But I Can’t Hear You When I Slow Down! 1st June

Ten Mile Bank EA Mooring

A staying put day as we need to pace ourselves to make the most of a 48 hour mooring we’ve our sights set on at the weekend.

Boats on the move before we were up

Tilly was allowed out this morning, no sign of Neil, however she wasn’t too keen on using the stern doors and preferred the bow to come and go, just incase. The washing machine was put to use and both hose pipes were uncoiled joined together to refill with water. This meant there was time to chat with our neighbours on WB Karma. They plan on heading as far as they can on the Great Ouse until a low bridge will stop them, their wheelhouse can be collapsed, but is a right pain.

The steamer is coming in handy

During the morning I carried on working on my project. More layers of paint followed by some more filler applied with a pin to get extra details into 3D.

He’s quite a good swimmer!

Early afternoon there was a sploshing noise from the river, followed by a gentle snort. It was Neil. He bobbed about for a while, the occasional attempt to get out onto the bank, followed by more gliding around. As we watched Tilly came out to observe too, she really doesn’t know what to make of him. Mick had a thought, maybe we should be a touch more careful with Tilly, not so much what she might do, but she might be seen as a tasty morsel by Neil!

It’s seriously filthy under the mats where the bags of coal live

With water easily on tap for the next few days I decided to give Oleanna a much needed wash down, her first since winter. The starboard side half of the roof was cleared, buckets retrieved from lockers along with boat wash.

Being outside meant I could supervise Tilly and make sure she stayed away from Neil. She did try on several occasions to bypass me, behind the fence, on top of the bank, but thankfully a warning from me turned her around. She busied herself jumping from fence posts to higher fence posts, if her calculations had been out then she’d have landed in a bed of nettles!

That’s a whole lot better

A hire boat approached the moorings. A lady stood at the front ready with the bow line, they intended to moor behind us, Neil not initially visible as he’d decided to have an afternoon dip. Although as soon as the boat was starting to get close he bobbed his head up, giving the lady a start.

‘Slow Down! There’s a seal!’ The chap at the stern shouted back ‘But I can’t hear you when I slow down!’ He obviously couldn’t see Neil who was now trying to claim his space on the mooring, bobbing up. The boat slowed, she shouted back ‘There’s a seal!’ There was an incredulous look back.

Neil by now was midstream bobbing about. I pointed, the chaps head turned ‘IT’S A SEAL!’

They managed to bring their boat in leaving a good 8ft gap between our stern and their bow which Neil then used to get in and out of the water, showing off to the cameras. he’s so tame he didn’t mind me getting close as I was finishing off the cabin side and windows.

The stroppy one!

Cat curfew time. Tilly bobbed out of the friendly cover, but then decided to play up as she had an audience, Klaud, John and Neil. First she decided to make use of a big pile of wood chip next to a tree down the other side of the bank, Shore based facilities you know!

Then what followed was a stroppy cat who decided that she wouldn’t be coming in just yet as she was far too busy! I should have given up straight away, but with Neil back on the bank and the proximity of the road bridge I did my best to be fascinating, excelling at failing! I know not to try to follow Tilly as that only encourages her to carry on in the direction she has decided on, unfortunately that route today was up the bank and onto the road!

I had to follow, being near should anything happen would be better than not knowing. We crossed the road and then came back, thankfully the road void of traffic, but my heart was still in my throat. Then she trotted of along the lane alongside the road, a possible route back onto the tarmac through the friendly cover not passable for a human. I tried playing stick, then gave up. Sitting on the ground tossing stones into the air so that she could hear me.

This nearly worked twice, but she just managed to escape my grasp at the last minute!

Tonight’s sunset

We’d been gone for so long that Mick came to find us. This was good as he was far FAR more interesting than I was. Still she escaped our grasp. But she started to follow us back towards the river, only for a man to ask ‘Is that your cat?’ Yes and please would you disappear as your presence isn’t helping in our mission.

Fifty minutes after I’d gone out to encourage her home she trotted back on board in front of us! Well it was only because you wouldn’t let me go on WB Karma to say hello to the boys!

As the sun started to descend, Neil slipped back into the water for his last swim around. He was heading off somewhere else for the night.

Please excuse the soundtrack, Mick was doing the washing up at the time!

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 seal back, 3 figures painted and glazed, 0.5 roof washed, 4 rust spots noted, 1 cabin side washed, 1 cabin side in need of a polish, 1 seal, 1 hire boat, 1 stroppy cat, 1 road, 754 stones tossed, 50 minutes, 1 under bridge inspection, 1 stunning evening swim.