Tuesday, 8 July 2014

To Great Barford

10.5 miles, 4 locks

The day started with a walk for Monty along part of the Great Ouse Way and then we set off in the sun again –we have been very lucky with the weather so far, so much so that I need to check the sun cream stocks before we head for home tomorrow.

The serious moorings here give some indication of the likely flood levels

 The first lock was St Neots is  long enough for two boats and probably wide enough for four

Today appeared to be ladies day at this golf club and they appear to be in uniform!

This is not a park - there is a house hiding up the top there somewhere!  One of quite a few such properties as we approached St Neots itself

 Now have you ever seen anything like this?  We guess it does not go anywhere and the grass makes good insulation.  I visited Oslo many moons ago and saw houses in a museum there that had grass on the roof for insulation, so maybe that is where the inspiration came from.

The next lock was Eaton Socon and we were beaten to it by a large cruiser - there would have been room for all of us, but only if one of us was in the cut out bit, so Cleddau went first

Good to see they think of cyclists round here

Trying to sort ropes before the cruiser left Chris swaps boats momentarily

and the cruiser just makes it out

and then it was us - Billy no mates!  And oh so slow - there is a 6.5 minute delay to empty the lock before you can fully open the gate and that takes another 2 minutes!

Under first the A1 bridge in the background and then the Old Great North Road Bridge - J Samson, Architect, 1820, Johnson & Son Builders

Does he have wrinkly feet at the end of the day?  I am not sure what his chair was standing on as it looked as though it was in the river.

Back on board and there I was in the bow minding my own business (well making a hair appointment for the end of the week) when suddenly I was joined by a tree!

The last lock of the day was Great Barford, which like the previous one (Roxton lock) was a one at a time lock.  The excitement however came from a different source.  Loud shouts were heard.  Was something wrong, was someone in trouble?  No a young lad had caught a large fish and adult help was required.  Boatwif and I watched the drama unfold leaving The Captain and Chris to moor the boats.

It is down there on the end of the line

A net is required

They have it

A chub - they reckon about 4lbs in weight

The quite rightly proud young man - as soon as this photo was taken the fish was returned to the river

The men did an excellent job of mooring on the EA moorings

Looking across to the GOBA moorings

Monty had another walk and just in time as the thunder rolled around overhead and the heavens opened.

Tomorrow a quick sprint (we hope) to Bedford where our car in waiting.  Chris will drive the Captain to his home to collect his car and then back to the marina to collect Monty, the dirty washing and I for the journey home.  Oh and we must not forget Monty's vaccination certificates as his jabs are due whilst we are home - another job to do tomorrow, phone the vet.  Mind it is easier to get an appointment for him than it is to get a doctor's appointment for ourselves!

Total stats this trip:

247.5 miles, 194 locks

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