Boatwif Blog

0

Snippets and scenes en route to Ely

St Ives – Ely: 22¾ miles, 3 locks It was a pleasant evening at St Ives. Tucked below the wall of the Town Quay there is a degree of privacy not always afforded in a place where there is high footfall. From the quayside there’s not a lot of boat visible apart from the roofline.  On climbing up the stone steps during the afternoon there had been a barrage of questions about the amount of electricity generated by the solar...

3

Downstream from Bedford – Why do…?

Bedford – St Ives, 29½ miles, 12 locks Stripped of her flags, bunting and lights Cleddau looked somewhat under-dressed before departure from her festival mooring.  Down through Bedford Lock for the last time. Back in Priory Marina a mass unloading operation got under way as the gazebos, chairs and huge collection of Christmas lights were trundled by trolley off the pontoon and packed into a car to be stored back at home.  Oleanna (floating home of Pip, Mick and Tilly)...

1

Bedford River Festival

Countdown: with one day to go preparations continued during Friday for the Bedford River Festival weekend.  Council vehicles, white vans, delivery trucks – all sorts of vehicles – eased their way across the bridge over the weir just behind Cleddau’s mooring. Stalls and marquees were being stocked with items to buy and info to take away. Boaters set up encampments and transformed their boats into pirate vessels… A train of canoes (37 in all) was towed along the river towards...

1

Two Thursdays

A suggestion to mount a little local boat trip with a picnic lunch was mooted – and agreed. Passengers were loaded, mid-morning tea was drunk and then it was off out of Priory Marina with a right turn to Bedford. No, it wasn’t by way of Egypt    – that Pyramid is the tell-tale shape of the Oasis Beach Pool. From Priory Marina up to Bedford Embankment wasn’t far, the jaunt taking just over half an hour. There’s a lock...

0

“See you at The Festival…”

St Neots to Bedford: 13¾ miles, 6 locks The last stretch of the 383-mile Poynton (north Cheshire) to Priory Marina (Bedford) boat trip lay ahead – first though, take on water… If you ever run out of water on a boat it’s highly inconvenient, so it’s best to be sure…. Some years ago, while in Gloucester, the Cleddau crew watched an enraged hotel boat skipper rev his boat across the Gloucester Dock, infuriated that his guests not only all expected...

0

Blooms, bathers and blustery winds

St Ives to St Neots:  15½ miles, 6 locks St Ives – what’s not to be missed in St Ives? The Quay-side     and the St Ives Bridge is a very attractive area. It’s popular with locals and visitors, popular too with swans and ducks, terns and pigeons. These flying and swimming creatures make their presence known, either by nibbling away at weed on boats’ hulls, or by  scrabbling around on the top of the boat at dawn, leaving ‘messages’...

0

Slow boat to St Ives

Cambridge to St Ives: 30 river miles, 5 locks (18½ road miles) The College Bumps were over – but on Sunday mornings rowers of all levels of ability are out on the water… There was shell repair work going on at one boathouse   and magnet fishers en masse at the high wall near the Museum of Technology on Riverside. Cleddau was heading downstream now, negotiating her way past numerous rowers. “It’s better when at least there’s a cox that...

0

Bumbling and Bumping along the Cam

Ely to Cambridge: 17¼ miles, 2 locks From Ely to Pope’s Corner (from where a left junction takes boaters onto the River Cam) is roughly 4 miles, and from there on it’s a further 12 miles to Cambridge. Cleddau began her gentle pootle out of Ely on a clear bright morning.    There were Dutch barges to pass    and modern road bridges to pass under. On a hot day the Captain adopted parasol mode     – and wondered why...

2

Sailing towards the Ship of the Fens

Brandon Creek to Ely: 22¼ miles, 0 locks Maybe this map will help explain the various waterways mentioned in recent posts… The last blog post finished at a mooring site half way along Brandon Creek (alternative name for the Little Ouse).     It was blissfully quiet, apart from the wind in the treetops and the persistent cuckoo. The cows that had strolled by early evening had gazed dolefully at the boat and its crew and then moved on. This is...

5

The Drains, the Great Ouse and the would-be record breakers…

March – Salter’s Lode – Denver – Brandon Creek: 36½ miles, 2 locks Cleddau left March on Tuesday morning, ahead of the weed killer boat that had been lurking under the bridge, its crew ready to spray….  Out past old cottages, new infills, pretty river frontage gardens, out past kayaks on stands    and garden sheds, out past new townhouses    and a long hedge being carefully trimmed. In scenery that was predominantly green, white and blue occasional red poppies ...