Boatwif Blog

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Flypasts – and flow fast

Monday 16th August: Ferry Meadows, Peterborough to Fotheringhay, 15.75 miles, 6 locks       We sat on the front deck last night as the sun was setting, much relieved at the eventual departure of a little cruiser which had repeatedly done over laden and raucous music-blasting trips around the lake. Still a kite was being flown above the meadows and the sky and water warmed to glorious golden and pink colours. A mother duck supervised her brood from the neighbouring...

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A day in three parts

Sunday 15th August: Peterborough to Ferry Meadows, 3.5 miles, 1 lock       Our Captain’s preference on Cleddau cruises has always been for Boating Days or for Visiting Days, never the two coinciding. But a resolution has been made to allow for greater flexibility on our return route, hence our day in three parts…   Part 1: Morning: Domestic: a trip upstream to the large supermarket by the river, shopping, some tidying and carpet sweeping, watering, disposing of rubbish, attention to...

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A periscope, please

Saturday,14th August: Upwell (Middle Level) to Peterborough, 22.9 miles, 3 locks       As you enter the Middle Level at either end notices instruct you to book passage 24 hours ahead for your exit point.  This is probably a means of balancing water levels.  We were asked to sign ourselves out at Stanground (Peterborough) today, but as the lock keeper sagely said “it’s not that they are worried about boaters being lost forever in the reeds it’s more concern about...

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Straight lines and sou’westers

Friday 13th August: Ely to Upwell, 23 miles, 2 locks       “Be quick, we’re losing the tide,” said the lock-keeper at Denver Sluice. So we surged forward, down the tidal stretch, avoided the oh so slowly departing boat coming from Salter’s Lode Lock, turned left – and a minute or two later another memorable phrase: “That’s the best one we’ve seen all week.” There is a feeling of relief and success when tidal waters and tight lock turns have been...

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Out of signal in Upwell

Quick update from Son-In-Law here. No blog post yesterday due to lack of 3G signal in Upwell. Normal service should resume today.

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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...