Friday, 17 April 2009

Special Guests

St Ives - Stretham

14 miles, 3 locks

In which the Ducks return to the flatlands in order to entertain some unexpected, but very welcome guests.

After a trip to Waitrose to stock up on lots of sausages (it will become clear why so many were needed!) we set off at 10 or so from St Ives in miserably chilly, damp, grey weather. As we pressed on towards Earith, the land became flatter and once past Hermitage Lock we were well and truly back in the Fens.

We took turns steering through this dull stretch, while the other pottered about inside, tidying, washing up and straightening things out, in preparation for our visitors. Just as we finally moored up in Stretham, the sun started to come out and we received a phonecall from John to say that he and his boys were in the village, now where is the river? John is the previous owner of Lucky Duck, and had not seen the boat (except on the blog) since we'd waved goodbye to him on the BCN last August. He had texted me yesterday to see if we were free. It was really great to see him, and we had a nostalgic afternoon together regaling each other with stories of what we'd been up to since we last saw each other, and John reminiscing about his years aboard the Duck. His two sons played about on the bank, and enjoyed investigating the upturned hull of a dutch barge that lies like a beached whale on the grass near the mooring. For tea, with five hungry people to feed, I made a big pile of sausage and mash, before waving goodbye. As an added bonus John also agreed to take with him the two empty gas bottles thaht we've been unable to rid ourselves of (due to their being from a company with a network limited to Birmingham), and which have been cluttering up our welldeck for months.

All in all a pleasant afternoon was had and we look forward to hearing more about the fitting out of John's new boat, nb Shuttleworth Snap!

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