Saturday 28 August 2010

Return to Ely and things that go bump in the night

We returned to Ely as G needed to go to his mum's for a couple of nights. We only managed to find a mooring due to the kindness and courtesy of three cruisers- one of which moved and two breasted up to make room for us a lovely bunch of guys who couldn't have been more helpful.
However, the nice cosy glow was quickly eradicated when, after G had left, I discovered Scotch Mist moored further up. I didn't think he would recognise me away from MR, but if he were to walk along into the park with his dog, then 66ft of MR is impossible to miss.
Having gone to bed and to sleep, I was somewhat alarmed to be woken by a bash on the side of the boat, but it turned out to be a fisherman holding an enormous fish. Evidently G had been talking to him and said if he caught a Zander could we have it. Scrabbling around in my dressing gown we dumped it in our mop bucket (it was already dead) where it could wait until the morning for me to deal with. Zander are one of few fish to come out of the rivers which are good to eat (to British tastes anyway).
The following morning I was out on the side with my biggest chopping board doing my best to fillet it. Needless to say it attracted a fair bit of attention and I overcame the desire to say that I caught it! As luck would have it, 5 people with serious cameras showed up from Ipswich doing a photo shoot  on Ely and one of them was also a chef. My fillet wasn't as professional as his, but it was passable and duly deposited in our freezer. Because they promised to e mail me their professional photos I didn't take any of my own and sadly I haven't received any. Eaten and thoroughly enjoyed by us and grandson several days later - it tasted a lot like Sea Bass and G now has encouragement to catch as many as he likes.

Two men came to mow

Headed back towards Waterbeach in improving weather

When we arrived at Waterbeach the water was quite low, so we pulled the front in and hung the back out on a mud weight. This proved to be quite useful as, not long after we arrived, two men in this gorgeous boat turned up looking for a short term mooring so that they could mow the bank
The moorings, otherwise full, we just popped her inside MR
These guys are volunteers who have spent a lot of time turning this jungle like bank into a little piece of nicely mown bank after it was purchased by GOBA. Thank you guys for all your hard work and enthusiasm. One of our favourite moorings.

Friday 27 August 2010

Having another go at Cambridge pics

This city is so beautiful and compact you can just mosy about
I thought this one was going in, but not so
When our time is done, one of these might be rather nice - especially across the pond
For me, the essential Cambridge
We just loved it .....we will return

Thursday 26 August 2010

Waterbeach into Cambridge

Re-united with Caxton and Floyd & Fletcher..oh..and Lesley and Joe... with a pint in the dog friendly White Lion (not mentioned or indicated in the Imray book) in Waterbeach. Set off for Cambridge in the morning through the picturesque Baits Bite Lock. I love the Waterbeach mooring - great dog walks, 2 general stores, 2 pubs, butcher and a baker (not aware of any candlestick makers).
We moored on midsummer meadow as there were loads of empty spaces and local boaters suggested we should use them rather than see them wasted. The "visitor moorings" are now only on one side and tiny and accommodate around 3 cruisers long by 2 abreast AND the waterpoint. Not ideal for the accommodation of 2 narrowboats 66 and 68 ft long respectively!!!
Think one of the moorings we "borrowed" belonged to NB Lucky Duck away on her summer travels-thank you. What a stunning city and location-here are some of the pics:

The market was a great place to re stock with herbs and spices (including those hard to find ones) at the quantities you require in plastic bags - not expensive glass jars. Needless to say, I came away with some I'm not sure to do with and will probably never use; never mind, at least they were cheap.
I'm probably about to upset some people now (that'll make a change then) but, having lived around Oxford for a number of years, Cambridge is more enticing. Both, of course, have their architecture, colleges, punts, rowing rivalry, but Cambridge is compact and-unlike Oxford-has sorted it's traffic problems. I adored it and could easily spend 2 or more weeks there.
Had a good old poke about the city and met some fascinating people - but don't you always if you take the time, or have the luxury of taking the time?
For some reason, I can't transfer my photos from uploaded to blogger into the blog itself, so I'll have another go tomorrow.

Wednesday 25 August 2010

Who ate all the pie.... salad

..and why was one container tasty and one not?
This container has been completely decimated overnight
This is MR on the lovely new GOBA moorings at Waterbeach and himself taking advantage of the good weather to do a bit of painting (a good excuse for a paddle really)
Meanwhile we all wait patiently for Caxton to catch up after a spot of electrical problems that detained them in Ely
In anticipation of the arrival of Floyd and Fletcher, Daisy guards the "wack wack" on Muttley's behalf

Tuesday 17 August 2010

The F word Returns

This evening I and my Grandson were fishing off the back of MR when A cruiser by name of Scotch Mist pulled into the mooring slot behind us, before I knew it the perpetrator of the abuse that both I and Jill had received a couple of weeks ago decided he would have another go, less of the foul language this time, I suspect as Dainion was standing next to me, but called me a bully as we had reported his previous abuse to the Environment Agency, they had visited him in Ely recently.
This is the response that we have so far had from the Commodore of the Ouse Valley River Club:

Dear Jill
Thank you for your email which I received on my return from a business trip to the North West England this evening.
I was shocked and very concerned on receipt of your formal complaint concerning a loyal and dedicated member of our club. I have forwarded your email to our club Honorary Secretary and we will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding this incident when Scotch Mist returns to the club which we expect to be towards the end of this month.  We will provide a formal response to you once we have had the opportunity to review the incident with the skipper of Scotch Mist.
In the mean time please be assured that we, the OVRC, strives to maintain the highest standards of conduct at all times and will vigorously investigate this alleged incident.
Vic Driver
OVRC Commodore
I suspect that the skipper of Scotch Mist will deny all the alleged charges but that's not my concern, the fact that he has been reported to both the above Agencies will, I hope, make him think twice before attacking people both verbally and maybe physically.

Monday 2 August 2010

Pics from yesterday's cruise

Poor old girl long since  abandoned
I can't imagine this goes very far as she'd not get under many of the bridges
I'm not sure what's going on here - Simple Simon perhaps
A very rare sight

Stretham Old Engine - incidentally, don't plan on mooring on the EA moorings opposite; they are now private.

The F Word comes to the river Cam

This morning we sent this e-mail to the Ouse  Valley River Club, with a copy to the Environment Agency. The incident with the fisherman at Holywell was bad enough, but this was ridiculous. Yes, it was a tight fit but, at no point was there any danger of us hitting him and we moored on double springers so that MR wouldn't move. There was also no wind. When he jumped out of his boat I thought he was going to either take our rope for us or move up a bit!!!!! The, "passing boater," who was also told to f*** off was also a narrowboat so I think he has heavy metal issues. If you are on a narrowboat between Waterbeach and Cambridge, then he's coming your way (NB Lucky Duck you have been warned).
Dear Commodore,
I am making a formal complaint against one of your members who verbally abused  both myself, my husband and a passing boater and physically threatened my husband.
Last evening we were approaching the EA Moorings on Fidwell Fen River Cam, my husband had pulled our 66ft narrowboat alongside a gap which was in between two cruisers positioned at either end of the mooring, to assess whether he could safely moor and his decision was that there was enough room.
My Husband reversed our boat into the gap leaving the front of the boat out in the river handed the helm to me and he went to the bank with our centre line, to ease the bow into the gap so as not to touch the cruiser in front. At this moment the owner of the Cruiser 'Scotch Mist' Reg No G9866 exited his boat screaming abuse at my husband. The level of this abuse was such that it could clearly be heard, over the engine noise, by a passing boater who asked him to moderate his language. At this stage, the stream of invective was redirected to the passing boater and backed up with sign language.
As the boater passed he then continued his abuse in our direction with suggestions as to what we should do with our, "lump of metal" before approaching my husband with raised clenched fists, threatening to sort him out.
At no point did we return the abusive language or threatening behaviour and, after mooring, I tried to have a quiet word in the hope that he might quieten down but he was not to be pacified. This 'gentlemen' clearly has an anger management problem and sets a very bad example for, not only your Club, but boaters in general. River users should not be subjected to these, or any, levels of abuse whilst quietly going about their business.
Yours faithfully,
Jill Budd
NB Matilda Rose

OK, so I'm making a joke of it now, but it leaves me feeling quite sick and shaky - I came very close to calling the police. I probably should have done but there is no road access to this mooring and I didn't get the name of the "passing" narrowboat. The guy on the boat behind slept through it (or pretended to) and I really didn't want to waste anymore of our time on him with making statements etc.