Amazonian Cruise. 27th June

Reach GOBA Mooring to Burwell EA Mooring

Would we be able to escape? Mick tentatively walked the plank to retrieve the bow rope from the tree, the plank only just having enough solid ground under it. With the stern rope back on board he engaged reverse, thankfully there was movement and we slide off the bottom. Now all we had to do was wind!

What’s all the fuss about? Plank walking is easy peasy!

Mick decided to reverse back and swing the bow round meaning it would head towards a big willow tree which really was in an awkward place. Where we ended up meant there was little room both for and aft to get us swinging round. The bow got totally embedded in the willow. I stood in the well deck passing branches over the top and around the cratch.

This was before the amazon totally took over the cratch

STOP! There were two thick branches, one close to the cratch window the other hanging low with roots attached under the bow fender which had the potential to rip the fender off. All hard to explain to Mick from my green jungle position, but he needed to do nothing for a while as I climbed out onto the bow with nothing to hang onto, I did have my life jacket on just in case.

The first branch by the cratch window was easy to sort as it broke off in my hand, the stump of it a handy level to push the other branch away from under the bow. More dangling branches were moved, me back to safety and Mick could try moving us again. This is where bow thrusters do come in handy, although there were times where he needed to stop and let me clear the branches again that were getting caught on the tunnel light and the horns. Then thankfully we were free and pointing in the right direction.

We retraced ourselves back through the narrow Amazonian channel, a sheep coming over to check us out, I don’t think many boats venture down here!

At least we know where we’re going

At the junction with Burwell Lode waterlilies grown in the centre of the triangle where few boats go. Here we turned right, the wider deeper water meant we almost got up to normal cruising speed.

Far more open than the rivers

We were soon joined by two Terns making use of our wake to fish in, the proximity they flew in to Mick’s head at times was quite alarming. They dived in so close to the prop, but this seemed to be worth it as they’d immerge with a catch in their beaks most times.

Pretty horses with a black stripe down their backs

The view was different here, over damp grass land where a herd of cattle grazed, in amongst them Koniks, horses the closest breed to the wild horses that would have inhabited such areas. They are sandy in colour with darker mains and were very busy doing what they do best, eating!

A lufted lift bridge

A bridge, no two bridges! One a foot bridge the other a lift bridge, usually kept open.

We were making good time now, until we reached a depot on the north bank where the channel got narrower, our pace slowed down again.

Cosy neighbours for lunch

Finally our goal came into view and the mooring with enough space for a narrowboat was occupied. As we came alongside I asked through their hatch if we could breast up. They were having lunch and then would be on their way again. We winded, tied to them and had our lunch, then did a do-ci-do when they left. Cat health and safety check, we were a hedge away from a farm yard and was that Giant Hog Weed that the mower had cut? Mick didn’t think it was, but I was unsure, so the verdict wasn’t one Tilly wanted to hear, ‘Not today Tilly, sorry’.

St Mary’s Burwell

We’d heard about St Mary’s church and been told we had to visit. It is one of the finest perpendicular churches in Britain, a wonderful example of 15th Century architecture. Reginald Ely is credited for creating the church, he was a master mason for Kings College Chapel in Cambridge. It is said that he and his workmen honed their skills at Kings before doing their best work at Burwell.

Very light and airy

Lofty, with a timber ceiling, possibly the kind that was originally intended for Kings before the fan vaulting was built. Carved animals line the roof line and vast tall windows fill the nave with light.

Green, a bit like being in a swimming pool

Through the choir screen all the glass has a green tinge, meaning that by the alter seems cold and I suspect many a bride and groom have looked a touch nauseous on their happy day!

Dedicated in 1934

Two colourful stained glass windows date from the early 20th Century adding colour to the scene. By the north door is a large painting of St Christopher, worshipers would have stopped to pray below him on entering the church.

Butterflies flying up the tower

Around the church were masses of butterflies, the tower outside has a cascade of them. Made by locals for the Jubilee there are simply thousands of them, all different shapes and sizes, all very jolly.

Back in the long linear village we spotted a windmill behind houses. A fox on a newly thatched roof. Pound Hill where stray animals used to be impounded until a fine was paid. A plaque remembering 78 people who died in a barn fire during a puppet show in 1727. I always knew puppets had an evil side to them!

A thatcher’s fox

This evening we have gained a neighbour, a Black Prince hire boat with a family from California. They are over on their second boating holiday, the last one was in Scotland. Today they picked the boat up in Ely and this was their first stop. They are very quiet neighbours think they were tucked up in bed by 9.

0 locks, 4.67 miles, 1 reverse, 1 fracas with a willow, 1 escaped boat, 2 lodes, 2 neighbours, 4563 butterflies, 2 pints milk, 1 very long village, 4 welcome to moor alongside posters,  1 new lodger booked, 1 quiet evening, 1 missing episode of Sherwood.

2 thoughts on “Amazonian Cruise. 27th June

  1. Anonymous

    Bloody predictive spelling
    A heard of cattle and a bread of horses
    I’m still giggling 🙂
    Tom of Tom & Jan

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