technology, amateur radio, scouting and me

Nokomis days two and three


There’s not a lot to say about day two. We stayed moored up at Wellingborough Embankment and took a walk into Wellingborough.

The weather was not very nice so we spent most of the time in a truly excellent pub: the Coach and Horses in Oxford Street. 10+ beers, 9 (I think) ciders, knowledgable staff and great music meant that we were very happy.

After spending a quiet night at Wellingborough, we proceeded down the river as far as Irthlingborough. Our initial plan had been to stop at Irtlingborough for lunch and then carry on to Thrapston, but we were delayed getting away in the morning and decided to stay on at Irthlingborough after lunch.

Wellingborough embankment is known for its swans. There were nearly 20 of them plus dozens of ducks. Somebody came along and started to feed them bread and they went wild. On top of this there was one male that was intent on reinforcing his dominance by harassing loads of other males. All very amusing.

Wellingborough to Irthlingborough is just over four miles and three locks. Two are traditional with pointed gates top and bottom. The other has a radial bottom gate: a bit like the Thames Barrier. Varina handled them like a professional.

When we arrived at Irtlingborough, we were the only boat on the mooring, but more of that later.

The moorings are right by what was the ground of Rushden and Diamonds AFC. I say was, because they went out of business in 2011. The ground is now home to Kettering Town FC. The irony is that Kettering used to be Rushden and Diamonds’ closest rivals.

The site also used to be the home of the Dr Martens’ factory shop. This too has now gone as Dr Martens’ footwear is now made in China!

We moored up and had lunch and then made the decision to stay on. The weather was deteriorating and the time it would take to reach Thapston meant that we would be in trouble if there were no free moorings: Nakomis not having any navigation lights and me not wanting to sail at night anyway.

Having made the decision, we headed off into Irthlingborough to do some shopping and have a nosy. The latter didn’t take long as there isn’t a lot to see. There is a very interesting looking church, but there was a service going on and we didn’t want to interrupt proceedings.

Thus we headed back, had a couple of drinks and then I cooked up a splendid chicken curry. I also set my radio up and made a few contacts on 40m before the battery on my FT-817 dropped below the point where it would produce a decent signal.

I was amazed at how quiet 40m was. At home it’s a nightmare, with over S9 QRN. I contacted stations in Donegal and Berlin as well as a couple in the UK. I must operate away from home more often.

As the evening closed in, the moorings filled up until there was no space at the inn. One boat even arrived after dark and gave us a start as its headlight appeared alongside. I’m glad we decided to stop when we did.

It’s nice and quiet here: just the sound of cows munching grass on the other bank 🙂

Tomorrow, we’ll head down to Thrapston.

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