SPCC to the Backs – Take 2

ringThe second trip for St Pancras Cruising Club members (and a couple of extras) along the backs in Cambridge. The record of the first trip (including an entertaining video) is here.

The long weekend started on Thursday, when I attended a local IWA meeting (first time since I was a Cambridge branch member over 30 years ago!) to give a talk about my experiences crossing the Wash. Then to the boat arriving 2230.

On Friday various maintenance tasks, in particular using bolts (with three nuts and washers each) to fix the box in the gas locker (to which the bubble tester is secured), filling water, emptying loo etc. Then a jumbo shop, and Evensong in the cathedral (Lady Chapel – very fine music). In the evening Christine, Libby, Heather and her friend Linda, and Polly arrived in stages.

Early start on Saturday – 0630. Polly was not able to bring her boat SPRIG O WILLOW due to mechanical issues, so she and Mike joined us for the day. I think this means we still qualify as a flotilla?

We added an extension trip to Wicken Fen, through Upware Lock. Heather tried to get us in on her NT membership card but this attempt at fraud was rebuffed. The lack of butter knife and marmalade spoon was commented on at breakfast, but otherwise the crew were well behaved. After 90 minutes at Wicken, we continued to Waterbeach, where Polly and Mike left to catch a train and Mark joined (plus bike). We cruised a bit beyond Silver St, turning in the pool just below the punt rollers, rather further upstream than usual. Wandered around Cambridge in the evening, before the crew went out for dinner at the Fort St George.

On Sunday I replaced the weed hatch tape. This had first been recommended some eight years ago, and it was now leaking a bit. An easy job. Also mended the water temp gauge – a very simple job as a wire was loose.

We were joined by Liz and Mick, and Andy and Jenny, for the Sunday trip – rather fewer tourists today. Then a brief excursion to the Long Reach, to watch some rowing, mooring up at 1500. Then Jane and I went to watch son Hugh play hockey for the University second team – beat Oxford 5-2 so all were very pleased. (see here).

Finally, an easy run back to Ely on Monday morning, pausing in Bottisham Lock for breakfast. I was half way home before I realised I had left both my laptops on the boat…

I was a bit erratic about taking photos – there are more on the postings about previous trips on the Backs (November 2016, March 2016, October 2015, March 2015, October 2014, twice).

Captions are above the photos to which they refer.

New bolts to hold the gas locker box in place, and new bubble tester


Wicken Fen – Heather steering

dscf9279 dscf9280 dscf9282 dscf9286

Polly on the landing stage at Upware lock


Bottisham lock – EA/Camcon boundary just upstreamdscf9290

Above Silver St – punt rollers on the right. Mark looking out for mudbanks.

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Darwin Collegedscf9299 dscf9302

Clare and Kingsdscf9304 dscf9305

Jesus Lock – Heather and Christine winding awaydscf9306 dscf9307

Weed hatch, before replacing the tape ..dscf9308

… and after. An easy job.dscf9310

St John’s Kitchen Bridgedscf9311

Mick and Lizdscf9313


Andy and Jennydscf9318

Early morning run down to Ely – navigation lights in use as there were a lot of rowers around.dscf9355 dscf9357 dscf9362


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