Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A result!

Here we are in Cambridge, which means that we've achieved one of our main objectives in this trip - that of visiting both of our sons by water, Richard in Huntingdon and Peter in Cambridge. Instead of the normal double visit by road, getting back home the same day, this has taken over thirty days cruising but it's been great so far.

The river Cam is rather nicer, and wider, than I expected. The countryside has more to see than the Ouse, although still quite fen dominated. There are a few nice EA and GOBA moorings too. Yesterday we saw what was probably a hen harrier over the marshes, a very impressive bird but too agile for me to catch on camera I'm afraid.

Mooring in Cambridge is not so good. Few places considering it is a tourist town. We just managed to squeeze in outside the Fort St George pub on Midsummer Common. Fortunate really because we chose to eat and drink there with Paeter last night and recognised Amy from Nb Lucky Duck and were also introduced to Emma and James from nb Kestrel, both on our list of favourite bloggers. From them we picked up some good tips about visiting Wicken Fen which we plan to do next. I see Lucky Duck features a picture of Herbie on their blog today. We're honoured!

Kestrel has been travelling a similar route to us recently although their next move is one we hadn't contemplated. Instead of coming up the Old West River on their way to Denver, they'll be taking the 20 mile shortcut on the tidal New Bedford River. Straight as a die, but very rarely navigated I thought. It'll be interesting to follow their exploits.

Coming through Baits Bite lock yesterday was .... er ....interesting.

It's all very well having these fully electric locks but when the fail safe mechanism (that prevents the top gate opening until the bottom gates and slackers are closed) fails, no-one is going anywhere. We tried umpteen times and so did the Cam conservancy staff without avail. In the end they deployed the manual over ride and we were through.

The last thing to tell you is in praise of the Met Office. Yesterday for Cambridge they predicted a fine day until four o'clock when there would be a heavy shower. Well you could have set your watch by it. At precisely four, just as we were coming into the built up part of Cambridge the heavens opened and the thunder boomed. Kath scuttled below at my insistence while I stood at the tiller, wet but reasonably confident of not being struck by lightning!


jan said...

Sounds like you are having a brilliant time.

VallyP said...

The Cam sounds nice and the pic is very pretty. Mooring seems to be a constant source of discussion. I always thought NB's could moor up anywhere they wanted. I'm assuming now this isn't the case?

Nice to know the Met office get it right sometimes - even the bad news ;-)

James said...

I wish it were possible to moor wherever you wanted in Cambridge! The majority of places are residential moorings, which come in at nearly £1k per year all in- but that's still pretty cheap!

It was great to meet you last night, and hopefully we'll see you out and about.

All the best, James and Amy, aka The Ducks.

Emma said...

It was great to meet you the other evening.

Unfortunately moorings are restricted in Cambridge, but visitors are allowed to brest up in the basin at Jesus Green, you just have to be ware that the Riverboat Georgina needs to be able to turn, so the lock stage needs to be clear. The residential mooring licences were desperately needed and there is a waiting list for them. What we pay for our moorings is literally just for the right to moor in Cambridge, no services. I did a blog on how this all came about last summer.

Kestrel and crew have successfully made our trip up down the New Bedford River and she is now out of the water being blacked. A report will be on the blog soon, we may pass you on our return journey from the Middle Level.

Best Wishes