Ely Busy. 7th August

Stretham Ferry GOBA to right under Muckhill Railway Bridge to Jubilee Gardens, Ely

A slightly relaxed start to the morning, time for a cuppa in bed followed by a bacon buttie. Then we pushed away the outside a little after 10, almost all the other boats having left already.

Sadly not open today!

We slowly pootled along passing Stretham Pumping Station, plenty of moorings there, the EA moorings before the bend at Popes Corner were half empty.

Approaching Popes Corner

A day boat was just about to push off from the Fish and Duck, we slowed to let them set off and then pulled in onto the service mooring. A top up of diesel, a bottle of gas and a fill of the water tank, we decided to pay the nominal fee for the water in case we couldn’t top up in Ely. We chatted with the chap about where we’ve been and how come he seems to be the only place with gas, his reply was ‘we get it via a back route’!

Man handling the gas bottles

As the water finished filling up another boat load of day trippers arrived and listened to instruction and then headed off for the day in the sunshine. Normal instructions are to keep to the right, today it was keep to the centre and move over if you meet another boat.

Somewhere in the distance….

A left turn for us between paddleboarders and cruisers and soon Ely Cathedral could be seen on the horizon.

Ely Cathedral

There was space on the GOBA mooring just south of the town, so we pulled in. Well we tried and tried. The bow came close enough to launch myself off, but try as we did Oleanna really wouldn’t come in close enough for us to use our plank without us being on a list to start with. In the end we gave up, waited for a gap in the passing traffic and carried on in to Ely.

A space with NB Still-Waters

There were a few spaces, but sadly none quite long enough for us. In places they were three abreast. Arriving late in the morning hadn’t worked for the first time, maybe people were arriving or staying to have lunch before heading off today. One space was available right by and almost underneath the Railway bridge. We pulled in as trains rumbled over head and the smell of either cow pooh or the pumpout wafting in the air.

Dragon or Eel?

Boats were moving all the time, so I walked back to see if enough space had been made. Still the same gap we’d tried earlier. Then another which might just fit us. I rang Mick, but no answer came.

Ely, busy!

Arriving back at Oleanna Mick seemed to be dealing with gas bottles, except all his cash cards lay on the roof. Pulling his phone out of his pocket he’d also pulled his wallet out which fell straight into the river. He’d managed to get his main wallet out, but somewhere below the surface lay another card, his old gits oyster card! We decided to stay put, fishing mor important than a good nights sleep. Eventually Mick was successful and all his cards were laid out to dry.

Petiti, I hope!

I got all my model bits out and spent a couple of hours taking photos. For some reason the bulb on my angle poise flickered and my camera wasn’t going to focus properly, so my phone did the best job it could.

A band just where it should be

A space had become available by the Italian restaurant, so we winded and headed back through Ely, spotting a space sooner at the bottom of Jubilee Gardens. As we pulled up a brass band were playing in the band stand, Concerto de Orange Juice. I like a brass band me, so did of plenty others.


0 locks, 6.31 miles, 1 left, 45 litres, 1 gas bottle, £5! 1 wind, 205 photos of a model, 3 moorings, 2 successful, 1 noisy and stinky, 0 shore leave, 1 brass band, 1 props list.