 😀

 

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1 hour ago, Clodi said:

Years ago it was extremely rare to see any narrowboat on the waterway at all. The Whissey is a lovely river.

 

The Whissey is my all time favourite river. 

Phil 

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1 hour ago, Clodi said:

Years ago it was extremely rare to see any narrowboat on the waterway at all. The Whissey is a lovely river.

 

 

4 minutes ago, Phil Ambrose said:

The Whissey is my all time favourite river. 

Phil 

It is a beautiful and interesting river, varying in size from brook to lake, i was sorry to get to the end.

Picture of the most visible landmark!

20181029_112927.jpg

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12 hours ago, Phil Ambrose said:

As aĺl above, there is something special about the Fens in the winter, the only caution is as has been posted above ref levels.

Phil (river Lark)

HI Phil, hope you and your's are well and all the best for 2019....and all the best to the rest of the forum also.

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3 hours ago, BWM said:

 

It is a beautiful and interesting river, varying in size from brook to lake, i was sorry to get to the end.

Picture of the most visible landmark!

20181029_112927.jpg

And I believe they use the waste heat to heat glass houses to grow tomatoes. 

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41 minutes ago, pearley said:

And I believe they use the waste heat to heat glass houses to grow tomatoes. 

Lol. They do. But its definetely  not tomatoes- I believe its either  one of or the biggest grower of (medicinal) cannabis..😀

Saw a crane flying overhead last time I was on there together with a massive terrapin somewhere near where that photo was taken.

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5 minutes ago, PaulJ said:

 I believe its either  one of or the biggest grower of (medicinal) cannabis..😀

Saw a crane flying overhead last time I was on there together with a massive terrapin.

You saw a massive terrapin flying overhead? Had you been testing the medicinal cannabis?

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I nearly fell off the back of the boat when the crane went overhead. 😀

Apparently locals used to complain about a strong smell of cannabis so the sighting of an overhead terrapin may be a possibility..

Edited by PaulJ
To finish post
  • Haha 2

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8 minutes ago, PaulJ said:

I nearly fell off the back of the boat when the crane went overhead. 😀

Apparently locals used to complain about a strong smell of cannabis so the sighting of an overhead terrapin may be a possibility..

:clapping:

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4 hours ago, Clodi said:

Is that the sugar beet factory?

I believe so.

1 hour ago, pearley said:

And I believe they use the waste heat to heat glass houses to grow tomatoes. 

I noticed a huge number of greenhouses on the opposite bank.

 

29 minutes ago, PaulJ said:

Lol. They do. But its definetely  not tomatoes- I believe its either  one of or the biggest grower of (medicinal) cannabis..😀

Saw a crane flying overhead last time I was on there together with a massive terrapin somewhere near where that photo was taken.

A missed opportunity for scrumping!

  • Haha 1

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Fascinating to watch them swing the rotors to switch from vertical to horizontal, consider myself lucky to be able watch them operating. 

(Keep expecting to see Alice)

Phil

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