Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Scary stuff on the Lee and Stort

Take heed of warnings dear boater when you venture up the Lee and Stort. Chatting to another boater up there he mentioned "scary lock", and I instantly knew which one he meant because we'd been there before.  It's the one at Stanstead.  Not only does it have a swing bridge over it that could crush or sink your boat if you are under it when the lock fills,

but it also has no ground paddles and the scariest gate paddles I have come across.

BW gives you fair warning.

I'm not sure why the current is so fierce through these paddles but it is.  Here we see it with the paddles just open a small bit

Special baffles have been put over them to reduce the impact, but as you can see, you don't want the end of the boat too near it if you can help it.

People also warn you about a very low bridge at Roydon on the Stort.  So you arrive at Roydon Mill and see a little bridge and think "That's not too bad", people up here must be whimps

Then round the corner you meet the road bridge by the station.

Aaah yes that must be the one.  See the big concrete blocks to guide you through the middle of the arch.  I suppose it's fair to warn people, although I've seen worse.  So you get through OK and think you've managed OK despite the warning.  The just round the next bend . .

Blimey!  Now I see the problem.  Can a boat really get under that?  That little cruiser looks as though it wouldn't.  If we get through and it rains, we might not get back.

Well, here we are on the return trip, and thankfully it hasn't rained.

The moral of the story?  Listen to the locals, they might just be right.

Is this our lowest ever bridge?  No.  If you want really low bridges you have to go across the Middle Levels, but take your chimney off first.

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