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Monday, 21 June 2010

14th to 20th June

Monday 14th

Still moored at Pike & Eel & dawned bright but cool and windy, but I had heavy work to do. I knew the old inverter was heavy, the new one is heavy enough, & I had to get it out of a cupboard that was a fairly tight fit to it. It took the better part of 3 hours of looking & fiddling & trying before I got the old one out. I reckon it weighs about 50 kg & to get it out I had to wedge it up and fiddle. I then read & re-read about wiring in the new one as it has 2 sets of output terminals, but fortunately Keith, the supplier was working on his boat in the marina so I was able to check with him & by 3.30 all was done & inverter power was restored!

I also spoke about the oil leak to Mike @ Debdale, fresh back from Le Mans. He reckons it was solely because the oil had greatly expanded. All I had to do was keep on mopping up the oil! We decided to stop overnight.

Tuesday 15th

Bright morning with clouds & a cold wind & we set off at 9, a kingfisher seeing us off his patch. An early start, but we were tied up by 11 in St Ives, mooring at the town quay. Just 4 miles & 1 funny shaped lock.

Walked around the town, quite pretty & I had a hair cut. Afternoon brightened & warmed up.

I saw this interesting take off of the Red Bull ad.

The old mill shown was where Clive Sinclair created the first pocket calculator, I remember buying one, and having it nicked! The mill is now apartments.

The EA drawing shows water at the wharf, but it failed to work. Drinkers sat on benches talking till fairly late on at night, but no problems.
There is the remains of an old chapel in the centre of the river bridge in St Ives & the 2 left arches in this pic are different as they were re-built after the Civil War as Cromwell blew up the 2 stone arches & replaced them with a timber draw bridge.

Wednesday 16th

Bright sunny morning with less breeze, away at around 11, but we only dawdled slowly to Hemingford Grey which Nicholson said was a pretty place, so we stopped, and stopped the night! About 2 miles & 1 lock was all we managed. Below the lock on the none too generous lock landing stage this pretty launch had been moored with no consideration for other boaters.

We tied up alongside The Old Manor House which, for £7 could be visited & the extensive garden viewed, but £7!! It seems it has been continuously occupied since the 1100's and this makes it the, or one of the, house(s) with the longest continuous occupation in England. The garden looked pretty & at least one coach party visited, but also dropped the people off at the village pub for lunch. We dropped in there too, nice pub, beer & coffee good. Rated best eating venue in Cambridgeshire in 2010 Good Pub Guide but we thought it looked a bit pricey so ate in.

Some lovely little houses in the village with plenty of thatch and a good shop plus a Post Office, with another one of those mobile Post Offices parked outside. Church in lovely location right by river & with a truncated spire after it was knocked off by a hurricane in 1741.

Also ambled to Hemingford Abbots. Shame about mobile home park on the edge, but that apart a gorgeous place.

Pub looked well worth a visit later, all thatch & beams, just along from a wonderful 17C timber barn, thatched, and then the church which was very pretty & in a lovely setting.
Hemingford Abbots church roof had good carvings & the remains of old roof paintings.

It was a bright sunny day but still with a cold wind and the evening was enlivened by lots of children practicing rowing in skiffs for the Hemingford Regatta in July. It was lovely to so many people out enjoying the river in a good village activity.
I don't think the Oxbridge crews have anything to fear from these willing youngsters!!

Thursday 17th

Another lovely day but still with the cold wind. After the lazy cruising yesterday we decided to really push ourselves.... and did 3 1/2 miles & 1 lock before stopping at Huntingdon! We have 2 friends joining us at the weekend & he has very limited mobility & we had been trying to find out a suitable mooring. We though Hemingford would be OK, but the Rotary Club sponsored mooring in Hungerford was ideal.

We went into the town to look around, not a lot to see but did visit the Cromwell Museum. Oliver was born in Huntingdon and his old school house is now the museum & very interesting, but twee so it doesn't take long to see it. Carol's back bad with too much walking on Wed.

Friday 18th

Overcast & rained fairly hard from 3. Ambled into Huntingdon to see farmers market buying meat for Sunday plus some lovely sausages & a couple of venison burgers plus some enormous Orgasmic eggs.

Set off after lunch asking people on boats moored just past A14 whether there was any water nearby & they pointed us to a tap at the Huntingdon Boat Haven where we topped up & I emptied the loo. There are just no EA provided services around. On the town moorings in Huntingdon there is a tap, but it is a push button one, and even then it has a square section so an adaptor will not fit. The other incredible thing is that boats on the river are allowed by the EA to use sea toilets!! (ie their toilet effluent is discharged into the river). We can't believe this, when we were on Carol's cousin's yacht cruising the coastal inlets around Sydney they still had to put their effluent into holding tanks. I shall be writing to the EA about this.

We managed under 2 miles & 1 lock before mooring in heavy rain at Godmanchester. Met a boat at the lock where boaters were from Countesthorpe where we lived in the early 1970s, & shared it with another narrowboat where crew were from Oakham. Stayed fairly unpleasant through late afternoon & evening so I set to to complete the base painting of our new watering can & Buckby can. It takes a very long time to paint the different bands of colour, but my job is done now & now it is up to Carol to decorate them with..........Lily Pads.

Saturday 19th

Another cool windy day. Walked around Godmanchester a bit but too cool & light not good enough for decent pics so returned to Huntingdon & bought provisions needed for our guests plus Carol cooked some cakes & scones and prepped veges.

In 2 days 3 miles & 2 locks!

Sunday 20th

Friends arrived just after 11 as sun was starting to break through. We cruised on through Houghton Lock & moored at Hemingford for lunch (fabulous) before Stephanie & I walked through the 2 pretty villages. The day moved to bright sun by 1 & stayed that way all afternoon until they left at 8 having seen the Gt Ouse looking lovely.

6 miles & 2 locks, meaning that in the week we have done 18 1/2 miles & 7 locks, not even a real day's cruising, but we have loved it!!

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