Turn Again Oleanna! 27th July

Bedford GOBA Mooring to Great Barford GOBA Mooring

Vanished in a puff of smoke

After an early (for us) breakfast it was time to listen out for the bells telling us to turn again and set off for Panto. The family who’d been fishing at our bow had left sometime overnight, leaving one very big half burnt log. We waved goodbye to WB Four Seasons spotting the wooden battens on their roof that had held the black sheets in place for their fancy dress last weekend.

Mick rang Karen at Priory Marina to see if she’d been lucky with a Calor Gas delivery at the end of last week, sadly no gas. So we were off retracing ourselves.

First Cardington Lock. Not only are the bottom gate beams cranked but also the slackers/paddles, a joint turning them around the bend.

Castle Mills Lock needed turning so Mick came to lend a hand, closing the bottom gates and refilling it from the central slackers. I spied what looks like small slackers in the top gates, the poles reaching up towards the beam but nowhere to wind them up. Was this a previous way to fill the lock? It would take forever, or just an extra means to fill it for the EA when necessary?

We spotted the airship sheds. Danish Camp already had customers, still nowhere for us to pull in.

Down she goes

Then Willington Lock, the last we hoped for the day. A cruiser had just come up setting it for us. A young family stood and watched us from the weir bridge, high above. Today they’d had a big treat with a boat coming up and us going down, they rarely see boats moving on the river according to Mum.

Dusty and rattley

Dumper trucks thundered across Willington Bailey Bridge, one diagonal metal beam no longer attached at one end continued vibrating long after the heavily laden trucks had crossed.

Memories of hot HOT days

Now we waited to peer down the little back water, the HOT mooring, would it be free. This would be our preferred mooring even if it wasn’t quite as far as we should go today. NB Bolli sat in the HOT spot, we could of course reverse in behind them or just carry on. We decided on the latter. If we could moor on the GOBA mooring at Great Barford that would be great, we’d see how chaotic the river got there, maybe stay a day, maybe not.

Inflatables already in view

As we came through the rather fine bridge, both the GOBA and EA moorings were empty. We opted for the GOBA mooring away from the pub, benches and slipway. A high bank and uneven edge meant we managed to get the bow in but not the stern. Once we were happy the doors were opened and Tilly was allowed out.

Oh please don’t keep this one tied up or 48 hours!

Well what a pants outside! It smelt funny. Lots of She’s and Toms bobbed about in the water. Don’t they know it’s dangerous!!! I’m told explicitly not to fall in and there they all were choosing to go into the river, stupid people!

An early lunch was followed by me taking over the table to start model making. The model box I was sent was made before my time and I know it has inaccuracies also nowhere to hang flown pieces of scenery from. Sadly the box I made a few years ago hadn’t returned from when it was last used, this meant having to make amendments to make my life easier in the long run. It took me three hours to have somewhere to hang fly bars from and make the auditorium treads.

Today I achieved a covering for the stage floor and cut out all the larger bits of scenery so that they could come in and out with ease. Then I started on adding some details to the front portal, this will take a lot of work to get it how I want, so at the moment I’ll only go so far with it, just to get the feel of it.

A quiet mooring for about ten minutes

Mick ended up sitting outside, trying to encourage Tilly not to be bored, she’s a weirdo when bored, trying to get into cupboards, running around like a loon and all whilst there was an okay outside to play in! All afternoon long there was a constant stream of paddleboarders, swimmers and canoes, as one lot let another lot arrived to blew up their floating plastic.

Keep on pumping

Another look at our route planning with places we could get trains for meetings and to be able to catch up with friends. This was now getting complicated, Peterborough, March, Ely? We think we may now have a plan.

3 locks, 6.39 miles, 1 more turn, 1 boat headed to panto, 3 hours modifying, 6 out of 7 bars used, 1 bored cat, A1 card already cut up, 2nd go at Quesadillas, plans D, E, F and G, 6 hours at work.