Monday, 7 May 2012

Cruise on the Ouse

The next day, we went up to Ely. The wide, meandering River Great Ouse was a pleasure to travel on with its views over the fenland landscape with its dark brown, almost black peaty soil. It was not long before we saw the vast outline of Ely Cathedral standing on the high ground above Ely itself. Turning the last corner in the open river, we went under the main road bridge and entered the attractive waterfront area. We went along the river frontage past Bridge Marina, the Cutter, Jubilee Gardens, the Maltings, Ely Marina and under Lincoln Bridge to suss out the mooring opportunities. We turned just after the railway bridge and went back to a cosy spot near Lincoln Bridge that cross the river from the Quayside to Ely Marina. The wide river is easy for a 60 footer to turn in – no need for winding holes here. We spent the day in the town and turned in early. It must be all this fresh air! Btw, no photos of Ely or the surrounding countryside, as the weather was dull at best, and downright gloomy at worst. I will probably include some pictures of the places in future posts. See what I mean… 28 April 2012 068 The next morning, I woke early to find we had listed over by a couple of inches. With nothing different inside the boat, it had to be something external. Poking my head out of the porthole, I found the water level in the river had gone down by about 8 inches. Given the heavy rainfall we had experienced and likely to have again, I presumed EA had opened Denver Sluice to let some water out of the system. The Sluice is the main control structure for the whole fenland water system. As a result, I guessed we had come to rest on the soft bottom of the river nearest the quay. I gave it an hour or so to see if the situation would change any further (for good or bad) and decided to move to another berth a little further up the quay. As we pushed off, Skylark left the shelf easily and bobbed upright again. We chugged slowly up to Jubilee Gardens near the Cutter Inn, a nice place to spend a day or two. We had agreed with Mick that he would join us on Wednesday to sort out the few things on our snagging list. As luck would have it, he turned up on Tuesday to service Midnight, one of his previous boats which, by coincidence, was moored next to us. When he finished that job, he and Gena popped in for a coffee and a chat, and Mick sorted out one of the most urgent jobs on the 12/240v system. When they left we agreed to relocate to Riverside Park near the EA water point (about 200 m downstream) so he could park nearer the boat the next day. When we arrived there at about 7.00pm, we discovered the water pump under the bed was leaking so I took emergency action – I switched off the main electrics. A quick phone call to Mick confirmed this was a good thing to do, but I could just isolate the pump by switching off its fuse – that way all the other electrical gadgets would continue to work. Mick agreed this would be sorted out as a matter of urgency the next day. Kay and I went off to the nearby Sainsbury's – a brand new shiny superstore – for provisions. By the way, as I was turning the boat to go to the new mooring point, I passed nb No Problem. I had been reading their Blog as they travelled down the Nene into the Fens – welcome No Problem.

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