Yesterday I made a trip to das Boot by train. Just for the day. Older Nephew met me at Cambridge station; we shopped in the local Sainsbury’s for our lunch, adding to the bits and pieces i had brought from London. It was only this evening I realised I forgot to take the stuffed vine leaves I’d promised. Maybe he forgot too, or he was remarkably silent on the matter.
I’ve been working a lot, and a break East has not been possible, but Older Nephew and I liaised and realised we could both be free to mark the start of the new month, so there we were, afloat on what I think must have been the hottest day so far this year.
The sky was a deep blue, the same colour it has been for weeks now.
We were expecting a busy river, boats galore, but my guess is that the weather has been gorgeous for so many weeks now, people have become blasé. some brave souls were scrubbing their boats. As Older Nephew’s new car registered 30℃ in the shade, maybe I should call them foolhardy rather than brave.
We actually saw very few people for most of the day. And some we did see we only bits of.
The plan was to head for Ely, moor up a little beyond the town, eat, and potter back the way we’d come. Just before Ely there was a sign I missed about raft races. What it didn’t say was that the river, not far ahead would be blocked with rafts and Older Nephew and I would find ourselves needing to turn round rather sharply while the town mayor, in full ceremonial robes, yelled “get out of the way” at us from another vessel. We did, and with very little swearing on Older Nephew’s part, which I think showed great restraint.
So we moored up elsewhere. There were two other boats, one owner presumably snoozing on board, another sunbathing in his underpants. It was a hot, lazy afternoon.
Highland cattle sheltered in the shade under a bridge.
There were birds; we saw herons and moorhens, lots of great crested grebes, including some with babies, ducks with ducklings, geese with goslings, swans, two swans and a grebe together, three swans.
Swans and grebe
The tumbledown boat house has tumbled down still further. How long before it collapses into the river?
Tumbledown boat house
The water lilies were profuse.
Profuse water lilies
Then finally, just a hundred yards or so away from the marina, we see a swan with a cygnet. Just one adult, one cygnet.
Parent and infant
I was pleased to see them, but hope nothing untoward has happened. It’s odd to see just one cygnet and one adult swan. I hope the others were just out f sight with the second parent.
If I can, I’m going to spend a few days afloat from the middle of next week, so I shall keep my eyes peeled.