Within these books are shots (often shaky) of notable waterways features seen from Cleddau over the last twenty years. To the books after the 2013
The day started well at Denver. The Captain applied liberal amounts of suntan cream to face and arms before Cleddau and Tentatrice duly set off in the sunshine along the Great Ouse. It was to be a two hour cruise before diverting down the River Lark. Very soon came raindrops - now a rainstorm - then a veritable deluge.
There were scrambles for waterproof layering.
An emergency plan was declared – pull in at the next available place for refuge. A mug of tea later the sky was brightening, so it was onward to Littleport,
Raindrops – heavy rain again, again damp crew. Littleport proved a quiet little town although it was a Sunday. (Not quite so in 1816 ). From a small door in Main Street a shopper emerged, goods in a plastic bag. Close inspection of the shop however revealed it to be packed full of Polish goods and of Polish-speaking folk...
Further up the street newspapers were tracked down and a return made to the boats. Off again – in sunshine, on course for the River Lark.
It’s a left off the Ouse going upstream – new waters now for Cleddau. The Imray map gives little detail; the odd pump house,
You can focus on the wildlife instead: the swans with a brood of one white and four grey cygnets;
Bankside there is a windmill without sails
By late afternoon, 8 miles upstream, Isleham Lock was in sight. How much further could the boats go? Was a glossary needed to decode the lock instructions?
The Captain had disappeared up the river path, returning some time later: the mooring prospects were grim for the Boat Dog, and boat turning for 60 and 59 footers could be better. Decision time: the boats were turned back west and recovery made to the Prickwillow EA moorings.
Mid-evening Cheshire Mum, in meteorologist mode, sent a message of sympathy:
Prickwillow, a small shop-free village, has a redundant church, a glitzy village hall
By midday the River Lark was left behind,
Moored at Ely now; watch out for a report from this pretty waterside city.
Total distance to Bedford: 310 miles (corrected again)
Distance so far: 250 miles
Total number of locks to Bedford: 143
Locks so far: 125