Waterbeach – Ely
It was distinctly grey, dreary and damp when we got up so we didn’t hurry to get up and go boating! At about 11:30 we set off to Ely. The weather cleared as we cruised along, and it was a nice trip. At Pope’s Corner, we saw Lucky Duck moored up in its new spot at the Fish and Duck, and we saw a little girl who called out that she reads our blog!
Standing on the roof to take photos of the Duck!
I did a lot of the steering while James was inside. I know that rivers are way easier in terms of steering deep full length boats but I’ve been enjoying it all the same. Get it right, which is easier on the river because of the depth, and mostly Willow steers itself, requiring very little tiller work.
We moored up on a fairly awkward bit of wall, next to where Liberty Belle, the Lynn Union trip boat comes and goes. A very pretty little boat. The owner has recently opened a “micropub” also called Liberty Belle, in Ely, which is reportedly very good. Perhaps we shall check it out tomorrow night. Once securely tied up (as best we could on the annoying position rings) we went to the antiques shop where we finally purchased the brass bilge pump we’ve been admiring for years, as well as a 56lb mudweight (James was glad we were moored close by!). Then it was a trip up the hill, first to Cutlacks, where we bought a nice enamel mop bucket (none of this plastic rubbish for Willow!) and then to the big Sue Ryder charity shop, where we found a Kenwood breadmaker for £20. Now, I know 240V electric kitchen devices aren’t really ideal for boats, but we can use it whilst the engine is running and it is only 480W. Plus it has a 1hr quick setting. Looking forwards to trying it out!
In the evening, we went to the exceptionally lovely Boathouse restaurant, as a friend who works there was able to give us a properly good discount! It was, as expected, delicious. While we waited for our mains to arrive, they served complimentary nibbles: bread and olives, haggis fritters, with beetroot and whisky mayonnaise, cheese straws, and oriental vegetable parcels called ‘moneybags’. I had hake with potato cake and a white wine sauce, and James had roast duck breast with potato and shallot cakes, fried mushrooms and carrot puree. For dessert I had icecream: elderflower & gooseberry, strawberry and lemon, and James had chocolate brownie tart. All extremely yummy! Afterwards, a friend who lives locally came to visit.