Saturday 31 July 2010

Holme Fen/Setchel Fen

We're back in the flat lands which are a bit dull after the majesty of the big wide river; this is us submerged between the floodbanks:
Mind you, it's beautifully peaceful and, if you look the other way, there are a few cows around to break up the sky line
Funnily enough, Daisy isn't very inspired either - she has spent most of her day asleep on her bed in the well deck; perhaps she's just exhausted from all that mousing on the Pike & Eel moorings.
I did find one tiny patch of colour:
As soon as himself has finished with the Grand Prix tomorrow we shall pull pins moving on to Popes Corner and turning onto the River Cam and pastures new where Caxton can collect us on their way through Monday morning.
(Note to self: Caxton's coming, must get to bed earlier in preparation for those early starts!!)

Friday 30 July 2010

3 into 1

Pulled pins and, almost immediately, arrived at Hemingford Lock thinking we would have to turn it; look at the lovely sight that greeted me when I hopped off MR
A feast to the eyes - those of you who are not in this neck of the woods will think I've gone mad but, to see a lock full of narrowboats, is a very unusual sight.
We continued on to pull into the Waits at St Ives for water and to re-stock but we had to hold off and hold off and hold off whilst 2 narrowboats took a very long time to reverse out - 40 minutes in all.
Eventually we were able to pull in, but it remained quite busy
One way and another the day ran away with us so we moored on the GOBA moorings by the Pike & Eel; in the next bay were a couple running their generator for a bit - when I went by with the dogs he apologised and explained that they were on their honeymoon and hadn't travelled enough to keep their batteries charged. I can't think how they'd filled their time but we had noticed that the river was quite choppy during the night!
We also met a lovely couple on a cruiser called Kooky Kat and we shared a lock or two with them when we left this morning.
We'd intended to moor at the GOBA moorings across from Aldreth, but the field was full of cattle so we wild camped a bit further on. Caxton was heading for The Lazy Otter and visitors so we intend to catch up with them by Sunday evening and head into Cambridge together next week.

Wednesday 28 July 2010

Look what I found, "Food parcels from Gypsy Rover"

I've just gone back through old blog lists and look what I found; 2 blogs still in "draft" which I didn't publish, this one from 5th July:

I'm liking food parcels. We're having lots of lovely visitors out here and they all seem to have two things in common - great company and they bring food parcels!
Sunday dawned fine and sunny but with very strong winds. We had arranged to meet up with Dot and Derek from NB Gypsy Rover (only just - soon to become Gypsy Rover as the boat has been sold) so, after winding MR and mooring her closer to Caxton, Lesley and I trotted off into town to gather the necessary requirements for a BBQ. Unfortunately the wind was so strong that it zapped all the heat from the BBQ and we had to take to our cookers.

This is the other one found pictures from St Ives Carnival

Tuesday 27 July 2010


It was such a beautiful day and, knowing the boat would be full of Grand Prix practice and qualifying, I took the dogs off in search of the butcher at Brampton who has an excellent range of  'ready' meals.
I'm really off cooking at the moment, but I still want to eat good food.
We moved on and actually managed to find a lovely 'wild camp' all on our ownio,
but, just before 9.00am on Monday morning some noisy buggers came past honking their horns and generally behaving like a load of yobs.......yeah, it was Caxton on their way back from Bedford and with Lesley's nephew, Jack, on board. I ask you, what sort of an example is that to set?
We trundled off in the opposite direction to re-provision the boat at St Neots - sharing a lock with only inches to spare
Literally nipped into St Neots, had a pint and a bite to eat and then invested a few shares in Waitrose before doing an about turn and heading off in search of moorings. Sadly, someone else had spotted our wild camp and we had to continue on through another lock. It was around 7.00pm by the time we moored and G shot out to do a bit of fishing. I'd nodded off, as had our nice (thank goodness) neighbours when G started yelling and hollering for help just after 10.00pm - why go fishing without a landing net to hand? He says it would be tempting fate, I say it's p*** poor planning.

One happy G; one inmpressive pike

Saturday 24 July 2010

St Tropez in EastAnglia

When G took the boat down to Buckden Marina for water I was in St Ives so, when we'd moored, I walked the dogs down in that direction. I was about to turn back when I spotted the roof of one of these lodges
This is an "inferior" one of only about 6 that aren't based around the water
All the other lodges have their own private moorings - those to my right were based around the lake with speed-type boats for water skiing etc
Those to my left were based around the river marina and mostly cruisers. Not only did each have their own balcony and floating pontoon, they also had their own parking space for their personalised number plated cars. The photos don't show it properly.
It's a lifestyle I would have been envious of 20 years ago - now I just smile whilst I remember how hard they are working to keep all the balls in the air, and that they have to go back to work on Monday. I know that sounds smug, it really is a super set up, but it's all about life stages and  retirement rather suits me.

Friday 23 July 2010


Huntingdon bridge (without drinking water)
MR turning back on to the EA moorings after Godmanchester lock where Daisy thought it would be great fun to do roly polys on the edge of the lock, the dogs barked everytime someone clanged the gate  and the local teenagers were having fun swimming in the river.
Needless to say, we only moored up for an hour before moving on into the park moorings which were excellent
These guys were enjoying the sun as well
The town has all the basics with excellent dog walking and some fine buildings
Across Port Holme meadow (reputed to be the largest meadow in England) you can walk in to Huntingdon, Hinchingbrooke Country Park and down the Ouse Valley way to Brampton lock and mill (now a restaurant)

Hemingford Abbots

These are the rest of the photos from my walk round the Hemingfords

I also found somewhere to tie the dogs in the shade in order to have a quick look around the inside of Houghton Mill The 'curator' offered to keep an eye on them for me

Thursday 22 July 2010

Hindsight 'tis a wonderful thing

If (and that's probably the biggest ever word) when we woke up Thursday morning, we were availed of the knowledge that we had by 2.oopm we would have planned our time differently. None the less, we probably ended up in the same place, but a lot later.
After leaving Earith, services seem to disappear! We have long since become accustomed to breaking our rubbish into small bags which can be posted into litter bins. We watered at St Ives, spent a couple of nights at the Hemingfords and then set off, confidently, for Huntingdon and it's water point. Knowing we were heading for water, I put 2 loads of washing through the machine. The water point is shown as being before the 2 bridges- we were then told that it had been moved to the bridge itself - there is water; it's a nicely tapered drinking fountain!
Lesley - NB Caxton - had already warned us that the waterpoint at St Neots had been turned off, although someone else advised us that you could turn the tap on via the gents loo in the priory centre !!
We moored at Godmanchester whilst we thought about it all, knowing we would now be in dire straits for water after 2/3 days.
If these guys are going to open up this ring from Bedford to Milton Keynes and the Grand Union Canal, they are not only going to have to look at the mooring availability, they are going to have to sort out the basic services BIG TIME. It seems that they currently rely on the fact that marina based cruisers will pop back to their marinas for services.
Thanks to Buckden Marina we now have water and are back out in the countryside on a gorgeous GOBA mooring, but we are cruising according to water availability rather than our own schedule.

Ouch! Where's the Arnica

Daisy popped in through the side hatch making slightly muffly sounds as against her normal "chirruppy" greeting. I dropped my book and legged it after her towards the bathroom, G dropped the computer and legged it after the both of us.
Somewhere in the confines of the bathroom she gave up the fight and let go of the mouse which promptly ran behind the bin. G grabbed the bin and dropped it on his toe - I grabbed the glass out of the porthole and bashed myself on the nose. The mouse was safely re-captured and released onto the bank without damage.
If you see a pair of old biddys - one limping and one with black eyes and a bloody nose - then you've found the crew of Matilda Rose.

Tuesday 20 July 2010

St Ives to the Hemingfords

G went off to his mum's, returning on Saturday in time to join Hilary, Alan and I for a pint in the excellent Oliver Cromwell, just off the quay. They were moored in the town on NB Heiland Rame (or something like that); we had just kind of got nattering (as you do) and rather hit it off so we ended up enjoying a Chinese meal together as well.
We left Sunday morning leaving Noble meadow to enjoy it's dragon boat racing
and moored up at the Hemingford GOBA moorings although our gang had to share with a few other 4 legged beasts
Not that Daisy was concerned - she was so happy to be free again after her incarceration on a lead in the town
Fabulous walking around the beautiful villages of Hemingford Grey, Hemingford Abbots and Houghton.

Sunday 18 July 2010


Last Saturday our very good friends, Pete and Sally, came over to cruise with us for the day and brought my Mum with them. This was a very special day for me as, at the age of 92, this was the first time my Mum had seen Matilda Rose. We spent the preceding few days desperately trying to find a mooring with road access and where we could get MR's bows level with the shore and close in (ie no gang plank). We finally achieved this outside the Ferryboat Inn at Holywell - although only in one specific spot along the mooring as the rest wasn't deep enough to get right into the bank.
We really needn't have stressed so much because, as usual, I had underestimated her physical abilities and she jumped on board like a good  'un!!!!
Holywell is very pretty and made a perfect start to our cruise into St Ives and back with only the one lock. My Mum has a family reputation for not being much of a "sailor" - the story goes that Dad had to feed her anti sea sick tablets before taking her on a boating lake - but she thoroughly enjoyed herself and the only bit she didn't like was the lock. Sally stayed up front with her for reassurance and it was very nice to see Sally sitting down and relaxing FOR A CHANGE. Sal bought food parcels from her amazing veggie garden (I'm beginning to think that a new law should be passed; anyone visiting people on boats must take food parcels).
The only shadow on the day was the abusive fisherman who took exception to us mooring on the mooring when we returned our visitors to Holywell!
Mum's day was rounded off by a visit to Ely Cathedral on the way home - she slept well that night and has dined out on her adventures ever since.
Thank you Pete and Sally

Thursday 15 July 2010

On a lighter note

The boys are enjoying the sunshine between rain showers, yippeeeee rain.

however Daisy was a little put out when taken out to see the sun, on a lead, yes on a lead, G says "do I really have to do this?" Yes it was your idea to buy the cat harness.

however, she recovered from the indignity and took up prime position on our bed.

GOBA Moorings on Nobles Field ST Ives

We have been staying in and around St Ives for the past week or so a couple of times on the GOBA mooring on Nobles field which is common land. The first night we stayed we decided to have a meal out and on our return we found a group of young people had set up camp about 20 feet away from the boat, this was no problem until around dusk they decided to light a fire, again no problem except that the fire was set about 10-12 feet from the boat. Now we had a problem, what to do? well a little chat with them ensured that at least one of them would be looking after the fire all of the time it was alight. These youngsters were really very well behaved and polite.
However, on our next visit to Nobles field, another group of youngsters had decided to light a fire, this they did under a tree which had probably not seen rain in the past month or so and they decided that for fuel they would rip down the fence leading to the old Golf Course.
Is this country really in such a state that we cannot find enjoyable things for our youth to do?