Monday 25th to Sunday 31st July 2011.
Has anyone discovered a deterrent?
At least with spiders you can scare them off with conkers. Though I did find one in bed the other night now we know whats biting V, it wasnt me after all.
And then there are the flies. If you want to know what swallows and swifts are catching on the river then wipe the boats side with baby oil and in the morning youll have the answer half a ton of tiny black flies.
We took a day off from boats on Tuesday and caught the train to Kings Lynn. £4 return from Downham Market didnt seem too bad. A walking tour of the town took in two museums we hadnt done before, three if you count the café on the river front with an environmental display on the floor above. We picked up a wadge of vouchers from the museum by the bus station and used them to ease our wallets on the remaining entrance fees.
We popped back to Denver river bank mid week and on Thursday we hung around the sluice until low tide to see what everyone was moaning about. Couldnt believe how quickly the silt has appeared after the IWA festival a couple of years or so ago.
It might be worse than before because it was easy enough to see the mud banks then and slip between them but at this stage in their development they cant be seen until its too late.
Just where we used to pull off the centre of the river and head for the lock is now a submerged island both sides of high tide. They catch you unawares, particularly during neaps, when high tide is at its lowest.
Judging by the grooves cut into the mud there have been a couple of narrow escapes. The lockie told us that recently a boat got caught right on the top and had to stay there until next tide. In fact he almost didnt get off the mud then because the following tides were lower as springs turned to neaps.
Hes repeatedly warned EA but has heard nothing from them.
I also asked him about popping out on the ebb tide to Kings Lynn and sitting on the sand banks before coming back with the tide but Im afraid the Editor might knobble that bit of info, so less said the better.
Otherwise its all roses down on the Channel, unless the algae covered weed worries you. A little light rolling and you could play bowls on the stuff outside the Relief Channel lock. If only we could eat it. Could the Welsh give us some advice, I wonder.
The sun has been seen once or twice this week, and when it lasts all day it presents us with smashing shades of blue towards evening.
I couldnt resist taking a photograph of The Dabbler as she cruised serenely up river.
On Friday (29th) V took a walk to Denver to have a look at the mill that we can see across the fields from the sluice. She discovered wed been there before, long, long ago when we had wheels and it hasnt changed. Hasnt changed for hundreds of years, I shouldnt be surprised.
On the way back she accepted a lift from a kind fella on a horse and trap (or cart?). She was beaming from ear to ear when she got back and told me about how she stood on the back step for the journey home. It was only a pity she didnt get the gentlemans name, or for that matter, a full photograph.
While V was away I pulled the fridge out, as one does, and stuck a wire on the back so that I could monitor the compressor cycle times. Initial results with a 230VAC fridge show that power is being consumed for an average of 10 minutes each hour, day or night making little difference. What that translates to in Amp/Hours during summer and winter months will be revealed later but just now it varies between 20 and 30 AHr/night (between 10.30pm and 7.30am). [Later…. after restocking the fridge its ‘on’ cycle time increases dramatically, 20 minutes in each hour for 24 hours]
By the way, it is a robins nest on the back of the life ring, I saw dad making a delivery during our water stop and couldnt resist taking another photograph. Theyre better trained now, no open beaks when I make the sound of a worm.
But no matter, Im still of the opinion that this is a great place to be, cruising the wide open water with the wind in your hair (not much of that left – Ed), theres nothing like it. Oh I do love rivers.