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The Odyssey 2019: Day 8

Posted by alexgrehyauthor on 26 August, 2019

Southrey to Boston

Monday 8th June

We’re gonna need a bigger brolly…

We had a very peaceful night on the mooring, but Alex woke me up at 5am with an urgent need. Luckily, since the days of Ty, who was too scared to wee during the day, I sleep in my clothes, so it didn’t take me long to get out with the hounds. So close to midsummer, it was already light and although thick cloud had moved in overnight, the promised rain hadn’t arrived. I had hoped for a quick in and out, but poor Alex had the dire-rear – he’s such a clean dog he gets very distressed and panicked over finding a place in long grass where he couldn’t be seen – this took some time!

By the time I got back to the boat, I was wide awake and gave some thought to setting out and trying to outrun the rain. In hindsight, this would have been a good idea, but I’ve never been a morning person and went back to bed! I slept so deeply after that, I didn’t notice the boat behind us moving to the pontoon across the river.

Alex needed to go out again a few hours later – that time we actually got up and prepared to move. The heavens opened just as we cast off and that was that – it rained all day long, varying in intensity from bucketing to biblical – lesser torrents were not available!

We had installed a new cissy boater gadget in anticipation of the forecast rain – an umbrella holder which slots onto the tiller. We unearthed an umbrella and although the placement wasn’t idea, it did go some way to keeping the rain off our faces.

Richard took the first shift while I stayed indoors with the dogs – there is never any likelhood of their getting wet! I was a bit worried about Alex being unwell as the river banks are steep and lush, with little prospect of mooring. Luckily he wasn’t too bad, and it was easy to fit in stops at the frequent mooring pontoons along the river. We passed the moorings at Kirkstead and were very g;ad that we hadn’t pressed on last night – they were jam-packed!

Hurrah, the Boston Stump – it’s visible for miles so we weren’t quite as close to the end of our rainy day’s cruising as I’d hoped.

It was a miserable morning’s cruise – it really wasn’t far to Boston, but we suffered a sense of humour failure as the hours dragged on. The Witham is impossibly straight and is vibrant with plant and bird life, but the weather made it impossible to enjoy them. After a couple of hours on the helm, Richard came in to dry off and I took the helm for the next shift.

The Boston Stump was a welcome sight, but the flatness of the landscape plays tricks with your eyes, and it was far longer from first sighting to mooring up at the Boston Gateway Marina.

We’d booked a mooring at Boston Gateway because we were afraid that the public CRT moorings would be full. We also made an assumption that the marina would be safer! We’d been allocated an online mooring which made it relatively easy to offload the greyhounds. We got the boat packed up, but we were not carrying much home as we planned to be back on Thursday – the first day of our almost fortnight holiday. Richard called a cab from the excellent Acorn Cab Company, with the intention of collecting his car from Newark and coming back for us. But he discovered that the taxi driver was willing to take dogs so we all piled in. It was just as well, the rain was incessant and the journey back to Newark was slow – having a dog-friendly taxi had saved us at least an hour on our journey home.

The weather slowly improved with every mile that we traveled south as we moved away from the weather front that was to dump two month’s worth of rain over Lincolnshire over the next two days…


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