Jack Jacket. 27th May

The Swan On The River to New Fen GOBA Mooring, River Little Ouse

Boat grown addition to breakfast today

Time to unplug ourselves and push over to the other side for water, boats had been moving off including the Black Prince boat that would have been in our way. As we rolled up the covers a chap from the hire cruiser ahead of us stepped off his boat.

Yep I’m looking at you.

He’d been around yesterday showing off his jacket. Then his wife stepped off the boat in her pyjamas, they kicked their heels for a little while, obviously waiting for us to go, she made out she was doing some exercises.

Christine you are right, the elephants are upside down!

As soon as we’d pushed the bow out and waved them goodbye, they sprang into action. She got her phone out, he donned a Captains hat and held a pipe in his hand, then posed in front of their cruiser. Glad they are having a lovely time on their hols.

Sun’s out

Thankfully the water pressure was good and we were soon able to push off again, winding and heading northwards. Our first job today was to fill with diesel, the tank gauge was reading a quarter full, the lowest we’ve had it since Oleanna was brand new. We’d last filled at Rugby Boats at the beginning of May since when we’ve covered quite a lot of water.

We passed the high banks, a chap was doing something at the EA moorings just north of The Boat Haven, the recent rain having helped give the grass seed a helping hand. A wonky cottage when zoomed in on looks even wonkier. The window sills peeling away from the windows and some disturbingly large cracks, we doubted you’d be able to get a mortgage on such a house. This wasn’t the last such property we’d be seeing today.

At The Ship we turned onto the River Little Ouse and slowed right down, the tributary far narrower and lined on both sides with boats. After a half mile we spotted the Little Ouse Moorings service pontoon and pulled in. Thank you Paul and Brian for pointing us here. Mick tried calling the phone number but got an answer phone, so we climbed up over the flood bank and down the other side to find the farm with its big modern gates and rang the doorbell.

What a poppy!

Natalie appeared, collected her keys and came to fill up our diesel tank. There was time to chat diesel, white versus red, Calor gas and the shortages, she suggested where we might try if we needed a new bottle in the coming weeks, she’s only had one new bottle since October!

Snoozing in the sunshine

At £1.48 a litre we knew the bill would be high, not as high as if we’d filled in Ely where their pump was boasting £1.51 the other day. We took on 125 litres, paid in the office, then had a quick lunch before pushing away from the pump.

We had a two hours cruise before we’d reach a mooring today, thank goodness the flood banks came and went opening out the view first one side then the other. A distant view of Ely Cathedral, tractors in the fields, trees blew in the wind as we chose whether to wear coats or not.

Only two bridges to pass under, neither of them taking much traffic other than for farming.

Then the end of a wonderful ramshackled building came into view. The end wall somehow standing up, a large brick chimney in the middle. As we came round to view the longer side of the building the floors really couldn’t find any more angles to lean at. This was The Waterman’s Arms at Redmere it closed in 1956 and still stands , sort of!

Left please

The navigation bends off to the left as Lakenheath Lode joins. High up on a bank I could spy what I thought were two herons. Not often you see herons together.

Common Crane

But later on zooming in on the one photo I’d managed to take I spotted that the bird had a touch of red to it’s head and it’s neck was far too thick for a Heron. This I’m fairly sure was a Common Crane.


More unused buildings were Xanadu Boat Hire, portacabins not that appealing.

Bird of prey, but which one?

There were also birds of prey circling above. Were these Marsh Harriers, Kites, other birds of prey? A look on the internet gave us comparisons between birds, but for that to be of any use you really need to know more about what you are looking at, rather than just the silhouette against the sky.

Goba mooring, the other side is Lakenheath Fen Reserve

The GOBA mooring signs came into view. The edge a touch uneven and overgrown, this would need a considered step off to moor up. We continued a little way before trying, but then neither of us could get back on board! Once Mick was back at the helm we pulled back almost to the start of the moorings where it was easier to get on and off. The plank came out to make it even easier, even Tilly was quite happy to make use of it before she pranced about in the long grass.

The planks out

0 locks, 11.04 miles, 2 winds, 1 right, 1 left, 100ft backwards,14 boat grown strawberries, 1 Captain twonk, 125 litres, 2 wonky buildings, 3.5 hours shore leave, 2 cranes, 4673 damselflies, 24569 yoyo flies, 1 Kingfisher this way, 1 Kingfisher that way, 1 mooring in the middle of nowhere.


One thought on “Jack Jacket. 27th May

  1. Anonymous

    She is obviously wearing trousers from Australia as the elephants would be the right way up downunder! 🙂


Comments are closed.