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Day one on Nokomis

Day one on Nokomis

Adventures on the river

For some time now, my brother in law’s friend has been suggesting that Varina and I take Nokomis away for a few days. Nokomis, named after Hiawatha’s grandmother, is a 49 foot narrow boat based on the River Nene near Wellingborough. It used to be a house boat but now sits idle for most of the time.

This year, we decided to take them up on the offer and plan to pootle down the river as far as Peterborough, visiting various places along the way.

Nokomis is moored at Wollaston lock, and after loading a mass of gear, food and booze, we got way about 1:30. The Nene is a lovely river, but public moorings are few and far between, so we opted to go only the short distance into Wellingborough on day one as we wanted to take a look round the town and visit a couple of pubs.

We only needed to navigate two locks on day one, Wollaston itself and Wellingborough Upper. The latter was interesting as there were two dead sheep floating in the entrance; one of which preceded us into the lock and got trapped behind one of the lower gates. This made the exit a bit tricky, particularly as it was stuck behind the port side gate and the ladder was also on that side. Varina was working the lock and had to hop aboard from that ladder.

No matter, we got to Wellingborough and moored up just after the bridge. We are on the bend, so only the stern is alongside, but that’s OK. We had been warned about the occasional pranks of the locals, mainly casting off boats in the middle of the night, so we are chained up as well.

After spending some time getting organised, we had a few drinks, a nice leisurely meal and played a few board games before having an early night. So far so good, until we were rudely awoken by one of the CO detectors going off. The boat is old and uses gas for heating water and cooling the fridge. The fridge is temperamental at the best of times and I put the problem down to that. We turned off all the gas, opened the windows and went back to sleep. Oh, we also removed the batteries from the detector. Bad boy!

As we awoke refreshed and alive, I assume we were OK. I know it’s probably not the best course of action, but I reasoned that the source was removed and the windows were open to clear any residue.

Unfortunately, the weather had taken a turn for the worse overnight and there was rain in the air. Ho hum.

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