MONDAY 23RD TO THURSDAY 26TH JULY 2012
The water had dropped below the river bank and the flow had substantially slowed as we left Holywell behind us on Monday morning. The sun still shone and within a couple of miles we were through St Ives Lock and approaching the multi arched Town Bridge with the remains of its chapel in the middle, the river side buildings are really attractive, but we carried onto the EA moorings and water point off to the right of Holt Island. There was just one mooring spot left and we slipped into it and awaited for Angonoka to come alongside, but by the time they arrived, having visited Jones’s boatyard for services, the boat behind us had left, leaving enough room for them and our hoses were just long enough to reach the tap.
St Ives is very pretty and the town square is dominated by the austere figure of Oliver Cromwell. We enjoyed an afternoon drink on The Dolphin Hotels riverside terrace followed by ice cream before wandering back to a deserted SKYY, most of the other boats having left, including Angonoka. Judy and Don had backed out of this narrow back water to the GOBA field mooring half a mile upstream, but we enjoyed a peaceful night
We joined them on Tuesday morning and proceeded up this very beautiful stretch of river, passing though Hemingford and Houghton Locks which once had mills beside them and stopped for lunch at the garden side mooring in Huntingdon. We decided we would explore this town on our way back in a couple of weeks and so pushed on through Godmanchester Lock and Brampton Lock which still does have a beautiful mill with a working water wheel, it is a pub and resturant now, but sadly there was no room for us at the mill, so we carried on a little further to the GOBA mooring and squeezed in alongside one another. This was to be the last day that we cruised with Judy and Don as they were turning around in the morning to head back, as they have much further to go to get to their home mooring at Newbury. We had a lovely last supper with them and on Wednesday morning we bade them farewell, with the two dogs looking very sad to be parted, as we all were.
We turned SKYY into Buckden Marina as it is part of the same group as Wigrams Turn and admired the surroundings and the log cabins; maybe this will be where we will settle after finishing our liveaboard life, who knows? Filled with diesel and water we carried on passing by St Neots and a very green boat before arriving at Eaton Socon Lock. Kids were jumping in and swimming all over the place as we tried to moor up, one young lad grabbed hold of the boat and I told him to get off as I was concerned that he would get squashed between SKYY and the bank, in fact he was totally exhausted and was about to go down, so he clung on as we carefully eased up to the bank, fending off with the poles so his mates could drag him out. Seems lucky we turned up when we did or it might have been the Fire and Ambulance services that were needed.
After some difficulty I managed to moor stern on to one of the two short finger moorings provide by the lock side Mill Tavern and Jac’s friend Chris and her husband, Mike joined us for a drink at the pub and then dinner on Skyy. They only live a short way off so we will stay for a couple of days allowing us to watch the Olympic opening ceremony on Chris and Mike’s big TV on Friday before moving on to Bedford.