Saturday, 21 February 2009

Weapon of Mess Destruction

The Duck with a curiously elongated fender at Ely waterpoint.

After waking up to a mist-covered Fidwell Fen, we had our first cup of tea and then set off towards Ely with Emma singlehanding Kestrel behind, as James had the misfortune of having to go to work. Well, someone has to keep Jess in the dog-biscuit-filled style to which she has become accustomed.

The sun came out, although still cold. Amy was steering, and so I provided tea and entertainment. After passing Pope's Corner (and seeing several kingfishers!) and approaching Little Thetford moorings, we noticed that Emma behind us had slowed right down and looked like she was mooring.

What was wrong? Had her injured shoulder given up? Had their engine broken? Had Jess fallen in? We winded and headed back at top speed. Turns out she just needed the loo. Oh well.

After setting off again, we soon saw the octagonal lantern of Ely cathedral rising mysteriously out of the mist. We moved through town and breasted up at the water point, where the various tanks were filled and emptied. I made tea and we headed off when some other boaters approached- unfortunately we missed the bridgestrike incident, but managed to moor up on the visitor versions nearest to the station.

A trip to Tesco let us provision ourselves with the essentials (bagels, milk, biscuits, and cereal- along with some other less tasty things) before we headed into town to look for a mop for the Duck's muddy floor. After searching high and low- literally, because Ely is built on a hill!- we finally found one to our liking, and looked for a new siphon pump to replace our old one which gave up the ghost when confronted with excessive amounts of engine oil in the bilges.

We met Big John on ABTCBNICTWFO and after a pleasant cuppa we went back into Cambridge by car for Paul, the Queen's College Boatman's, birthday party at the Fort St. George. A good time was had by all, and we returned to the boat happy- until 1am, when Amy had to get up as she was feeling rather unwell. Might have been something she ate- but it wasn't my cooking, I hasten to add!

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