Captain’s Log 5th October 2018

B0CEA50F-6521-4B16-9399-EEFD03EA1ACAThe sky has now clouded over and there are just patches of blue in the white, but for most of the day it has felt more like early September than early October. MasterB and I were up betimes, showered, breakfasted, he then went to his new favourite post breakfast spot under the rug in the forecabin, I set to wiping off spider poo, dusting surfaces and vacuuming the floor.
I wondered idly what time Older Nephew would arrive and then thought to turn on my ‘phone to see if he’d messaged me. He had, and arrived shortly after eleven, armed with pizza and cans of lager.
We had to put water into the tank before we could set off. Annoyingly, right at the end of the season, it was empty. I shan’t be back before the spring, ON will be here with two friends to take the boat to the pump out, then drain the water out and winterise her. I realise as I type this we forgot to talk about anti-freeze.
So today we just enjoyed some time on the river which was millpond smooth. A few people turned up at the marina this morning to take their boats out, and we met others on the way to and from Ely. Tomorrow’s forecast is for rain and low temperatures so I am guessing those who were able to take advantage of today’s warmth did so.
We saw a bird I did not photograph with a pink mask at Ely. Three of them in fact. Having consulted all three onboard bird books we have failed to identify what it was. There were the coots and moorhens, mallards and swans, herons, geese and grebes, one sighting of a kingfisher. Some of the calves in the fields are tiny, at least one must have been only a few days old.


MasterB spent the day with us in the forecabin, at first still under the rug, then sitting out and enjoying a fuss, finally in a new citadel of cushions. I am hopeful that he is becoming more confident on our boat trips and maybe by the time he reaches double figures in 2020 may actually socialise with us when we go out.
I have put a few bits and pieces I don’t think I’ll need again in the car, I shall put the front cover on in a couple of hours. Supper is sorted, I know what I’m having from breakfast, the more packing up I can do now, the quicker we’ll be in the morning. The biggest job is stripping the bed then putting dust covers on everything and obviously that has to wait. In some ways it would make sense to go home this evening, and it has crossed my mind. But I think we’ll enjoy our last night afloat of 2018 and drive back to London in the rain.

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Swans on the River Lark

The weather here has taken a sudden turn and today was cold. Tomorrow I shall wear a warmer coat. I’m glad that butterbeans were already on tonight’s menu; warm and tasty, the perfect dish for an evening where winter is making itself felt.

I am hoping that MasterB’s fans are content with the Instagram pictures which appear on this page. I shall of course be putting up more photos of His Gingerness in posts here, but today he is giving way to swans.

Aunt lives by the river, and when I returned from the ham and rolls shopping trip, I saw this group of swans and had to take some photographs.

Swans in the distance

Swans in the distance

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Back on the Boat Again

I'm feeling brave. Back on das Boot again with MasterB and I am going to try to upload some pictures. I hope for success. I am resigned to failure.

We left late. First I dilly dallied, then MasterB went to sleep in an inaccessible spot. He had been antsy in the dawn, and I had let him to play around five o'clock. He came inside again at seven, and at first seemed quite lively. I think he sloped off to bed when I was packing my bag.

Today was dull but dry. Not cold. Not hot. I am sitting here on das Boot, still in daylight though it is nine in the evening, with bare feet and most of the windows open.

Good weather for travelling with a cat. A cat who has just emitted a low growl in response to someone on another boat who spoke loudly. It is a boat that is for sale. A bit of a project I'd say, but then isn't every boat, so perhaps they are amking sure the interior looks its best. MasterB has now leapt up onto the seat in the fore cabin, and is looking outside and listening to the neighbour singing. He doesn't seem impressed. The house martins are still swooping about, catching the bugs. I think they are house martins. They have pale bellies and move too quickly to allow much study.

I was surprised how busy the marina was when I arrived. Obviously I am not the only boat owner who does not have a nine to five, Monday to Friday, work routine. But by the time I had carried my stuff abord and let the engine run for fifteen minutes, most of the cars had departed.

MasterB had a little perambulation in his harness. He sniffed intently, and made little mews. Looking at his eyes, he showed no anxiety, so I am guessing the mews were a response to the stimulus.

Going back and forth with my bits and pieces I hadn't noticed the caterpillars. Now with MasterB I realised it was feeding time at the marina.

And it wasn't just the caterpillars.

 

 

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Back in Harness

We spent quite a while looking at cows. When we had got off the boat, or disembarked, which sounds much grander, the cows had been at the far end of the field, but as we turned from our perambulations they were close by the fence.

NotCat sat down. He watched. He lay down to give them his full attention but in comfort. I stood. The path was damp and muddy. Minutes passed. I took some photos. I got bored, and decided if we were going to watch cows all evening I wanted to sit down. I carried NotCat to the steps. The moment I had got comfortable, he lost interest in cows and turned his attention to boats. We crunched along the gravel.

NotCat did that cat thing of walking along the very edge while I held my breath and suggested the grass was nicer to paws. Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Peaceful, Take Two

Some more pix on this prompt. I find it interesting how many of us associate water with peacefulness, though the photograph with the prompt didn’t strike me as peaceful.

So, to kick off, here is the marina under snow last winter. When there is no one about, the marina is the most peaceful spot I know. I feel my breathing change when I am there.

Marina Under Snow

Summer this time, still at the marina, and the swan parents have a new brood.

The Swan Family


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Weekly Photo Challenge: Hidden Take Two

The rain began on Thursday evening, and I went to sleep with the sound of it on the roof of the boat. When I woke in the morning it had stopped and the temperature had dropped. The marina was cloaked in a shroud of mist that was deeper by the river’s edge and stretched away across the fields, hiding the flat landscape under a white cloud.

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Feline Adventures on the Gunwhale

The shaky video is down to my nerves I’m afraid, but it is a recording of Not Cat’s first steps on the gunwhale. He was very cautious. Too cautious perhaps. More likely to lose his balance through indecision. Later, in the early hours, we both watched one of the feral cats showing us how it’s done. She leapt confidently onto das Boot from the path, peered inside and when she realised she was being watched in return, leapt equally confidently onto the pontoon and disappeared into the night.

Still, I’m proud of my boy, and I’m looking forward to documenting his progress, but I think we might wait until the spring to let him really explore.