We're sitting here in Herbie on a gently falling tide, having been watching oystercatchers on the bank, and a seal which surfaced only yards away. "I thought you were on the fens" I hear you ask. Well we are - at Earith on the short tidal stretch of the Ouse between Hermitage lock and Brownshill staunch. Hermitage has a lock keeper, and he gave us a formal welcome to the Ouse. Very nice but strange as I thought we had been on it since we came through Denver sluice. Still I think this is now the Ouse proper, not messed about by artificial cuts and drainage systems.
We knew about the local seal, but didn't think we'd be lucky enough to see him/her. The whole place is teeming with wildlife. Apart from the seal and the oystercatchers, we've had a great swallow diving diplay, watched a tern divebombing for fish, seen a fox stalking rabbits, and of vourse the obligatory ducks geese and swans. This is the very edge of the fens and from tomorrow we'll be pulling south westwards away from them. Fascinating as they are we'll be glad to be somewhere where there is a view. Most of the last few days have been spent looking at grass flood defences.
Of course Ely was lovely, and before we set off today we looked round the cathedral, which was lit by erie shafts of string light through the upper windows and I got some good pictures like this one of the light from the famous octagonal lantern.
St Ives and hartford tomorrow.