Monday, 25 May 2015

Isolation Ward

That's what we call stretches of water with no boating  traffic. This section of the Middle Levels will be it..  until we pass this way again......talking years here!

With some low bridges ahead Alistair did some rearranging of the roof. Our profile, including top boxes  and two planters was 1.77 as we set off today.  With no moorings between Three Hokes and Ramsey we knew it would be on the bank tonight. Now, easily,  on a rough mooring on Vermuyden's or Forty Foot Drain. That's March you can see in the distance from the top of bank.

 QISMA in stealth mode.

 One of those big dogs.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

12 points Captain Swatridge Nul points crew

I had hoped to be posting a video clip on Twitter today...or at least some stills of our arrival into Salters Lode. FAILED! For two reasons. The first,is that Alistairmwas round and into the lock in a nano second.mghe second is that the iPad told me I didn't have enough space for a video and wouldn't let me revert to photos!! Grrrr

So......some pics of the non exciting section and if by magic. We are on the Middle Levels.

Moored at Upwell. NB DIBITU moored up later. Heading for the Great Ouse for a sensible,non specified, stay. A boat went up yesterday for two weeks........hmmmm. DIBITU had bad experience on town moorings in March on Friday bottles thrown at them. Awful. We were going to be there next Friday. Change of plan!

The pics...

Ready to depart Denver

Lucky people!

 Blink and you missed it! Safely on the Middle Levels

Where have I seen a pic like this? 

 Onto waters new. Popham's Eau....or 16 Mile Drain...what's in a name?

 On the same theme...moored at Three Holes.

Friday, 22 May 2015

The side hatch view is better

Last time we were leaving the Great Ouse it was with a very heavy heart. We could not wait to get back. After 12 months on the river....and,the tributaries we set off tomorrow for a bit of a wander.

Our view tonight is very different. Conveniently placed for an 1130 departure tomorrow. 

Still...the view from the side hatch is not bad! 

 This one of my favourite views on the entire system

It is the first view of the Great Ouse as you come out of the lock. Magic. 

We came up off the relief channel with a stop at Downham for the market and provisions.,

 We didn't miss NO PROBLEM....we did miss Sue by about 30 minutes. I hope she likes the pics.

Something to tempt me in here!!!

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Where did that year go?

The anniversary of our year on the Fens visit has slipped quietly past...or I think it has.  (Yes, 13 May). When we arrived, for the third time in as many years, we thought we might be here forever. That is still quite possible but our forever hasn't arrived yet. This weekend will see us on the Middle Levels. A bit of an extended stay as QISMA is coming out of the water at Fox's in March to be blackened. Her crew are off to France for five weeks!

We do love it here. The contrast is fantastic. But it is a different mindset. Bimbling not travelling. Turns out.....we aren't ready to stop travelling yet.

For our last few days we are on the Downham Relief Channel. Previous visits indicate we won't be disturbed. We did see 3 boats moored at Downham. This is a record. None since then as we cruised down to the EA moorings.

So goodbye to the Wissey. 98% to see NO PROBLEM heading towards us as we made our turn.....but fortunately not!

Approaching our winter mooring at Denver.

Love this view. One of my all time favourites.

So we've got it twice!

And onto the relief channel. 

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Catching up

A lot of boaters find the trip from Hermitage to Ely pretty dull. We don't mind it at all. Our favourite mooring was overrun by cows so we were on second choice. Who cares?

Approaching the Fish and Duck...we briefly had a mooring here but never used it.


 Some time in Ely while I went back to Yorkshire for a night to see Dad and sister. All well and excellent Sisters Day yesterday.

Said Hi to another Milburn boat just before we left. I hope you enjoy your cruise.

Now moored on the River Wissey. As lovely as always.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Too stressed to be sad

Stressed...the QISMA crew? How can that be? A non boating real world banking disaster had us preoccupied yesterday.  To the extent that we were through Hermitage abound moored on the Old West with our minds very much elsewhere. Not saying that was a good thing because it was most upsetting but it stopped any reflection as we left our favourite section of  these waterways behind. Thankfully all Leaves us not understanding why different people at the same call centre can adopt such polar opposite positions on the helpfulness scale.

Back to boating. I had been a bit reluctant to head for the Pike and Eel mooring. Not because I don't love it there but, because, it would definitely mark the end of our above Hermitage travels for the year.  Remind me again why we are leaving? Oh yes...the River Weaver awaits.

These big dogs do NOT belong on a lock.

 Green light at Hermitage...just got through before the lockie's lunch.

 More big dogs on our favourite mooring but this will do!

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Shall we move somewhere quieter?

That was our thinking about 8pm last night. We were on the moorings in St Ives. All was well, but it suddenly dawned on us that we had never been there at a weekend. A few groups of revellers were moving past on their way to a Friday night out. Let's take no chances.

So, we popped round the corner to the GOBA mooring. No-one there but the one boat that has been there for a while.

Went to sleep next to an empty field. Woke to......

We never heard a thing! 

Still, best not hang about. Chores done. LJ walked and off to the Pike and Eel for a quiet weekend. 

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Let them eat cake .. .....

Tucked onto the GOBA ...tree free...mooring on the edge of St Ives. Ready to sit out the storm. Gusts of over 50 mph went past yesterday.

We happily sat over the weekend at Houghton in bright sunshine. Now the weather has turned it feels so different. Not that we want to move or need to move but not being able to move...that's the difference,

Some boats ARE still venturing past. I wish them well.

There is one additional danger to being in St Ives. Tom's Cakes. In 3 years of visits  I have  managed never to step inside this temple of deliciousness. Until yesterday. Then, fate was on my side...I realised I needed the cashpoint. I escaped.

Having  crossed the could I not return.

One piece of Hummingbird Cake and a bakewell slice...and I only had a fastened each. I am becoming a feeder. So far, Alistair doesn't mind,

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Bloggers ... we're a bit like buses

Well, not quite like buses, there was a day between them! I was just getting ready to walk LJ when Fiona and John on NB Epiphany came alongside. They arrived from behind us so they spotted us before we spotted them. Also, they had stopped at NB No Problem, so may have had an inkling as to where we were moored! 

 We hadn't met before. Though Fiona and I see each other's footprints regularly on the Twitter and have been known to share a comment or three! It was good to meet them after years of following their blog. We hope they enjoy their time on the Fenland Waterways.

And off they go.


 As expected, more boats out yesterday than we had seen added together in the last month.  I do have one question....with several miles between locks at their disposal did the neat blue day bust have to choose to feed swans right next to us. LJ was very cross!!

I had a couple of great phone chats with the NZ crew, Vicki and Pete of NB Musn Grumble. Blogging as WAKAROA2015 Vic and Pete are here for 6 months. Currently on River Aire heading for the L&L. Give them a shout if you see them. They will be hard to miss!

And another lovely sunset

Friday, 1 May 2015

In the nick of time

23 months ago, almost to the day, we put on a spurt, we were on a mission to catch some Nene/Fens  aficionados on the Northampton Arm before they moved onto the GU and were lost to us! That was how we came to meet the crews from No Problem and Matilda Rose. Thank goodness for blogs. Both were so generous in passing on top tips and even a secret mooring!!

We knew No Problem was behind us. Our money was on spotting them yesterday. I had to move quick. We have a tree in front of us, so they were almost past with Sue inside and Vic focused on the lock. They were so quiet but my head popped up just in the nick of time.

I was ready to head for the lock...but not the same as a quick turn, coffee, tea, cake and a natter.

So round she goes and ties up nicely alongside.  By which time, the kettle was on.

It was non stop chatter and they went. We might be filling the locks they emptied next week!!

Glad you enjoyed the cake Sue but their cherry and almond slab cake is half the price and I think better! I will stock up in St Ives....just in case. 

I may have said this before, in one or two other places, but LJ loves it here.