....I met a man with seven wives!
Well not really, but as I cast off this morning I met Julie's husband (with nb Queen Adelaide) looking over SONFLOWER and voicing his wish that he had bought a boat longer than 40 ft. How important those decisions are when you begin to think about boating.
We then started off and stopped only for a rain break. During this we ate breakfast and then I finished tiling the new floor at the back of the boat. As I cast off after the rain stopped and the job was finished, a large plastic cruiser passed us. I was looking forward to idly following them toward St Ives down the West River. However, they went round the next bend and were not seen again as I set my speed to the limit of 4 miles per hour. This speed limit has a good reason, being implemented to stop bank errosion. Why don't the people who use this river most (The Big White Cruiser Brigade) see sense and comply?
I had been warned that This Fleet of boats accumulate in battle squadrons in town centres where they sit on their sundeck sipping a glass from an expensive bottle of wine. As we approached St Ives this was just the case. Two Cruisers were moored on the Quay about 45 feet apart. I went under the bridge just as the bow rope was loosed from one of them. I did a sweeping turn, allowed them to come through the bridge before retracing my course and making another sweeping tunr to moor on the quay behind the other cruiser. This boater was of a different sort. He was using his boat for a holiday with this family and told tales of attempting to cross The Wash to the River Wytham. Unfortunately his first attempt was aborted half way because the family were suffering with sea sickness but he has vowed to try again. He also tried to move to give us more space but draught at the quay steps was really a problem.
Here is a picture of SONFLOWER at St Ives lock.
The Imray guide notes a lot of differing wildlife on the stretch we have just navigated including seals. We didn't spot them but we did see kingfisheres, numerous herons, terns, a large crab (in Hermitage lock)lapwing and the piece de resistance, Little Egret (not noted by the guide) in two locations. They are lovely but shy and flew away as the boat approached.
19.1/2 miles, and 3 locks today
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