We decided not to draw forward on the moorings yesterday afternoon, this left 100ft. of vacant moorings for anyone else that may have turned up and sure enough late in the afternoon two day cruisers arrived who managed to commandeer the whole 100 ft by the way they spaced themselves out. The 40ft Narrowboat that arrived at 7pm had to breast on the outside of us, not ideal with the differences in length. When we returned to Harnser, after eating in the pub, the two cruisers had left and it wasn’t long after this that the occupants of the Narrowboat returned to head back to Isleham Marina as well. It was a lovely evening and we spent sometime talking to 4 generations of the same family who were enjoying a drink beside the river.
Overnight we had rain and also the wind picked up considerably, but it was fine and overcast when we set off at 0945 hrs. At Isleham lock we dropped off a Life-ring that we had picked up on our last outing at Prickwillow, I don’t expect he thought he would see that again.
When we came upstream both bottom gates of the lock were wide open, last time the offside one wouldn’t go right back, when we came through today the offside was playing up again. While we were waiting at the lock it started to drizzle, as you can see Diana had already put her coat on and I nipped below for mine. Just after leaving the lock we spotted what I guess would be a party of twitches over at the back of the flood bank, I hope they had very good coats on because minutes latter it started throwing it down.
We reached the junction of the Lark and the Great Ouse, Diana indicated that I should hold back because there was a Narrowboat heading downstream, behind him was a cruiser. I was having a lot of problem holding position stopped on the junction due to the wind blowing straight down the Gt Ouse at 20 mph I was almost onto the mud in the junction when said cruiser turned right into the junction, if he had signalled I could have gone out right after the Narrowboat had passed. The river is dead straight here for over 2 miles and needless to say these were the only boats in sight.
We pulled over on the EA Diamond 44 for lunch, there was no chance eating at the helm in this wind. There is a notice warning you that cows graze the bank, it doesn’t warn you they are likely to lick you to death. I have never come across such friendly cows before, the white one just loved to be scratched under her chin and on her forehead.
After lunch we left the mooring heading towards Ely, the next boat I met after meeting the two at the junction was right at Queen Adelaide rail bridge. On the canals you always reckon to meet in bridge holes but on open rivers?
As expected Ely was busy not only with extra boats from the Cam but also there is a big flower festival on at the Cathedral, even the cruisers were moored two abreast. We carried on through the town and down to Popes Corner where we turned onto the Old West River. The Fish and Duck still looks very empty, I am not sure where they will attract the customers from unless they are undercutting other marinas in the area.
So far this week we have seen lots of Swans but very few Signets, one pair had four but most that we have seen have only had one or two, so it looks as if they might have had a bad season. The other thing that has been lacking is Grebe chicks, we saw lots of nests earlier but only 2 chicks, we however seen several pairs mating which is late in the season, so they may have lost their first brood.
Just as we approached the railway bridge on the Old West we were greeted with four engines crossing, once under the bridge we just managed to squeeze in between 2 other Narrowboats on Golds Mere EA Moorings to moor for the night.