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Tuesday, 6 July 2010

28th June to July 4th on way to Cambridge

Monday 28th June


Another day of incredible weather. After our hard working weekend (!) we set off and cruised under the A1 and winded just before Roxton Lock. Didn’t seem any point in going further as Cardington & Castle Mills locks were shut until 2nd & we had to be elsewhere. Stopped at Anchor for a beer & a coffee, all quiet on riverside of pub and A1 rushing past the other. Not up to much. Tootled into St Neots. 5 miles & 1 lock.















Moored behind The Beez Kneez, Bob Morrison who we had seen in Peterborough, Whittlesea & elsewhere. Had a Bbq, first this year, on the staging. I was worried as to how hot it would get under the coals so stood it on a wet rug, but needn’t have worried, the rug was still soaking wet & cool as we finished cooking.
Tuesday 29th Fine bright & warm & our new inverter to arrive at 6pm & I had to get the other one out & looking pretty. Went to town for coffee & then to see the museum. Quite interesting, especially to see desks I used to sit at till the end of my schools days seen to be exhibition objects!!

New inverter arrived on time & I had it fitted & running within the hour, but it is a bit big for the cupboard! Went to the Priory for their curry & pint at £4.99, but it was not much cop. Bob rates the Pig & Falcon for good beers.

Wed 30th & we had friends Paulene & John with us. Their journey from Harborough was quick & a day’s parking was only £2. Lovely weather again & we cruise downstream to GOBA mooring near Gt Paxton for lunch. A good spot & good food. Cruised back & Paulene & I went for an amble around the town before Carol’s scones made a good nibble before they went home. Lovely to see them & show them this lovely river. 6 miles & 1 lock twice.















Thursday 1st another superb hot day and we used the excellent market in St Neots for more lovely fresh fruit and I also noticed there was a new M&S Meal & wine for £10 deal was on so we got this too. We had to get to Buckden Marina for Friday 8am so Hotpoint could repair our washer/dryer so around 2.30 we set off slowly downstream. After cruising for an hour or so we had a call from the Hotpoint man who was in St Neots & had finished his work for the day.....Hotpoint said they couldn’t possibly come to a mooring it had to be a marina. We speeded up & arranged to see him ½ an hour later.

Carol went to the clubhouse for a coffee whilst he & I set to on the machine, with him switching it on & trying to get it to repeat the flashing lights we had seen, but it just worked perfectly. We plied him with tea & cakes, he acknowledged he had not seen us & I rang Hotpoint to cancel the next day’s booking, saving over £100!!

Best bit about this was whilst I was emptying the loo Carol, started talking to two couples on nbs Heartsease & Kearpawni and we arranged to carry on down river a mile or so to the GOBA moorings for a drink. The moorings were lovely & all 6 of us got on so well that we ended up chatting drinking and eating till gone 10.30, finding we had mutual acquaintances too. What a great way to end the day! Thanks Tim & Wiggy, David & Liz, we look forward to meeting you again. Our drinks session was made more special by a Spitfire giving us an aerobatic display.....such a majestic sight and stirring sound from the engine. All this after a busy cruise of 7 miles & 2 locks!




























Friday 2nd we said goodbye to our new friends who were going on up to St Neots whilst we tootled into Huntingdon & stopped. Wimbledon was doing big things, but I went and had a look round Godmanchester which we started on a drizzly evening a week or so before. One or two interesting houses and buildings, but the church was locked & there was not much in the way of shops. Weather was great yet again and we tried out our new washer/inverter combination & it worked fine! 4 miles & 2 locks.

Saturday 3rd and another lovely day. We set off at 12.30 and topped up with fuel at Hartford Marina as well as emptying & watering. Refuelling was awkward as they had a stupidly short hose, but we were able to self declare, I did 20% propulsion, but that might have been generous to HMRC. Fuel here is not cheap at 82p domestic, but the marina in St Ives would only do 60/40.

Continued downstream through 3 locks, sharing some with pretty unruly day boats. Breeze got up during afternoon and there were quite a lot of boats moving, unusual for this river. We tied up at 5 on a bankside mooring near to the Pike & Eel. Lovely spot after 10 miles & 3 locks.

We love to see young sygnets hitching a ride
















Sunday 4th dawned bright but with a strong wind & we worried if we’d get off the bank, but it worked out fine, especially as the river was wide enough for us to wind where we had moored. Some people star early, it was barely 7 before the first boats passed us, we were away at 9.30. Next lock was Brownshill Staunch & the river becomes tidal for a mile or so here. Tide was out & the range only seems to be about 2 feet. There was a sanitary station & water point on a pontoon by Earith but we were OK so carried on to see these seals just downstream, they obviously like river fish.


Swans taking off on the tidal bit and Carol keeps trying for pics of Herons. She succeeded here.


















Very helpful lock keeper at Hermitage told us the river level was low & offered us a Towpath Talk. The Old West River was lower than when we passed the other way 3 weeks before but compared to canals it was almost oceanic in depth, but there was a lot of weed. A lovely cruise ended with us tying up at the GOBA moorings at Aldreth High Bridge. These GOBA moorings are generally in lovely spots, though some of them were a little short for a boat of Lily’s length. Well worth joining them if you are going to cruise these rivers. 7 miles & 2 locks, but we had to stop for mens finals!



So ended another lovely week, much better because we now have an inverter that is up to the task and didn’t have to pay for the washer to be repaired. Hard cruising too doing 39 miles & 12 locks in the 7 days!




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