So finally we get to go cruising again after going round the same ten miles of river for over six months.
We have been plagued by failures, It started with the main generator failing, then the fridge, then the vacuum cleaner, then the battery charger (a major item, not the sort of thing you buy in the local shop) and then the battery charger (the first repair lasted 10 seconds before producing 50Hz black smoke). It may sound like trivia but you try explaining to someone that the delivery address is a derelict pub, and your boat is moored there, in these days of credit card fraud. If it hadn't been for Judy's sister and her husband taking in what seems to have been dozens of parcels for us it would have been a real disaster.
But we are off, the next real stop will be Peterborough. Two days to Denver lock, wait for the tide, cross into the Middle levels, and about 3 days later we should be there. We need to get a boat safety certificate, as we do every four years. The guy who checks us will notice that the fire extinguishers are out of date, that I have re-built the gas system and changed the roof vents. It will be costly. We are also going to add a couple of hundred watts of solar power to the boat at Peterborough.
Then on, up the River Nene, always a tough obstacle course. We have decided to take it a bit slower this year. Probably 10 rather than 4 days. That is unless we meet up with someone going in the same direction with a rugby team on board to do all the work.
Every mooring has it's patrolling swan. And this is normally the first glimpse you get as it lunges up to window height to get your attention should you dare to rustle a paper bag. He or she is your guardian.
As long term readers will know we classify chicks as bite size, snack size, lunch and dinner size. Here are a few snack sizes.
And here seen almost standing on the water for a munch.
Swans cannot hurt you (despite what everyone says) but it's still funny to see one attacking the boat at breeding time, you have to give them 15 out of 10 for trying.
As the weather warmed up, I was more inclined to wander about and find what makes Ely tick.
Naturally it's vehicles continue to amaze (that they still run)
And then what makes it go cuckoo on the hour every hour.
Like that's going to help!
For the boaty types here is a picture of “Dace”, It started out as a cargo boat in 1934 and is still in use. One of the interesting things is that is that the hump (where the name is) was used on some boats as the kids sleeping area (the family lived on board, mostly in the back cabin and the rest was cargo space). I would like to see them get their x-boxes working in there! Sorry to bore you Bob and Tina but you do have an interesting boat.
Then there is the local trip boat that does half hour boat trips for the visitors, and also fills the boat with kids for school trips.
Now, for those of you who want a salacious picture, here is Judy doing the black bottom!
No, not the dance from the 1920's, just some much needed cosmetic work, and yes that is Judy's natural hair colouring, not the results of over exuberance with the bitumastic paint. It's difficult to get to the pointy bit of the boat from the bank, unless you really like swimming, so we used a bit of boat scaffolding. By pushing the back out the front comes in, then it's easy. You just get funny looks from all the passing boaters,
Lastly a picture taken in a (deserted, I hasten to add) public toilet
I just never knew it was spelt like that
That's all till next time folks
For those that like wildlife I suggest
It gives a pretty good idea of our interaction with wildlife and is one of the best sets of pictures of UK wildlife I have seen for portraying that.