Saturday, 17 July 2010

The sky's the limit

A Public Footpath through a wild flower meadow at Great Barford follows the river towards Bedford, joining a cycle path that was formerly the Cambridge to Bedford railway line - thanks Mr Beeching.  Yesterday I went off with the two dogs heading towards Bedford leaving Joe to finish work on our modified dinette.
The Barford bridge from the upstream side is fabricated in red brick, downstream is stone..
An ex-lock.  This is the remains of Barford Mill lock and there is something rather familiar about the dimensions - narrowboat sizes!
Ripe and ready for harvesting, a barley crop.
The sky last night was something to behold and the reflections from the bridge were stunning.

Friday, 16 July 2010

No water, no stay.

I know you will find this hard to believe but there is no supply of fresh drinking water for boaters in St. Neots.  The Imray guide shows a water point, the Environment Agency map shows a water point but... it doesn't work.  I contacted the EA and got the response that the local council had cut off the supply because it was abused. An alternative tale from a local boater is that the council provided the water but that the EA wouldn't pay for it.  I have now emailed the Town council and while they think about responded we have simply pulled pins and moved on towards Bedford in search of fresh water. 
Caxton waiting at Eaton Socon lock landing, the first lock going out of St. Neots.
It's a bit special isn't it?

And so is this.  We are approaching the A1 and about to go underneath both carriageways.  I have driven over this too many times to count but this is the first time I have seen it from the water.
And now we have gone under the northbound carriageway.

Roxton lock landing - it was a bit of a struggle getting in here as the wind was gusting a warp speed and pushing Caxton away - a little temper might have been shown...
We're in
The weather was getting a bit lively by the time we approached Gt Barford - time to stop perhaps
And so we did. Another fine Goba mooring.
Barford Bridge

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Little Paxton to St. Neots

Tuesday morning and after a lazy start we decided we would leave our mooring a Little Paxton and meander into St. Neots for water and provisions.  Fresh food was not in abundance at the village store so a larger town was an attractive option.
St. Neots lock (PaperMill) a big beast. 
This is a river populated by GRP cruisers with lots of marinas that are designed for GRP cruiser access.  Weekends are busy when these craft are taken out for their weekly jaunts.  we tend to try and get moored up for the weekend and just keep our heads down.

Ah, that's better.  A Nb styled as an inspection launch moored up on a private mooring just as we are coming into St. Neots.
Is that grass on the roof of this widebeam?
Yes, indeed it is, how strange...

Caxton moored up on the town park.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Lttle Paxton

Shortly after leaving our mooring at Godmanchester we arrive at Brampton Mill.  The old watermill is converted into a pub/restaurant and the mill wheel was turning as we passed.  Hopefully they are using the mill wheel to generate electricity.

Caxton is safely in the Brampton lock
Taken from Offord lock - Joe is just moving off of the lock landing to enter the lock I have prepared as Nb Iron Butterfly hoves into view.

Not the greatest photo but I tried to capture the reflection of the trees in the river.
The GOBA mooring at Little Paxton - just room for Caxton's 68' and adjacent to a nature reserve so great walks for the dogs and us.  A very peaceful spot.
Here we stayed on Monday night.  We walked into Little Paxton village (30mins or so) where there is a Costcutter store, a PO and a Pub.  Most of the village is a 1960's housing estate and not too interesting sadly.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Hemmingford to Godmanchester

Hartford Church

On Friday morning at 6am we had left the moorings at Hemmingford Grey and headed off towards Huntingdon and Godmanchester passing the village of Hartford with its delightful church located right on the river bank.

Here we are approaching Huntingdon town bridge.  The town moorings are on the right hand bank going up stream but they are too close to a road to appeal to us so we continued on under the 14thC bridge towards Godmanchester.

Immediately after passing under the medieval town bridge you are faced with the concrete span of the A14 crossing the river.  I have driven across this bridge hundreds and hundreds of times in a previous life and not once have I diverted into Huntingdon or Godmanchester - how life changes..
We found ourselves a mooring as soon as we got through the Godmanchester lock for on the lock island is a Environment Agency mooring and Caxton just fitted!  Here we settled for the weekend, which proved to be a scorcher, and watched the frenetic lock activity as several hundred plastic cruisers of all shapes and sizes (and 'pockets'/£) went about their weekend cruising.

The Chinese Bridge in Godmanchester
Here is a wasted opportunity - the basin in Godmanchester.  A week's dredging and some pontoons would make this great mooring, generating significant tourist income for the town.

Port Holme meadow.  Immediately accessible from the lock this is claimed to be the largest meadow in England at 104 hectares.  They were just completing the hay harvest last weekend, conditions being perfect for harvesting.  There are public rights of way across and around this meadow so it was very useful for exercising the two dogs.

We also took full advantage of this solitary mooring and the good weather by scrubbing down Caxton's roof..

and enjoying a relax with a beer or two

Monday morning, 06.30 and we leave our weekend mooring and head off again.  the mooring is just to the right of the lock in the channel that leads up into Godmanchester.

The Boys!

Floyd and Fletcher, having just been swimming, pose for the camera
Fletcher wants more
and, more. How about with a ball then?