Sunday, February 12, 2012

Ice try, but pointless

"Giving up," asks the Chipper Bailiff, as we survey the 60yd-wide glacier that used to be the Relief Channel. "I can't say I blame you."

I was half optimistic setting out, with the forecast predicting a rise above freezing for the first time in a week.

Drains large and small I passed on the way to the big river were still frozen solid. But parts of the Ouse should be clear, according to various mates.

It was clear down the middle at Modney, but clear meant a narrow channel packed with ducks, coots, grebes and half a dozen goosanders.

Ditto a mile or two downstream, where I thought they might be pumping a land drain off.  Ditto Wissey Mouth and ditto Denver, as I ran out of river to try.

There were great ice floes coming down the tidal, where I even thought of trying it for half an hour. I found the Chipper Bailiff by the Relief Channel sluice.

"Giving up," he asked. "Can't say I blame you. That's solid everywhere - been like that all week."

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