Yesterday afternoon when we moored up we did it in normal river style, head to water flow, ie. facing Popes Corner. After dinner we walked down and chatted with some of the residents at the Fish and Duck before returning to Harnser as the sun was setting. It was then that I noticed that the water was now flowing in the opposite direction ie. towards Popes Corner and the River Cam. This morning there was no flow at all.
We were woken early by the rowers, well the coach shouting from his overpowered dingy. On their second run, still before we were about one of the cruiser owners suggested that maybe he should slow down slightly when passing moored boats. He didn’t make a third run. By now the river was showing no flow at all.
Some of last nights wedding party came by heading back towards Cambridge. Just before we set off at ten. We had a change of plan and at Popes Corner carried on up the Old West River and not turn down the Cam. The river was very busy and we met and were overtaken by several boats as we plodded along, the weed is increasing but still not to bad. A herd of cows had found the best way to handle this heat, get in the shade of a bush up to your belly in water. We also saw several Egrets working along in the shallows but as we approached they flew off, two of them only went up into a nearby tree. There was also a Moorhen with a single chick. I don’t know if its been a bad hatching season or if birds have lost their young, we have seen a few swan’s eggs laying at the side of the nests. We had just commented that we hadn’t seen the horses that normally graze the strip along the left bank when 3 of them came galloping up over the top of the bank, I managed a photo of the last one. We had a cruiser pull out and follow us as we passed the Aldreth Drain GOBA moorings, I held close to the bank but they were happy to tag along behind and share Hermitage Lock with us. As we made our way up passed Earith we spotted a seal and her pup sunning themselves on the left bank. A boater coming down stream warned us that there were youngsters swimming in the lock, last time this happened one dropped in ahead of us and grabbed the seat on our front deck. However today they were happily sunning themselves on the lock landing.
As we approached Brownhills Lock the gate was lifting so I didn’t bother to use the lock moorings. By the time the Narrowboat and two cruisers had got round to leaving the lock two other boats had caught us up and they weren't even in sight when we came up through Hermitage lock.
There were 4 Narrowboats moored on the GOBA moorings just above the lock, I don’t think I have ever seen a boat here before. We carried on upstream and as we approached the Pike and Eel a Narrowboat pulled out, I was expecting them to go up stream and I would have just run up beside them. But no she did a 180° to go down stream, straight across my bows. Hard astern, black smoke. The chap on the other boat took the helm and also hit reverse hard, but it wasn’t needed as we had stopped by now. As they were heading backwards I continued on my original course.
We spotted a space just big enough for us on the GOBA Pike and Eel moorings in front of three cruisers. By 5pm we were as I expected all alone with them all returning to their marina berths.