A Windy Trip

We arranged some time ago to go boating last Saturday with the Kinnings, our friends from Wolverhampton. They are more used to boating on the Shropshire Union so a trip on the River Nene was a bit of a novelty for them. Unlike over Easter, the weather was not at record breaking temperatures - it was in fact 15 degrees C cooler. Not only that, the wind, officially classed as moderate, was from the North which made navigation somewhat "interesting".

At White Mills Lock

Our plan was to go downstream two locks and moor at the Friends of the River Nene moorings at Hardwater Mill and then return to the marina. I must admit that around 11:00 AM I wondered if it was a good plan with the wind blowing across our mooring making even leaving our berth a bit of a struggle. However, the judicious use of plenty of power got us away from the mooring and some difficult  maneuvering at the marina entrance got us safely into White Mills Lock where we trained up the day's crew on how to use River Nene electric locks.

Passing under the guillotine gate at White Mills

The wind remained strong for most of the morning. A couple of rain showers came over, one complete with hail hitting me in the face, it actually hurt! Winding at Hardwater Mill was not too bad, since it was wind assisted, and we managed to moor up (on pins) for a late lunch on the FTRN moorings. Despite it being a Bank Holiday weekend, the visitor moorings were unoccupied for most of the time, although another boat arrived just before we left for our return trip. A bit different from over Easter when we found six boats moored up there.

Moored up at Hardwater Mill  with swans overhead and a chop on the water

The wind on the return journey became lighter, although rain was never far away. Getting into White Mills marina was a lot easier than leaving and by the time we were negotiating getting onto the mooring the wind had dropped considerably.

Earls Barton Lock

Last rain shower over White Mills Lock* 

Moving onto our berth

All in all, it was a great day out with good company. All the photos in this post, except the one marked*, are courtesy of Mike Kinnings.