Tuesday, 2 November 2010

A weekend of boating

On Saturday, after rowing, we spontaneously decided to go boating. It was such a lovely day, and we had to collect Lyra's cat transporter from the Pippins who had borrowed it the weekend of the Backs cruise. While we could have just taken public transport or cycled, and it would have been quicker, boating seemed much more fun. James had to convince me, but I'm so glad we did. What's the point in living on a boat if you can't just grab the opportunity to chug off out of town on a sunny day?

At Bait's Bite Lock we came across a bit of drama unfolding, as a cox had been taken ill with a bad asthma attack, and was awaiting an ambulance. We had thought tht we could help provide blankets etc but just as we moored up, the FRV arrived, and the paramedic was soon with her, follwed by an actual ambulance. She was on a bench a hundred metres from the lock, but there are bollards preventing any emergency vehicles driving down the towpath. We were surprised that the ambulance crew didn't have the code to unlock and remove the bollards. When our rowing club organised a race, we were given the codes so we could take a car down to the start line along the towpath. As it was, she was close to the carpark at the lock, but had an emergency occurred further away, the paramedics would have had a long walk. Once she was safely in the ambulance, we spoke to one of the bystanders who had helped. As it happened, the woman I spoke to had been walking with her husband, an asthma sufferer, who knew what was needed and improvised a nebuliser out of a drinks bottle, and her daugher, a cox from the same college as the girl. So she was able to cox the boat back home! How fortunate to have had the exact people who could help on hand.

We continued on out to our old mooring, having called in advance and arranged to eat with Pippins that evening. John cooked up a simply delicious meal involving lamb seasoned with rosemary, garlic and capers, roast parsnips and potatoes, and carrot and swede mash. There was also gravy made with the juices of the lamb, red wine and John's Secret Rocket Fuel. Delicious. It was so good to catch up that we ended up staying far later than planned, drinking and talking. However, this is the great thing about living afloat. We simply didn't bother chugging home that evening as planning, but stayed on the boat.

Alas, we had an outing at 8am, but it is a nice cycle ride into town, and although I was glad we did it, I was knackered before we even started rowing! After the outing we cycled back rather more slowly, and had a cup of tea on the Duck before heading back over to Pippin for a much needed and enjoyed cooked breakfast. How lucky are we? Several others who moor/moored there were also about and it was great to catch up with Rhoda (from Hullabaloo) and Andreas (sadly boatless at the moment).

After brunch, we headed over in John's car to Jones' boatyard in St Ives and got some diesel at sensible red diesel prices, as well as some chemicals for our new loo (more on that soon). Rhoda also needed to go for a filter for her engine, but they didn't have the right type so she is going to be living with her parents for the next few days until it arrives, as her engine is her only source of electricity! Poor girl. I hope she finds the right one. Tea and teacakes followed when we got back. By the time we left, it was getting dark, but we quite enjoy night boating. We went all the way in to the water point to empty the old loo, and James amazingly managed to reverse all the way back to the mooring. It is a good 500m away!

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