Monthly Archive: June 2022

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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 ...

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Passing through Peterborough

Peterborough to March,15¾ miles, 2 locks Three nights were spent moored at the Embankment at Peterborough. There are far more attractive riverside mooring sites (just think of the River Avon at Stratford or Ely on the Great Ouse) but Peterborough was a pleasant place to restock supplies and to sit out what was predicted to be (and was!) a very wet day on Sunday. You can see the Cathedral from the river;   it taking about 12 minutes to walk...

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Much waving…

Oundle to Peterborough: 26¼ miles, 11 locks The River Nene passes Oundle in a wide loop. It took 1 hour and 25 minutes from leaving Oundle Marina to reaching Oundle Wharf within sight of the Waitrose supermarket.       (Here in 2018 a lesson was learned that an affluent area does not necessarily have a taxi service… For explanation, see here). It was 2 miles further on at Cotterstock Lock that a two man crew of an Environment Agency open...

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Notes from the Nene

Northampton to Oundle: 35½ miles, 26 locks From Northampton Cleddau was on the River Nene, pronounced Nen to rhyme with hen on the upper stretches, but Neen to rhyme with sheen from Thrapston to where it flows into the Wash beyond Wisbech. There are three sources of water supply that converge to form the Nene at Northampton. Water levels on this river can rise quickly; nowadays navigation out of Northampton is via the Washlands    and through a barrage gate. ...