Thursday 28th June 2018
Buckden Marina to Godmanchester
1.5 miles, 1 lock
A slight change to the morning routine - Chris took Monty off for a walk whilst I did a few chores. Alex arrived to re-fit the bow thruster housing around 10 am. By the time we had paid the bill for the service (it took forever for them to get the invoice ready), moved round to the diesel pontoon it was 12:30 by the time we left. It was another scorcher, so we just did a gentle trip down to Godmanchester.
First things first - you have to get out! Not that easy in limited space with a lot of cruisers around. A gentle reverse until, thankfully, an empty double pontoon gap appeared in that line of cruisers which Chris was able to reverse into and then get the bow facing the right way.
This is looking back at where we had come from
Next comes quite a tight corner - we needed to go left to pass the other side of Daisy
We made it to exit along the long passage past yet more timber homes
Needless to say we made it safely, turned right to get to the fuel pontoon, turned round, filled up, paid and we were then on our way. Just one lock for us today at Brampton and a cruiser in it coming up - good timing on our part.
This is our first solo lock for quite a while. Fortune was with us as a cruiser came along to come up and the helmsman came and gave me a hand with the bottom vee gates.
Before I could open the slackers on the bottom gates I had to wait for this fisherman to collect his rods and move away from the current that would soon be upon him if I had just let rip emptying the lock. This is the first canoeing fisherman I have ever come across.
The next question was 'do we do another 4.75 miles and two more locks and get to Hemmingford Grey during the hottest part of the day or do we call it quits, moor up and set off early to St Ives in the morning? Sense prevailed and we stopped.
Sadly the backwater was full, so we have tucked in at the end of the mooring by the lock
with a large cruiser at the other end. Once again a crew member came out and offered help with ropes. They mostly seem to be very polite round here.
The view from the side hatch is wonderful, but
although there is locking activity to watch from the other side, there is no shade to offer a peaceful spot to park your chair and while away the afternoon with a book. It is, however, immeasurably better than being stuck in a marina.