As you sit huddled on the sofa with the fire on, spare a thought for boaters!
As you may have seen on the local news, the recent appalling weather is doing nothing to fill the resevoirs. As the ground is so hard, from a long dry spell, the rain water isn’t soaking down into the underground resevoirs and helping the water table….it’s running off towards the rivers and the sea.
The rain is flooding areas, ruining crops by rotting them as they grow, getting rivers to burst their banks, ruining April weekends in the garden and generally being more of a nuisance than anything good.
In Northampton, a number of years ago there was a massive flood, many people lost their homes and lives too. Now Northamption has flood plains and a huge flood gate on the River Nene. However, we can’t quite see the point at the moment as the flood gates are open….. so Northampton is quite safe… BUT lower down the river we’re all having a tough time…as the weather just gets worse….and worse…
The houses in Denford are placed worryingly close to the river bank, and it’s edging ever nearer… our marina is filling up…..and up….and up….the mill pond of Oundle Mill is swirling and deep…
River traffic on the Nene has been stopped completely. All the locks are reversed – this means the large metal sluice gate is locked down and the wooden vee doors are locked open, allowing water to flow freely down to the sea. The knock on effect of this is the river levels are getting higher the further downstream you go, and our marina is filling up….and up….and up….
We’re taking a ten minute drive to the marina twice a day to check ropes. If we’re tied too tightly to the jetty as the water rises, the starboard side of the boat will be lower in the water and eventually it will tip and sink. If the ropes are too loose, in the strong winds it will bash about into the bank or the boat next door and cause damage.
The water levels continue to rise, our slipway and sale yard is now submerged, as the water levels go up….and up….and up…..
And still it rains. Had we known how bad the rain would be, we may have taken the decision to cruise to Titchmarsh, where the guest moorings are floating ones, so once you tie up then you’re safe to leave the boat. With locks reversed there is no travel, plus bridges that once had a good 2.5m clearance height are down to 1.5m – we have an air draught of 2m so we’re going nowhere!
Hubby has checked the boat this morning and loosened the ropes, and we’ll check again tonight before dark. It’s such a worry!
The worst case scenario is the water rises higher and boats float above the jetty’s, then once the levels fall, the boat sits on the wooden jetty until it eventually falls of into the deep and sinks! Oh my…. We ARE worried about our pride and joy!
I’m sitting in the home office, all snug but can hear the rain beating down, more and more and more – when will it end?
….next week we’re going to round up the animals two by two and put them on the boat we think!!