Jelly Babies Or Inuits. 14th July

Paxton Pits GOBA Mooring to St Neots Priory Centre

NB Still-Waters moved off whilst we were still having our morning cuppa in bed. We waved but I’m not sure they saw us.

Last night we’d adopted a new routine on heading to bed. The last few nights we’ve been plagued by flying insects, we really need to sort out some fly screens for our windows! All the windows and curtains were closed in the bedroom before any lights were turned on, then once we’d finished reading the lights went out, windows opened, the glass from the porthole above our heads removed. We only had one little blighter buzzing around our ears, success. But I suspect by the time the weekend comes we’ll not be wanting any windows closed.

We pushed off ourselves a little after 10 making our way towards St Neots. Some of the moorings have very high flood proof scaffolding, keeping their boats from straying onto the banks. A two tone tree? How has that come about? One side a pale variegated leaf the other green.

St Neots Lock

After a couple of miles we approached St Neots Lock. Here our maps suggested a one way system around an island below the lock. However two cruisers came towards us the wrong way. At least it meant the lock would be in our favour.

St Neot’s Lock is quite a modern lock. The bottom has a guillotine gate and vee gates at the top. In the chamber there are steps rather than ladders, the sort you find on Thames locks. There are also cable risers on the sides to pass your rope around. The length of the lock seemed vast with Oleanna sat at the back. A pair of slackers at the top end sat side by side. Lifting the first one I wondered where the water would come into the lock, would both paddles lift at the top end, or would one route the water further down the chamber?

Guillotine gate at the bottom

Blimey the colossal noise of rushing water below my feet sounded like I’d set a tidal wave going, yet in the chamber nothing much seemed to be happening. I steadily opened up both slackers and Oleanna rose at the far end.

The river now wider, day boats and later on rowers and paddle boarders everywhere. We made our way into St Neots a space on the pontoon by the Priory Centre, phew! Opposite the Macc boys were breasted up along with some cruisers, through the bridge looked full too. Maybe we’d move on after some shopping and topping with on water.

Fresh food was needed along with something to make a home made shade for Oleanna. If we can’t find a shady mooring for the weekend then we at least want to cover our cabin side to stop Oleanna becoming a very big storage heater. White fabric was required.

Locals are asking boaters to take their rubbish home rather than leaving it where bins used to be!

Boaters bins along the river seem to have been removed, so we’d taken our recycling along into town which got deposited in bins around the market square. The market was okay, but not much to it other than the figures that were stood holding up the ends of the benches.

Or maybe Russian Dolls

Were these Jelly Babies or Inuit people? Which ever they are what do they have to do with St Neots? If I get time I’ll try to hunt round the internet for information, but if anyone knows please let me know. Hang on they might be monks holding beads with a cross hanging down.

The charity shops let me down on the hunt for white fabric/sheets, so we bought Argos out of all the flat sheets they had, only three. Not quite enough for the whole cabin side, but a good amount will get covered if needs be. We just need to sus out how to hold it all down. The roof will be easy, but the bottoms?


Back at Oleanna we were just settling down for lunch as NB Mosi-Y-Tunya came past, they’d been travelling with NB Caspar, we waved and it was obvious they were looking for somewhere to moor so we offered them our starboard side. This led to quite a lot of boaters chat.

A £25 friend for Tilly? Maybe not

During the afternoon a cruiser that had been issued an overstay notice was pulled back to the end of the pontoon, which made enough room for both us and NB Mosi-Y-Tunya to be moored. As both boats filled with water more conversations were had, comparing notes on places we’d been, Paul and Jackie’s tales of crossing the Wash and we handed on tips for the River Nene locks. At last we also managed to palm off the wine gums I’d won at the Oscars party that had sadly disagreed with me. Paul, Jackie and their friends Peter and Kath wolfed them down within minutes!

1 lock, 3.17 miles, 2 neighbours, 0 shore leave, 3 white sheets, 1 sad gits stir fry, 0 work done, 1st production meeting arranged, 1 tea dance, 1 exercise class, 1 full water tank, 0 boaters bins again, 32 jelly babies, or 32 Inuits, which ever they are going to be very warm next week!

5 thoughts on “Jelly Babies Or Inuits. 14th July

  1. christinegeraghty

    the advice actually is to get your interior as cool as possible by blocking out the sun etc and then keeping the windows closed at night on the grounds that the air outside is warmer. I’m not sure I really will follow this in the bedroom tho’ I am keeping windows closed downstairs today as an experiment. Good luck with the critturs

    1. Pip Post author

      On a boat having a breeze move through the boat is considered to be the best thing. Keeping windows closed on the sunny side and open in the shade. However no British boater has had to cope with the temperatures we’ll be getting from tomorrow. We’re hoping if we can keep the exterior of the boat as cool as possible that will help. At least we’ll only have two days to find out what might work!

  2. Adam

    A facebook friend of mine has bought some of those reflective sheets that they wrap people in when they’re hypothermic — and has attached them to the side of their boat with little magnets. Reported to be working a treat!

    1. Pip Post author

      Thanks Adam. Our white sheets the last couple of days have certainly stopped the cabin sides from absorbing the heat so much.

    2. Pip Post author

      Adam, Do you know how they worked for your friend during today? Thinking of investing for future such occasions.

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