We stayed on the Town Quay in St Ives today, deciding not to attempt to navigate to Huntingdon on rising river levels after last nights 2.5 inches of rain. We had a visit fom two gentlemen who were fitting new mooring bollards to the quay. These are the type with a half moon steel hoop that one can pout your ropes right through and secure them back to the boat. These additions to a 200 year old quay to supercede the w=victorian bollrds needed planning consent and took three authorities to manage the project:EA,St Ives Town Council and GOBA sharing the costs. All in the name if Health and Safety and to prevent the local people untieing a few ropes after a bevvy of beers on a weekend!
We feel healthier and safer now. The gents doing the drilling and fixing were river men. and they tolfd us that the river was set to rise a good bit yet, particularly below St Ives Lock where the headroom was now below 2 metres. As we scraped a bridge on the Nene at 1.9 metres headroom, I didn't want to chance being stuck under a lock guillotine gate. We stayed here and I am watching the flood level indicators on the quay and the bridge.
Piglet rejoined the crew at lunchtime today after his holiday in Norwich.
One thing that amused us today was the company on the mooring. A lnely man talked for ages about boats and boating and council tax. Some others joined in and we talked about engines and batteries. People were very interested in the narrowboat that was going nowhere today, asking everything from how old she was to the costs and value.
While in conversation I noticed that I was being buzzed by a very fast bird. I looked and saw that it was a sand martin and it had a nest in a drain in the wall tright next to the boat. The parents were obviously feeding young and were in and out all day. As itwas next to a window I took this picture of one of the birds emerging. I tried to get one in full flight but did not realise just how fast they were and how slow a digital camera is to respond to a press in the shutter button.
Wild life photographer of the year? I don't think so.
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