Autumn Before August. 31st July

Brampton GOBA mooring to Houghton EA mooring

Rain. Rain! We had some rain!!! Not a lot, but some! At least it’s a start, it just needs to carry on.

Tea with breakfast this morning and we pushed off just before 9am.

Portholme Meadow

The river curves around Portholme Meadow, 260 acres of alluvial flood meadow, one of the largest areas of grassland in the country. Dots of people could be seen walking on the paths. In 1918 the meadow was used as a Training Depot Station by the RAF.


As we approached Godmanchester Lock I spotted NB Claddau tucked in down the arm above the lock, we’d not ventured down there, maybe next time. Today had a tinge of ‘next time’ about it. We realised that we’d not had that much of an explore around Bedford, St Neots, or Huntingdon and Godmanchester we’d just cruised on past and it almost certainly deserved a stroll around it’s streets.

A touch too wide round the bend

The angled approach to the lock and the strong wind caught Mick out, but that was soon rectified for him to drop me off to set the lock. A hire boat arrived below just as we were about to empty the lock, chatting to the lady she was saying they’d hoped to reach Bedford today, but the head wind and going against the flow they thought they’d not make it. According to our maps it would take 12 hours to reach the upper river in Bedford on a kinder day.

There’s a developer somewhere waiting for this house to fall down

Onwards under the two bridges in Huntingdon, a rather nice but ramshackled house between them sported Wonder Woman giving advice for the pandemic. We wondered how much it would cost to rescue the house and remove it’s current tenants of pigeons!

Along the banks we spotted Chestnut trees, their lower branches starting to turn orange with bright green conker shells growing plump. Sloes covered the Blackthorn bushes, will they last till the first frost has come to split their skins. Elderberries hung dark dark red. Nature bringing Autumn close before August has even started.

Heading in to go down

Houghton Lock looked as though there were a couple of volunteers on duty. As I’d not worked this lock on the way upstream I hopped off to lend a hand. The lock tends to be manned at weekends and these two chaps were very jolly. More boats appeared below and even though the lady had come up to see what was happening she got a fright as Oleanna appeared through the bottom gates.

Two waiting to go in

A couple of boats were moored on the island, we tucked in close to a cruiser for the rest of the day. Just so long as there weren’t any woofers about Tilly could explore to her hearts content, which she did, not returning for several hours!

Early afternoon a boat approached the island, NB Cleddau, they’d been aiming for the moorings at Hemingford Grey but been told they were full, so they grabbed a space a little behind us.

Cat and rat iron work

Another afternoon of work, which didn’t go according to plan, but I did come up with a design for my portal headers which I was quite pleased with.

Drinks on the terrace

Sue invited us round for drinks on the terrace at 5pm and as Pimms was on the menu it would have been very rude not to join them. We had a couple of hours of chat and drinking on the bank as Tilly proceeded to give NB Cleddau a full walk through! They have double glazing!

A stunning evening view

2 locks, 4.72 miles, 2 volunteers, 1 island mooring, 4 glasses of Pimms, 1 each, 4 glasses of wine, 1 very nosy cat, 1 cat 10 rats, 2-1.

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