Last night was a tad chilly, it was frosty when we took the dog out and latter dropped to-2.5°C so the boat was also a bit chilly over night 14°C as we didn’t turn the stove up. This morning we woke to bright sunshine and the temperature soon picked up. We walked the dog at 9-30 and I noticed a plane flying in a large circle around Ely at probably 10,000 ft. At first I thought it was just turning back or in a holding pattern but it continued this circle all day, the last time I noticed it was 3-30 this after noon, the circle was so large that it took 12 minuets to complete, that means he did at least 60 circuits.
By The Tame Otter bridge there is a notice that gives the opening times of Hermitage Lock. It advises to ring for use this time of the year, so it was reverse back through the bridge to note the telephone number. There is talk that the dry dock here will soon be back in business, if its true then it will be a great asset to the area.
We arrived at Hermitage Lock at about ten past one, when does the lock keeper go to lunch, one till two, so there was nothing to do but sit and wait and read all the notices. One of them told us that the work at St Ives lock is over running a bit and will stay closed until into April, so that will shorten the trip a bit, it should have been completed in February.
Dead on two the lock gates opened and the red light was exchanged for a green one, so we were on our way again.
We pulled over to fill with water at Earith, there was a chap and his wife there polishing their boat in almost the same colours as our. We got talking and I mentioned the plane that was still doing large circles overhead. With the aid of a decent pair of binoculars he was able to identify it as an AWAC. Once full of water we were on our way upstream to leave the tidal section at Brownshill Stanch. The lock is on the left hand end and the lifting sluices give a very tricky current in the lock mouth. When we arrived we spotted the chap on the scaffolding against the top gate, our first thought was the lock was out of use, but it turned out he was only fitting navigation indicators to show when the lock was not in use. We just had to wait until he came down the scaffold and then he operated the lock to get us through.
We had planned to moor at the Fish and Ell GOBA moorings but as there were cattle running free the ground wasn’t in the best of condition we decided to push on a bit, the next two GOBA moorings the banks were a bit rough, OK for us but Magic can’t jump now so we have to have somewhere where its easy for him just to step off so we continued on to Holywell where there is a public mooring in front of the pub, unfortunately the Narrowboat we have seen 4 times this week was moored there,but he told us he was leaving when his wife returned so we dropped back and moored on the last GOBA mooring. About 5 pm. the Narrowboat left Holywell so moved up there, but as you can see from how we are moored there is a distinct lack of water, but what a lovely sky to end the day with.