Thursday, April 26, 2007

A cruise on the Ouse

Richard's boat, Bankside, needs its bottom blacking so we offered ourselves as crew to accompany him on the journey from his mooring at Hartford Marina, up to Westview marina at Earith where Bankside was to be craned out. Friend Rick also joined us for the day as boat jester and as someone who understands the technical gubbinses.

The bridges and locks on the Ouse are so different from what we are used to on the canals and made a nice change. We joked that it was an old person's river really because the locks are all electrically operated (and really slow). No muscle needed. Mind you some of the lock and sluice arrangements are huge in comparison with canal stuff.

We passed through St Ives with its ancient bridge with a chapel in the middle. This years Inland Waterways Association national festival will be held here. It won't be so quiet then!

We saw very few other boats out, but one we did see was broken down with an overheated engine, so as they were struggling to get back to the boatyard we were headed for, we gave them a tow. Bankside's engine performed manfully under the strain, although it did slow us down a bit.

We arrived in good time and moored up against the craning yard (Richard doing a brilliant turn in a very tight space surrounded by valuable plastic boats!). We didn't stop to see Bankside being lifted out, but we hope to see her going back in when we go back to collect her after she is blacked.

On the previous day we stopped off at Marsworth when travelling up by car, and after lunch at our favbourite Angler's Retreat pub, we stolled up the canal. Kath walked right past this heron without even noticing it!

Then just a few yards further on, we saw these ducklings and couldn't resist the photo opportunity.

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