Maybe It’s The Cinnamon. 5th August

Middle Fen (One Pound) GOBA Mooring to Aldreth GOBA Mooring, Old West

The Middle Fen/ One Pound mooring might just be my favourite from this summer. Once up the bank there is plenty of space to sit out. There is no passing footfall, and your nearest neighbour is a few boat lengths away. On an evening the Kingfishers dart back and forth, several of them. Sadly this morning it was time to move on and leave a space for someone else to enjoy the mooring.


Today blue skies had returned, we’ve had a lot of cloud lately.

Blue river at Brownshill

Brownshill Lock needed setting in our favour. When we’d come upstream a chap had been confused about how to open and close the guillotine gates (it has one at each end) he’d not seen the downstream control cabinet, small and identical to the one at the top gate. I had no such problem and filled the lock by pressing buttons whilst Mick managed to keep our cabin sides away from the big overhang of the lock landing.

We were joined for our descent by a small rib, who were out for an adventure. They didn’t have a key to operate the lock, so seeing a narrowboat arriving below they decided to go straight back up with them.

Across the tidal section passing Earith. We kept our eyes peeled for GT, Heathers boat that is now in the water, but we couldn’t spot her. The water point here has been closed by the EA until it has had a thorough clean, the Littleport tap on the Ely Ouse is also closed leaving one tap between us and Denver sluice.

At one time we’d toyed with the idea of returning along the Hundred Foot Drain to Salters Lode, cutting down on our return trip. But with water levels low we’ve abandoned the idea, the thought of getting stuck and having to wait for the next tide not that appealing at the moment, if ever.

Plenty of birds round here

A nose peeked up to our port side, a seal, most probably heading towards Westview Marina where a Mum and her pup can often be seen. It dived before I got chance to take a picture, instead I got three Egrets a Cormorant and a few ducks in one shot.

In the dark of Hermitage Lock

Whilst in Brownshill Lock Mick had called ahead to the lock keeper at Hermitage Lock, as we approached the light turned from red to green and we were soon inside the lock under the road and heading down onto the Old West. There have been plenty of tales of how low the Old West is, these started about a month ago. The lock keeper had said we’d only be dropping about 8 inches and the Tidal level was lowest he’d known it. Well he was wrong, we dropped at least 2 foot onto the Old West where the tide mark is visible about 9 inches above the current water level.

It was slow on our way out, today it was slow going on our way back. We kept to the middle, watched weed glide past beneath us and were soon joined by the Terns fishing in our wake.

Tail held high on the flood bank

The GOBA mooring at Aldreth came into view, one cruiser sat at the near end, we headed to the far end and moored up, enough depth so no problem. Tilly was given 6.5 hours, I’d promised to go for a walk with her today, so I walked as she skipped along the top of the flood bank to the next bend and then back again.

It was a bit early for lunch, so I started to prepare a Moussaka for our evening meal. As I added the red wine to the mince, oregano and cinnamon, a wasp came in through the window attracted by something. Then as I stirred the meat sauce another three came in to join it. What was it they were coming in for? Red wine? Cinnamon?

Are you sure this is different?!

We checked outside to see if we’d moored alongside a nest. No sign of one, just a few wasps doing their best to get in through closed windows, some aiming for the mushroom vents. We kept everything closed and hoped they’d get bored and move off. The cruiser moved off, Tilly came in, the doors were shut and we reversed back to the other end of the mooring. I didn’t actually believe that they’d managed to move the outside. But this other outside wasn’t half as good as the first one!

Throne and oven added

I got on with model making, propy bits, a few tweaks, alterations and additions, managing to cross off five hours work.

Another sunset

As I put the moussaka together the wasps came back and hung around until it was baked and eaten. Doors closed again, just as we wanted to have windows open to cool the boat down too!

2 locks, 6.86 miles, 2 miles tidal, 1 seal, 1 rib, 3 egrets, 543 wasps, 1 inside the stove! 2 outsides, 5 hours model making, 2 thrones, 1 wasp magnet, 1 cinnamon stick, 200ml red wine, 1 lovely sunset.

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