Tuesday, August 21, 2007

We have arrived (now what do we do?)

Day 18
Flat Bridge to St Ives

Yep, we couldn't put it off any longer. We have finally arrived. Tied up (after three attempts to get onto the mooring owing to the wind and a current we were reliably informed was both 'the worst we've ever had here' and 'worse than the Trent'. The problem arose largely because we asked for a downstream-facing mooring, so that the engine room hatches could be to the bank, should people wish to admire our pride and joy. So twice we turned upstream, but couldn't get in, had to overshoot, and turn again. The last time we stopped facing upstream, got a rope ashore, and turned it there. We really needed the engine's power then, but we did it. Only to have to move it again later when an officious (sorry, I meant official) came along and told us that not only were we the wrong way round (oh no we're not) but we were impinging on a firebreak. So we had to move a few more yards forward, which meand coming right out to get round a big clump of weed. But we managed it with the help of the official and the seemingly very nice people from the boats in front and behind.

After Hermitage lock the river suddenly got wider again, and we saw the other end of the New Bedford River, via which back we will come. We stopped for diesel at West View Marina, which was a very interesting experience. Having found someone (after a long search) to dispense the fuel, we had to tie up along a small cabin cruiser, in whose cockpit the disel pump resided. Being situated under a large willow tree, and clearly having been there for some considerable time, the small foredeck onto which I had to scramble with a rope was as slimey and slippery as something out of It's a Knockout (ah! remember that?) Just as well the tree was there to hold on to. Anyway, I survived, albeit with interesting new green patterns on my trousers.

And here we are. Now the journey's over I feel at a bit of a loose end, especially as there are three days to go before the festival starts. St Ives, on a brief foray, looks OK; there are certainly lost of nice buildings, including the very attractive town bridge.


Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah I was in my launch "Goliath" when I saw you mooring up - yes there is a bit of a flow at the moment - heavy rain from as far as Milton Keynes will take up 3 days to get to St Ives - don't think you will have too many problems this week,
Just as well however you came up when you did - the section below St Ives lock is rising fast - The St Ives section rarely goes up by more that 4" because the EA control the level and dump the water and that part can go up 1m overnight making the trip up a struggle against the flow and reducing the headroom at St Ives lock -
I will be out this morning "litter picking" from the river for the council - however with a good flow most litter will have gone downsteam - hey ho
Took a weeks holiday to sit in the sun and watch the world float passed - Moored at Joneses by the lock - got that one wrong.
Enjoy St Ives really nice town, however best in the sun.

Dave Wood

Anonymous said...

Hello Sarah, If I may offer some friendly advice it is not advisable to moor facing downstream on a river that has a reasonable flow for two reasons.
One,There is a real risk of rubbish coming downstream and jamming under your counter. A six foot baulk of timber could smash your drive shaft or couplings, as well as jamming the rudder. Two,If you move off downstream you have no steering until your boat is travelling faster than the stream which can be several yards at risk of colliding with moored or moving boats.This is seen quite often on the River Severn.
Your boat is too lovely to bend it. Max Sinclair.