Category: Boat Update

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Sights and sounds of Ely

Thursday 12th August: A day moored up at Ely       Though now at 7pm the sun is shining brightly, this has been a rare occurrence today.  At best grey cloud, at worst very heavy rain – and all degrees of leaky skies in between.       We walked up to the Cathedral, via the rural route through the grounds, past hedges and slopes, horses and trees. You come across curiosities in this place, like the florally enhanced bike outside a teashop...

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Aspire to Ely…

Wednesday 11th August: St Ives to Ely,  22 miles, 3 locks       The three dish Thai meal last night was superb, cooked by a near professional it would seem, since Simon the Navigator indicated that he had taken a Thai food cookery course – in Thailand! We were picked up as planned, right beside the statue of Oliver Cromwell, conveyed to Houghton and Wyton, the back roads and village streets stirring distant memories. How the chaps talked, often opening with...

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Idling into St Ives

Tuesday 10th August: Godmanchester to St Ives 6.5 miles, 3 locks    Cygnet Award During our watery meanderings we have espied many swans, some obviously rearing families. Some of the offspring have been a fair size, a few quite small. Most make high pitched squealy noises and most parent swans are doing a wonderful job of protecting their young. One swan, however, is to be mentioned, but not as an award winner.   He (somehow I think it was a he) presumptuously attempted to...

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Drifting downstream with the dragonflies

Monday 9th August: Great Barford to Godmanchester, 17.25 miles, 6 locks.   To start with old news: picture attached of the trophy awarded in honour of our night-time illuminations at the Bedford River Festival.   It’s been a simply beautiful day – clear blue skies, excellent visibility and relatively gentle breezes.  We made an early start, 0815 into the Great Barford lock, although Adventurer the other narrowboat moored nearby, had already departed. . The river between Great Barford and Roxton is...

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The saga continues…

Sunday 8th August: Bedford Priory Marina to Great Barford, 6 miles, 3 locks   So on a sunny afternoon we set out, embarking on the 300 plus mile trip back to the Macclesfield Canal. The boat is laden with clothes for all seasons (well, September can be nippy once north of the Midlands!) and with substantial food supplies: indeed I keep coming across more boxes and packets of breakfast cereal.  Is there a shortage “up north” that I have not been aware...

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Bankside at Bedford

The Bedford River Festival happened – and we were there! Some stats for starters: Prizes won: 1* Participation in boat parades: 3 Cruise companions during parades: 16 Total number of callers: 34 Youngest caller on board: 4.75 months old Most mature caller: in 8th decade Most requested drink (Saturday): Pimms Most requested drink (Sunday): beer Empty bottles: numerous   Most unexpected comments: ·        Wow, I could put my piano on here (from a music teacher) ·        How much to come...

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Day 20: Friday 16th July: QI (for gongoozlers)

Distance travelled: 0.25 mile                    Lock: 1       So, at about 1pm Cleddau finally nosed into Bedford Lock, after a queue, a fair bit of rope-throwing – and absence of the hands to help as had been promised.   But of course, the Sea Cadets were all in school and no doubt will be much in evidence over the next two days. At the lock was the last of several very low bridges and the the Pembrokeshire flag (essential as...

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Day 19: Thursday 15th July: “There’s no such thing as the wrong sort of weather…”

From Great Barford to Bedford (Priory Marina) Distance travelled: 6.92 miles                  Locks: 3       It had been our intention to lie alongside the meadow at Great Barford and gently tend our boat, an illusion shattered on arrival yesterday by the lack of any form of official mooring space  – and by the wild and whipping winds this morning. The need to fill the water tank remained. Investigations of the under floor, the deck and the gas lockers did not...

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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...