At Last! 19th June

Fidwell Fen EA Mooring to Clayhithe Bridge Public Mooring

Tilly was given an hour and a half whilst we had breakfast and discussed our next move. There are so many things we want to do in this area, Wicken Fen, Burwell church, a long list of places in and around Cambridge, all to manage around 48hour moorings in a popular area!

We decided to keep heading south towards Cambridge, if we couldn’t get moored there we’d return and get the train in, but that also needed to be thought about with the train strikes looming. However today we’d only be moving so far, we had our eyes and hopes set on the next GOBA Mooring at Waterbeach.

Wonky horns

Odd horned cattle grazed the banks as we moved along.

The geese had sorted themselves, Greylags to the east, Canadian to the west leaving just enough room for passing boats in between.

The answer

There are plenty of Hitchhikers Guide fans on the network and as we passed one I noticed we’d got our own hitchhiker a rather pretty spider, I think it’s a Missing Sector Orb Web.


Spiders have certainly been busy on Oleanna, the port side windows and cratch are sporting rather fine cobwebs at the moment!

Bottisham Lock

Soon Bottisham Lock came into view. A long lock landing stretching out below with a cruiser sat right in the middle. I headed to the bow to step off. They’d settled in nicely with a gas stove out of the bank, the crew all returning to their boat with fishing rods.

The lock had both guillotine and vee gates closed, it was neither full nor empty. Inside the control panel were a different line of buttons and instructions written in marker pen to not close both ends of the lock on leaving. I worked Oleanna up, the guillotine gate rising only a small amount. The filling seemed to stall after a while, water still coming into the lock but not rising Oleanna any higher. I tried pressing the gate button again, but the timed delay was still delaying things. Patience was all that was needed and soon the light went out and I could raise the gate fully.

This is where you need an Anglian Pass

Now we were on the Cam Conservancy water. Up ahead were the moorings we’d been hoping for. Three narrowboats fitted it nicely. Oh well, we’d hopefully find somewhere further on. The first two boats were familiar, we’d first seen them on the Relief Channel, then in Ely. They were travelling together and had their bows facing each other so they could sit in their well decks and be sociable.

The third boat looked like they’d just arrived, or where they leaving? The chap at the stern had a life jacket on, was our luck in? Then the side hatch opened. No we’d missed the space by about fifteen minutes!

Then Mick realised who it was. A boat we’ve been hoping to meet for a couple of weeks now. We’ve been a mooring apart without knowing it, passed one another whilst one has been tucked up on a tributary. Emails have been swapped with cruising plans, my last one said we’d be heading to the Lodes and not in to Cambridge, Sue’s last one mentioned they were heading to Cambridge then onto the Old West River, I’d imagined them to be long gone. But no here they were, at last!

NB Cleddau

A bip of Oleanna’s horn caught their attention and we were soon breasted up alongside NB Cleddau. We’ve followed each others blogs for some time and last winter I’d contacted Sue for information regarding Bedford River Festival as they had been before and we were considering a visit this year. Several emails had gone back and forth between us and today we were finally in the same place as one another.

Ken and Sue, Sue most probably has a similar photo of me taking photos

We must have chatted for at least an hour, we could have gone on for longer but we were wanting somewhere for Tilly today as she’s likely to be cooped up whilst we go sight seeing. Our paths will cross again in the coming weeks, hopefully somewhere we can both moor up bank side and continue our conversations.

Pushing off after a couple of boats had come past we weren’t hopeful for a mooring, the river now quite busy and not many moorings available. We waved goodbye to Sue and Ken hoping we’d not be returning to breast up to them for the night.

Pretty sailing boat

At the Cam Sailing Club boats were being tucked up for the week. A big boat came towards us, mast lowered for the bridges, a hen do sitting out on the spacious bow having a great time in the sunshine.

Fancy building up ahead

The pub mooring was empty, but had a long line of gongoozlers sat on chairs, possibly awaiting a trip boat, or maybe just enjoying the scene and a pint. Not a suitable place for Tilly.

She’s getting married!

Thankfully through the bridge there were a couple of spaces available, we pulled in to the one furthest away from the road and let the cat out. This would do us for the day, possibly the closest cat friendly mooring to Cambridge we’re going to get.

See ya!

Now to start planning what to see, when and how to get there!

1 lock, 4.24 miles, 2 passed Lodes, 1 Anglian Pass in the window, 1 familiar boat, 1st meeting, 1 sunny day, 1 late lunch, 1 space, 2nd helpings of quiche, 8th navigation authority.