Monday, 13 April 2009

As I was going to St Ives...

Earith - St Ives

7 miles, 2 locks

In which the sun finally manages to shine upon the Duck and its crew. A somewhat hair-raising incident occurs but is quickly put right.

We awoke to the sound of the broads cruiser which was breasted up to us overnight moving off. After a quick breakfast we followed them, departing Earith at about 10am. As we set off, we saw a flotilla of kayaks and canoes passing us. Several more passed us on the way to Brownshill Staunch,a nd when we arrived, and moored up on the floating landing stages, we found the whole lock to be filled with them. They had apparently come all the way from Bedford! The drop in the water heights at the lock was about 2 inches, but it tookan inordinate anount of time to get through! There are guillotine gates at both ends, and both have long delay timers on. But we were in no hurry.

Just after the lock, a watery sun began to shine through the broken clouds, and the lansdscape turned from flat fenland to leafy countryside. We passed the pictureque Holywell, noting a new GOBA mooring that is not marked on the Imray map. The new guided busway route (which is due to open in the summer and would be a great help to us if we were to commute from moorings around St Ives nad Huntingdon) passes over the river just before St Ives:

Approaching St Ives Lock, we saw that the landing stage was full of plastic cruisers to decided to hang back and hover until we were able to go into the lock. Just then, James noticed that we seemed to have lost reverse gear! We were still able to go forward so limped into the lock, with a plan to check it out on the other side. The lock itself was the first one we'd had to operate manually since sometime last September on the Middle Level!

On the other side, there was nowhere to land due to a number of waiting plastc boats, and we planned to stop on the moorings in St Ives itself which we could see were not too far off. But about halfway there we lost all drive to the prop and were fortunately able to drift into bank and check out the problem. A quick look at the engine confirmed what we had feared: the bolts holding the coupling on had come loose. Clearly the ny-locks were not enough, and we resolved to Loctite them on. But it was easy enough to tighten the bolts and in 10 minutes we were on the move again, much to our relief!

We moored up on the public quay, just before the medieval stone arched bridge, and set off in the sun to explore St Ives and its transport connections.

Is Mr. ASBO also a graffiti artist? - passageway near the quay in St Ives

No comments:

Post a Comment