Thursday, 14 June 2018

The Old West River Part 2 & Ely again - 10th to 12th June 2018

Sunday 10th June 2018
St Ives to The Lazy Otter
16 miles, 3 locks

The only way to get back to Ely and then have a chance to explore the Cam is to tackle the Old West River again!  First it was through St Ives lock which we shared with the cruiser on the right.  This lock seems to be the place for broken down boats - one of the boats on the lock landing was under tow. 

The cruiser overtook us, but not for long.  Shortly afterwards we noticed they were talking to someone on a narrowboat on the wrong side of the river.  A cry came up from the narrowboat owner 'have you got any spare pipe mate?'  He was holding the said pipe aloft.  Sadly, we were not able to help - we needed the 'Cleddau chandlery' as Ken always seems to have whatever is needed! 

There were two more locks to negotiate - as we approached Brownshill Staunch there was a narrow boat ahead of us going through. 

There was a big difference in the water levels both sides of this lock - if you remember last time we came this way you could only just see the bar at the top of the lock gate when it was down.  Today the water was much lower.  We made it through in good time, but would we get to Hermitage before 1 pm and the lock keeper's lunch break?

Past Earith where the moorings were full

and still no signs of any seals - there were a couple of them around when we were here four years ago.

We arrived at Hermitage at 12:55.  I did tell the lock keeper we would be happy to wait, but he let us through, so once out the other side, we were back on the Old West River. 

There are a great number of grebes around and quite a few have had one baby, but today we saw one with two

We made steady progress and moored up on the GOBA moorings near a pub called The Lazy Otter.

With a great view out of the side hatch

The neighbours had a Monty look alike

The most surprising event of the evening was when a couple of reeds floated past our side hatch - I got up to look out expecting to find a floating reed bed, of which there are many here, but no...

it was camouflage platform for an underwater camera.

Monday 11th June 2018
Lazy Otter to Ely
8 miles, 0 locks

It was a synchronised departure with our neighbours this morning.  They kindly let us go first as it made it easier for them to back up and get off as they had a wide beam in front of them.  We made steady progress on the short trip into Ely.

The only excitement was watching this tern hovering hoping our passage would stir up some fish

Past Pope's Corner - 4 miles to Ely - Cambridge will wait for another day.

The Cathedral hove into view - you can see why it is called 'The Ship of the Fens'.

We made it and were welcomed back, but would we get a mooring along the riverside again?

We did - there was just the one space at the start of the moorings, not ideal as it was right next to a building site

 but it was not long before someone departed and we were able to move along to the mooring next to the water point - close enough to fill up without moving.  Despite the presence of many freight trains (and the occasional passenger train) going over the bridge to the right of the picture, they were not that noisy or intrusive.  This is definitely our favourite mooring in Ely.

Wednesday 11th & Tuesday 12th June

Our main task was a big Sainsburys shop and to collect our purchases ordered from Argos whilst we were there.  Yes we have given in and got ourselves a shopping trolley!
It is very light weight and certainly made the job of getting the new hose (the fitment on ours is beginning to split, so a spare is required) and a large shop back to the boat.  The bag does come off and the rest folds flat - even the wheels are removable making long term storage relatively easy.  In the short term it is happy standing in the shower until it is next required.

The rest of our time was spent just wandering around town, past the Cathedral and along the river bank,enjoying an ice cream sitting in the sun - mostly without my camera, but we will be back!

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