Thursday, 23 September 2010

Solo to Godmanchester

Patience at rest in Godmanchester backwater
I share Patience with John and we've had a great time together pootling up and down river, fixing improving and generally mulling over the ways of the world. I've found boating very sociable. However I've always fancied venturing out by myself from time to time though I've been put off by the realisation of how hard it can be to control a 45 foot narrow boat in difficult conditions (currents and winds can be real problems on the east anglian rivers.)
Anyway, having read up about solo techniques at this blog and it being a beautiful day with plans to go boating at the weekend too, I set off from the Otter aiming for Godmanchester. Why Godmanchester? Well it's a pretty little village (er, ancient town!) with a backwater (literally, that's no slur!) and at the bottom of the garden at the offices where I work there is an ideal unused mooring (though an overhanging branch is in wait, ready to scrape off the TV aerial).
It means I can commute (in a very round about, wholly impractical way) to work.
It also serves as a convenient staging place to explore the further regions of the Great Ouse instead of always returning to our main moorings at Stretham.
So I had a great trip, the weather was fantastic, I managed some of the locks single handed and at others was helped by other boaters in a small cruiser heading from Holywell to Huntingdon. It's also handy to be going upstream in locks where the gates are downstream and most of the locks are guillotines (no arm-tiring winding).
Approaching mill and bridges at Huntingdon
The Old Bridge from the Godmanchester side


  1. I stand corrected: "Noble and ancient town with all the charm of a friendly village"