Thursday, 2 August 2012

Jess and Rose

Choosing the best day this week - weatherwise - we took Jess and Rose for their first trip in Skylark.

Leaving Lazy Otter at about 10.45am, and occasionally following a kind of zig-zag route down the river (thanks girls) we arrived at Ely to find only one space left on the riverside so we spent a few minutes pumping out (as you do) and then had a picnic on board. As Rose needed to get back home by about 6.00pm and as the wind had started to increase (with a slight spot of rain), we decided to head back by 2.00pm.

By the time we got back to Lazy Otter, a brisk southerly breeze made docking a challenge but we made it without hitting any of our neighbours or the pontoon.

The main problem with Lazy Otter (and a minor one at that) is that our pontoon is only about 20 feet long (a third of the boat's length) and it juts out into a wide part of the river. We also have neighbours who are usually moored up alongside us. So, while getting out doesn't usually create a problem, getting in with a side wind and often a noticable current can be challenging. Now, I'm not making excuses why it took me two attempts this time but I just thought I'd explain the situation from the point of view of the driver.

The Ouse was looking its best, as it always does in the sun, and the weed growth seemed to either slowed down or stopped. On the odd occasion that weed got caught in the prop, a quick rev in forward and then reverse, cleared the problem.

Maybe I'll try negotiating the narrow Cambridge Lodes before the end of the season and maybe another attempt at reaching Bedford.

While writing, I'll just mention the umbrella again. Yesterday, as it seemed to be starting to rain, I put up the umbrella to test it in wet and windy conditions. To be honest the rain didn't amount to much but the wind was quite brisk. The umbrella is quite large so I tied the front end down to a weight that I simply stand on the rear hatch. In future I think I will guy the top down from the ready made hole at the end of the pole to the tiller. That will mean it can cope better in a breeze. I don't think it would have blown away but it did flex quite abit.

As we left Ely another boater asked where I had got the umbrella. I briefly gave her the name and that I had bought it secondhand on Ebay. It seems to me that this umbrella is ideally suited to Narrowboating so, to clarify, I attach an extract from the Nash websitre:


Code T4790 - New Price £79.99
The extra large peg One Umbrella has been designed to give maximum protection from the elements no matter what the conditions. The heavy duty cover with taped seams provides exceptional protection and is married with a super-strong steel frame that can be pegged down in windy conditions. A screw pole is provided as standard for hard banks and te umbrella can be fished Nubrolli style to give more internal space.
Another innovation is the rear vents that allow easy shipping back of landing nets handles and poles, yet these can be zipped closed when not required. A truly outstanding umbrella specifically designed for the Modern Pleasure Angler.
• Extra strong tear-proof cover
• Full steel frame for extra strength
• Rear vents allow easy shipping back of poles and landing net handles
• Taped seams for improved waterproofing
• Rear pegging points for windy conditions
• Nubrolli style pole allows umbrella to be used more vertically
• Screw point pole for tough banks
• Supplied in draw-string bag

TOP TIP – The Nubrolli style pole enables the umbrella to be used much higher, whilst retaining stability, ideal when float and feeder fishing.
Dimensions – 220cm x 200cm


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