Fancy a cruise across the Wash?

Published: Friday, 26 November 2010

A TRIP is being organised for the more intrepid amongst you boaters for a cruise across the Wash.

The trip across the Wash is one of the more adventurous trips that inland boaters can make between the various waterways in the UK and is comparable with the link from Sharpness to Bristol, David Jarvis writes.

Easiest and safest route

The Wisbech to Boston is regarded as the easiest and safest route. It takes one into the secret world of the Wash and involves a trip of five hours out on the falling tide, two on firm sand for a barbecue and in our case a dog stop and two and a half hours back on the rising tide.

We may go back via Black Sluice the first section opened last year of the new Fens Link from the Witham to the Nene rivers, where apparently there is an excellent hostelry. Both Peterbough on the Nene and Lincoln on the Witham are well worth visiting.

Suitable equipment

The Wash crossing is suitable for experienced boaters with suitable equipment including suitable anchor, mobile, safety ring and longer ropes. Insurance in my case is covered by Towergate Mardon for £30 extra.

A good weather forecast is vital for inland boats so if we are delayed we will go next day or later. In my experience this does not often delay that much given the time of year.

Guiding narrowboats

The trip will be on the 12th July next year, and the convoy will be lead by Daryl, Yachtmaster Offshore (Commercial) currently serving as crew aboard the King's Lynn Pilot vessels. He has been sailing the Wash and guiding narrowboats, barges and other vessels across it for 30 years, and comes recommended by several people who have done the crossing at different times.

There will be an experienced pilot on each pair of boats. We would expect to beach the boats on firm sand at low tide for a quick barbecue and dog relief stop.

Cost about £90

The cost will probably be about £90 per boat plus the cost of mooring at Wisbech which is the recommended kick off point.

My experience includes convoys on the Mersey last year and convoys on the Severn and the Manchester Ship Canal. I have discussed this with many people who have done the trip and all report a fantastic day.

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