Monday, 18 August 2014

A weekend cruise that started badly

Our neighbours, John & Rita, on narrowboat 'Izzyinn Two' said that they were going to take their grandkids, Libby and Jake on a cruise for a few days, several other boaters said that they'd like to join them, unfortunately Freddie their little dog fell and hurt himself, which ended with him being taken to Newmarket for scans the day before the planned cruise. We thought it would be cancelled but Freddy came back all chipper and John & Rita decided to go ahead with the cruise, everyone else dropped out except for us.
We left a bit later than intended, and we went ahead of John and Rita, as we exited the marina there was a bang and the gear lever went loose, we drifted a few feet from the flow of the river.
I lifted the boards and found that the gearchange teleflex cable was disconnected, the solid tip had been bent back on itself, and a swage on the cable had split. I soon found out why, I had moved the bilge pump while painting the bilge and forgotten to put it back, it was too close to the drive shaft and the outlet pipe and electric cables had become tangled around the shaft, smacking it into the gearchange ;o(
I managed a 'bush repair' in about 15 minutes and we were on our way again ;o)
NB Izzyinn Two catching us up, with Rita at the helm
John, Rita and Freddie
Libby and Jake are lovely kids and were a pleasure to travel with
Libby spotted this beautiful dragonfly, it was tangled up in the undergrowth and seemed to be being attacked by a wasp. We rescued it and I transferred it to Libby's hand, Glenda lined up a lovely picture of the dragonfly on libby's hand with Jake in the background, but it flew of as Glenda went to take the photo. (excuse my dirty 'boater's fingers' LOL!) 
We moored at Islip the first night and enjoyed a barbeque as thunderclouds and torrential rains wafted past in the near distance, after food we added some logs, got a nice pit fire going, and invited John and Ann from narrowboat 'Cherry Tree' to join us, they were on their way back from a trip to Birmingham. As we sat there our luck ran out and the heavens opened. We braved it and sat huddled around the fire chin-wagging until nearly midnight.
Next day we bid farewell to John and Ann and headed for Wadenhoe, as we moored, the Willy Watts' day hire boat 'Rose of the Nene' arrived but quite a few small cruisers were badly moored with big gaps between them (but not big enough for even a small narrowboat), as the day boat carried on down the millstream we heard a big crack and a crash, as they brought down a large branch, we got the beers in and I was proposing to reverse down the millstream and tow them out but they eventually emerged with half a ton of vegetation on board ;o)
We left John, Rita, Freddie, Libby and Jake and started to head back towards Denford where we wanted to moor for Saturday night. Our local is the excellent 'Cock' in Denford.
On leaving Denford on Sunday morning we spotted Alan Buckle of the fuelboat Bletchley coming towards us, on his way back from a trip to the Thames, he was very quick off the mark and got this great shot of us passing him.