Category: Boat Update

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Day 18: Wednesday 14th July: The wrong sort of water

Little Paxton to Great Barford   Distance travelled: 10.75 miles                 Locks:   4       It still feels remarkable that we made any progress yesterday after the breakdown episode, and it was 3pm before we eventually entered “new” waters.       Keen to be back on plan today Ken was moving the boat away from its mooring just before 8 am – and indeed we had at least 5 miles and a lock behind us before he...

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Day 17, Tuesday 13th July: No more spanners in the works, please!

Godmanchester to Great Paxton Distance travelled: 10 miles Progress towards destination: 6.5 miles and 3 locks       Boat garb is usually casual, often grubby, chosen for messing about in boats. Last night’s Chinese Takeaway was brought on board by friend in a pin-striped suit and tie, he too having suffered a breakdown experience, his on the bus from Cambridge to Godmanchester. But our mood was instantly improved, wine, wine glasses and napkins were assembled and the evening took on a lighter...

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Out of signal…

Martin (Son-In-Law) here, Quick update via answer-phone message from a well oiled (Red Wine apparently) Ken who cannot get a good enough 3G signal to post a blog. Boat fixed thanks to helpful Nick who came to the rescue with couriered replacement parts. Boat back underway and still on target to reach Great Barford for Friday where boat shall be polished etc in preparation for Boat Fest! As is traditional, here is a photo to accompany the blog and as...

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Day 16: In a bit of a jam…

From Brownshill Staunch Lock (near Earith) to Godmanchester   Miles travelled: 11.75             Locks: 3       Last night I was reminded that I needed to refer to Ken’s departure from the Ely Marina yesterday: surrounded by fibre glass boats, two tight turns and gusting winds it was pronounced “perfect” by an onlooker from an adjacent boat.         What a peaceful mooring we had – no traffic, no trains and the only noise that roused us this morning was...

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… Day 15: Ely to Earith (Roots, Routes and Detours)

Sunday 11th July: Distance: 17 miles 2 locks Mint miles: 511 miles* Wind losses: 3       Back after the enforced break.        Never would I have conceived of putting the words “happy” and “OfSTED” into the same sentence. But due to the latter’s arrival at school (“Send for Ken!”) I have enjoyed happy hours with all four grandchildren (the Californian Three and the Cheshire One) and had opportunity to gaze upon Ely by foot, not just from the...

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Day 14: Monday 28th June: “Creeping like snail unwillingly to…”

From Upwell, the Middle Level to Ely, the River Great Ouse   [First, apologies to the avid reader(s) awaiting yesterday’s submission: only as darkness fell, with  the dongle tied high on a pole and Ken sitting on the front locker, laptop on his knee, did the atmospheric conditions allow transmission.]   Last night we were moored in the village of Upwell, by the church, alongside the main street. We were in Norfolk, and as Noel Coward penned for Private Lives “ very...

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Day 13: Sunday 27th June: Lost down the Drain…

From Peterborough (the River Nene) to Upwell (Middle Level)   It has taken much research to ascertain the navigable route from Macclesfield to Bedford and the Stanground Lock at Peterborough has long been top of the list of anxieties.  It is a lock that was lengthened but the cill of the previous lock remains and can prove a significant hazard to deep boats. Hence talk of ballast, bricks and batteries dominated the winter preparations while closer to the lock itself calculating...

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Day 12: Saturday 26th June: From Shire to City

Ken tells me we drew away from the Fotheringhay mooring at 0640.  Each night he sets his alarm clock for whatever time decreed necessary to navigate safely from A to B and to secure a good mooring at B. Years of Search and Rescue discipline make him instantly vertical and alert at the sound of the alarm.  Me, I need longer, and a full mug of tea in bed before anything remotely alert begins to happen.  Thus it was that...

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Day 11, Friday 25th June: Beer and bikinis, a beatbox and a bloodbath…

Cruised today from Denford to Fotheringhay, a shorter day than usual, mooring up at about 1400.   The mooring last night was canine heaven, perfect for dog walking and dog swimming. Mid-evening, just about ten yards along the bank from us, a dog was plunging into the water time after time to retrieve large sticks (logs?) for its master; once he swam right across to the opposite bank, scrambled out, looked totally confused – and then plunged back into the water....

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Day 10: Thursday 24th June – Bottoms Up

From Cogenhoe Lock to Denford: some fifteen locks, involving a great deal of hard work, and various attacks from nettles, thistles and wet ropes…   Overnight an invasion had taken place: the meadow we were moored beside had become inhabited by calm cows and their young.  Ken thinks they were Herefords (sign of a closet Archers fan.)  What was fascinating though was watching at extremely close quarters (say, about ten feet) a calf feeding from its mother.  It kept banging his...

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