Sunday, 29 June 2014

Into the unknown

Coming into Wisbech past the beautiful North Brink
Tonight we are moored in the Port of Wisbech looking forward to – no let me correct that; nervously anticipating – our trip across The Wash to Boston tomorrow.
Nervous? You bet we are! We've already come down the Nene from Peterborough on an ebbing tide that had us fairly racing along as we steered through the sweeping curves of Wisbech. Now, as we sit here, it's whizzing back in.
Tomorrow morning, weather permitting, under the guidance of our Wash pilot Daryl Hill we will be heading out on the ebb into the Wash where we dilly dally, perhaps on a sandbank, before picking up an incoming tide for Boston. That's the theory anyway.
For the moment, though, us and our travelling companion Nb Sea Eagle look desperately out of place among the tall masted yachts and bluff trawlers that we are moored among.
It's not exactly scenic, is it
The trip down here was desperately dull until the final helter skelter ride through Wisbech. The Nene is an artificial channel (albeit a 600 year old one) that runs ruler straight for eight miles to Guyhirn, before gently bending left and then heading straight on once more.
Bird spotting provided pleasant relief from the tedium: we saw little egrets, oyster catchers, sandpipers, plovers and even a solitary seal along the way.
And then it rained. Oh boy, did it rain; absolutely slashed down and every time we said "I think it's clearing up" it rained even heavier. Only as we neared Wisbech did it finally ease.
Coming past the Wisbech yacht basin
Wisbech itself is a gorgeous gem of a place – albeit one that's a bit down on its luck at the moment. North Brink, that runs alongside the river into the town, is a stunning mixture of Georgian and Victorian houses and hidden in the centre of the town is tucked away 'The Crescent' and its surrounding streets, another Georgian mastepiece that was modelled on Bath. Everywhere you look in the centre of the town are more lovely buildings. Once it was a very wealthy town and the port was central to that wealth.
The Georgian glory of The Crescent
Today's port is still a working ares to which has been appended a modern yacht basin of floating pontoons which is part of a major regeneration project for the area – part funded by the EU, please note Mr Farage – which already includes a stylish new office block and pedestrianed frontage.
Let's hope it works – the town deserves it.


  1. Good luck tomorrow, Daryle is a top man and loves bacon butties! Give him our regards, if he remembers us of course!

    You will sooooooooooo enjoy tomorrow.. Keep an eye out for black blobs in the water.. Seals!

  2. Enjoy the Wash and safe crossing to you all. Looking forward to the new explorations.