Wednesday, 30 July 2014

What's in a name .......

Sometimes I just know QISMA is well named. We had decided to stay out until Tuesday but on Monday lunchtime decided to come back to our mooring at the Fish and Duck. Yesterday we woke to find one of our batteries 'cooking'. We knew they were on their way but replacing them leapt to the top of our priority list. We were having coffee at 0800!!'

Trip to Ely Chandlery in the car and we were sorted. So the new batteries go on the  unforeseen expenses list .... Along with the two new tires we ordered on Monday for the MOT next week.  Hmm not entirely unforeseen.

Whilst we were in the Chandlery I took the opportunity to ask about the fab glass hobs they have on  the website. Do Not Go There was the instant reply. We are just about to take it off. An Italian firm and we have only been able to order one and it took six months to get here.  I do fancy being sleek and gleaming ... As it's unlikely to happen to me I thought the hob might work. I know we will have difficulty in finding a replacement that will be an exact fit for the current, hard to keep clean, hob so ..... I am a woman on a mission. First salvo ... Email to a Spinflo aka Thetford who make both to ask if, by any chance, they produce a gas hab to the same dimensions . My Corian work top  not up for replacement.

Anyway thanks to NB Yarwood ...  I didn't know these existed until I read the blog .....woman on a mission will report back. 

Monday, 28 July 2014

How could I forget .....

........Our stay on the GOBA moorings near the Pike and Eel for two reasons. The first being that you don't see many of these to the cruising mile ... Though I have been told of a recent sighting of narrowboat skiing on the Grand Union. Not sure of the correct sporting terminology!

The second is less amusing ... Well to us ...returning from walking LJ,  I managed to bang my head on this low slung branch on day one. Not to be outdone ... Alistair knocked himself out  on day two!

A rather special escort

We were lucky to spot a seal as we came towards Earith and Hermitage Lock. The river was calm enough for us to hove and the seal played round us for 15 minutes. Every time we thought it had turned back up it popped again.

Through Hermitage and back on the Old West River. We ave had some of our best boating ever on the a River Great Ouse this past month.

An hour or so from our mooring but not ready to go in yet. Moored for the weekend on what will surely be a favourite spot. A mooring made for one.

So we made ourselves comfortable and got the barbie out!

Friday, 25 July 2014

A second tradegy

If we had got on our first choice mooring on Wednesday we were planning on staying two nights and we would have been there.  Loads of boys jumping in off lock bridge when we went through. First reports said The boy who died couldn't swim but told his mates he could.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Other temptations are available

Set off on Tuesday to bimble back to Godmanchester. Alistair wanted a last visit to the fishing shop and I had some skirt ... Or bavrette if you want to be gastro punish or Philli steak if you are more inclined to the USA from the excellent butcher conveniently placed opposite said fishing shop.

Saw some fab small boats on our travels and,also Ladybird so managed a photo this time.


We loved the GOBA mooring at St Ives. Only 5 minute walk to the High Street but a world away.  With a nice walk for LJ.

Always nice to capture the gongoozelers

 Back in Godmanchester, coming back from the shops and a stray dog running on the rec..... hang on I recognise that tail! For some reason LJ is naughty here but not harming anyone.  There are revamped EA moorings at the lock but, as the teenage population of Godmanchester was in residence, we headed for our usual spot.

 Had a bit of fun with my Tweet Buddies today with the following. You are the best.,
 Other temptations are available

Had hoped,to get on,the meadow at Houghton but busy. Now moored at Hemmingford Grey. Consoled ourselves with lunch at the Cock ...... Very lovely gastro pub with great team.

As always, LJ delighted to have his own swimming pool.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Be gentle with her .....

Weekend busy on the river yesterday. A long (4hour) stretch for us as we wanted to be in St Ives for the Monday market. Fortunate that we didn't have to queue for a lock. Shared two locks with a small petrol day boat. Skipper and wife. Their first time on the river and their first lock. Joy. Couldn't manoeuvre, fended off  QISMA with a boathook.    Wife got off boat and watched me work the lock...including her side.  I was about to invite her to join me to at least open the gate which I'd wound when second boat to come up arrived and helped.  First boat having a rest! Shame really, as I was hoping to be able to explain a bit about working the locks to her. No honestly ... She was a newbie and looked terrified.

At next lock We waiting for the Ladybird charity trip boat to come up. Skipper wandered over to chat. Oh, ses he, they made us buy one if them, pointing at my winder. VERY nicely, I told him the top tip concerning winders was never to appear at the lock without one ... It only meant you walking back for it.

Crew arrived from others waiting to come up and said they would work the gates so once the electric guillotine gate was shut I was able to get back onboard.  Newbie  wandered up to the gate, already being worked, no winder. Then went back for it and started to wind it down. Lock only about half full.   We moored at St Ives ... no connection and they went off on their own to St Ives lock. I hope someone WAS there to help them as the paddle gates swing and there is a gizmo to hold them open so you can get in.

I  also hope whoever eventually does tell her will be gentle!

Went through Hemmingford Grey

 Moored on the GOBA mooring. Busy when we arrived but only two of us overnight. Fortunately I had completed the run ashore to Waitrose before this.

 Which led to this .....

Now almost 0930 and only one engine heard. Back to normal.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Where did that week go?

We've been busy doing not very much ... Or even less.

Sunday morning before the move back into St Neots ... Dragon Boat practice

Monday night ....

 Tuesday and Wednesday

And Thursday and Friday and maybe Saturday ... a rare wild mooring made for one.

 With this 2 minutes away ... A big swimming pool even by LJ's standards

We've turned back towards Ely now but not with the heavy hearts we had last year. We'll no doubt do this trip again next  summer. 

With the Bedford River Gala this weekend there has been an increase in traffic heading that way. Told at Great Barford yesterday there had been 15 ... Yes 15 boats moored there on Wednesday night. I bet the non dog friendly pub was buπŸ’€ing.

Sunday, 13 July 2014


Tragic happening on river at St Neots late morning. I walked LJ across the fields back to the pontoon to check on mooring availability.   Our neighbours from yesterday were just getting out of their boat and told me there was a body in the water. It had just floated past them. A young female canoeist, already in the water, took up station alongside to keep other boats away. What a star she was.

I saw QISMA approaching. Tried to phone Alistair but couldn't reach him. He saw what was happening...or not happening and manouvered QISMA to try and get a rope around her...he could see it was a woman. It didn't work - in fact the rope got caught round the prop. That removed, between QISMA and the canoe, they managed to guide the body to the slipway and she was pulled ashore at the rowing club.

The emergency services were on there way and arrived as this happened. Both regular and air ambulance arrived. They kept resuscitation for 35 minutes and set off for the hospital by road.

The police wanted to check the river and talk to boaters, anglers etc. Alistair offered them the use of QISMA.  So the next hour spent doing that.

Now moored opposite on the Riverside Park moorings. Feeling very strange. Police just phoned to tell us she had been identified and NOK informed. Not treating her death as suspicious. They think she fell in. Considerate of them to do that. So sad for her family.

Sleepless in St Neots .... Not us!

The Fens well and truly left behind now. Miles and miles of this as we moved down to St Neots.  Please not ... Am not complaining!! #justsaying

The park was busy but we moored outside the Priory Conference Centre ... with water. And the closest mooring we have had so far to a Waitrose. We felt quite pleased.

Good food market on in the square and some essential shopping ... one pair of Alistair's shorts having reached the end of useful life ... And then some. Back onboard and out enjoying a beer and the heat. Until .... The wedding disco started! We had a bit of warning when an ice cube hit us! A balcony open on a terrace above us and the disco beyond.  They seemed a nice bunch but , but, but ... Would they still be lovely at 0100? And though I approved of the DJ's choices ..... Same question!!

Alistair works on the theory that a disco notches up the volume every 20 minutes. A late walk with LJ led us to some overgrown Huntingdon Council moorings. A camouflage green sign that we hadn't spotted from the river. (too busy looking at the posh houses on t'other bank). Soooooo at 9pm we thought now or never and off we went! 5 minutes later we were mooring up. I don't think they get used much. Three of the posh folk wandered down to their banks to watch.

Our views .... Back and front. Happy boaters.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

White Rose of Yorkshire

The Yorkshire flag flies from QISMA twice a year. My birthday and Yorkshire Day. Last year it got knocked from Ely!! No such problem yesterday at the lovely GOBA moorings near  Barford Mill.

Bracelets for presents ... Nicely displayed!!

And Barford Mill for lunch.  

 The view from our perch in the bar.

 There WAS food but also Tanquery 10, Malbec and Marmalade Vodka.

Looking back at QISMA

A rare afternoon πŸ’€πŸ’€πŸ’€πŸ’€πŸ’€πŸ’€ for me when we got back. Did me the world of good. Got up and washed and polished the outside of the boat.  Though it is an all in one job for us so not too taxing. 

On the move today and hoping for a mooring in St Neots. Moving on a Saturday and into town .... Not like us at all and I have no idea why!! Best not to ask. 

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Picture Perfik

In Godmanchester tonight. We  stayed twice here last year. The attractions are obvious and there is an excellent fishing shop!! 

Fantastic walking for LJ over the meadows. For some reason he is always naughty on the park by the mooring. He loves it and just will not come,back. His prancing circus pony trick is much in evidence. 

Last night we were at Hemingford Grey. Very pretty village and the cows are really friendly. We,think,they,like the company!

Staying here for two nights to allow for some lovely walking and to be at a favourite pub at the next mooring Thursday and Friday.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

A brass band on our doorstep

In St Ives ... The Cambridgeshire version for two nights whilst Boots the Chemist (the oldies will know about this) get one of Alistair's meds in. Never in stock as it's expensive but always there the day after.

Arrived in time for the tennis on Sunday and had a brass band accompaniment for much of the match - superb tennis. Wine opened in,the 4th set.

We like the moorings here. No turning for NBs so we reverse in. Fools a lot of people. Great for the town as we are at the bottom of the high street which has good shopping. There is an excellent market on Mondays with a smaller market on Fridays. Buzzing yesterday. In addition to the shoppers, there were crocodiles of cyclists everywhere, I guess off to watch Le Tour pass by.

There is also a long and quiet stretch of GOBA mooring close by which we'd chose at a weekend - nightclub alert!

Monday, 7 July 2014

Time for .......? A bit of a rant

A year to the weekend since we were last on these lovely moorings near the Pike and Eel Pub and Marina. The pub is very golf clubish,and LJ only allowed outside but it is a lovely spot. Unfortunately, I was served a sandwich which had fab filling but one slice of bread was stale. This however, is NOT the rant.

This is the mooring. Three mooring spots in a 2-1-2 formation. On Saturday, only one boat, a narrowboat, was on the first mooring. 

 When I went to walk LJ on Sunday. This had been dumped in the middle of the grassed area. With a rubbish skip at the marina only two hundred easy yards away ...... WELL,!  Words don't actually fail me but I don't feel I can use any of them in the blog.

It won't trouble the next moorers. I dumped it.

As to the walking. Pretty good