Author: admin

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Rudyard for fun and frolics

        After weeks of river cruising the Cleddau crew were back in canal-land last weekend. 17 months ago there had been one of those Keep this date free emails:  keep the July 12th/13th 2014 weekend free for an Event to mark my 40th birthday, was the message issued by Techno Son-in-Law.   The Event, two years in the planning, had no requirement for dinner jackets or ball gowns but a dress code of scruff gear and kit for getting wet…        ...

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Jumping ship

Great Barford to Bedford        An early departure was agreed for Wednesday from Great Barford – there were three locks and seven miles to go to the Priory Marina in Bedford.         Late on Tuesday afternoon Boatwif glimpsed a flash of white (and some black) sidling past the cabin window.  Boat Dog from Tentatrice had decided to absent himself from the stern deck of his boat and to position himself comfortably on the grassy bank overlooking the river. From here he...

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So whose water is it anyway?

Great Ouse: Godmanchester to Great Barford        At 8pm on Sunday at Godmanchester litter was piled high by the park bins and spread thickly across the areas favoured by the local teens. But, magic! By 10am on Monday morning all was gone. Just the steel frame of the stage area was left to be dismantled after Godmanchester’s Gala on Saturday and Picnic in the Park on Sunday.  No crowds jostled on the Chinese footbridge now and no boats lined the riverbank...

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Great Ouse: St Ives to Godmanchester

            “Have your camera ready” would be suitable advice for any first time traveller along the river between St Ives and Godmanchester.             By late morning on Saturday Cleddau and Tentatrice were pulling back from the St Ives Bridge, allowing some rowers through, before passing under the centre arch, close to another of St Ives’ yellow bicycles.             Within a few miles there would be a glut of church towers and spires: All Saints Parish Church, the stubby tower of Hemingford Grey,...

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Upstream to St Ives

             From about a mile out of Ely you can look back and appreciate the immense size of Ely’s Cathedral. There will be fond memories of this summer’s Ely days. It’s a compact town with a village feel – and many lovely buildings. There are busy spots of course, as well as quiet corners. Look at this little space, quite near the waterfront. Observe the car – a neat but distinctive Morris Minor. It’s often parked there. For a while...

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The Delights of Ely

              Ely’s attractive waterfront is a draw for many – for those who come to stroll and eat and watch as well as those who want to be on the water.             Cleddau and Tentatrice both arrived thirsty on Monday afternoon. Fuel at the Cathedral Marina was expensive (the only tax split the marina allows is 60% propulsion , 40% domestic heating and lighting) but while waiting to refuel life on the river proved entertaining. You can hire water bicycles. You...

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A look at the River Lark

           A few bleak mid-winters ago when afternoons were short and time was slow wistful thoughts turned back to boating exploits. Photo albums were delved into, pictures extracted, scanned and printed – and the on-board archive was born.           Within these books are shots (often shaky) of notable waterways features seen from Cleddau over the last twenty years. To the books after the 2013 cruising were added shots of Chester, Ellesmere Port and Droitwich. After yesterday’s cruise perhaps another new-to-Cleddau waterway...

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Up – and down – to Denver

           By 9am on Saturday morning the tide had come in. Come in from where? From the Wash.  Look downstream and somewhere further down is King’s Lynn and beyond that the sea.          Behind where Cleddau and Tentatrice were moored was another structure, the Old      Bedford Sluice and the tide was racing in through it up the tidal Old Bedford River.          Boat checked and ready.           Crew checked, life-jacketed and ready.           At about 9.30 along came the lock keeper on his...

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At and below sea level

 Wednesday          Stanground Lock is about a mile from Peterborough’s Embankment along the Stanground Back River. . Boaters need to book passage through this lock which lowers boats down to sea level. The lock keeper (like her father before her) adores her job and lives in a delightful house beside her lock. On locking through boat names and numbers are recorded, and in exchange a Middle Level Navigation Notes booklet and some fenland tourist information is handed to the boater.          It...

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Peterborough – it’s all in the timing…

          On Sunday morning it was an early departure from the pontoons in Ferry Meadows: across the lake, along the channel and a gentle turn out onto the Nene, heading for Peterborough.  At the Yacht Club a long row of cruisers were tied in front of an equally long row of wooden cabins. After Overton Lock came the canoe slalom and then it was a smooth broad cruise towards the city centre. Visit the city by car and there is...

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