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.