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  • clivenmel

July 11th

Normal 0 false false false st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} Friday July 10th � Earith to St Ives   We were up quite early this morning, however by the time we had finished breakfast and pottered around for a bit we realised it was nearly 11.00am!  We soon got underway and once again were thrown by the weather, which had started off warm and sunny then began to cloud over and get quite chilly � on went the fleeces again!   Soon after we left our mooring at The Crown we noticed some guys cutting reeds, bundling them and loading them onto a small boat.  We weren�t sure whether they were actually harvesting them, presumably for thatch, or just cutting them down.  I would like to think the former.  I know that in East Anglia they do use reeds for thatching as opposed to straw.   We soon arrived at the first lock of the day, Brownshill Staunch! This one wasn�t manned so I jumped off and went to operate it. Once through the lock we were again on the non-tidal Gt Ouse.  A short while later and we passed the picturesque village of Holywell.  The bit we could see looked lovely; gorgeous little thatched cottages dating from the 17th century, some of which were built by Dutch settlers working with Cornelius Vermuyden � the Dutchman who was responsible for the draining of the fens.  Once upon a time there used to be a ferry here that was evidently used by Hereward the Wake!  At the end of the village is the Old Ferry Boat Inn, reputedly the oldest inn in England!  It is believed that liquor was sold at this spot as early as 560!  The current inn, which was rebuilt in the 18th century and now modernised dates from the 14th or 15th century and contains old bog-oak beams which may have formed part of an even earlier building.  It is also supposed to be haunted!  According to tradition one Juliet Tewsley, who hung herself at a nearby crossroads for the unrequited love of a local woodcutter in 1050, is said to walk each St Patrick�s day from her grave, which is supposed to be under a slab in the floor of the public bar, to her place of death � spooky! The name of the village comes from �Holy Well� which is situated at the bottom of a hill below the church and owes its reputed sanctity to the 7th century Persian bishop, St Ivo.  Unfortunately there were no moorings so we were unable to go and have a closer look at the inn and the village, which is a shame.   It wasn�t long before we arrived at the St Ives Lock, which is a really big and wide lock � we shared it with a cruiser and there was tons of room.  This lock had an electric guillotine gate at the rear but the front pointing gates were operated by windlass � oh dear, I have got quite used to pressing buttons now instead of having to work hard manually winding paddles!  However the gentleman from the cruiser was helping me so it wasn�t too bad!  After the lock we could see the town of St Ives up ahead � our destination!  We managed to moor up at the Town Quay, which is just before the lovely old bridge.  This bridge is 500 years old and actually has a chapel on it, which was consecrated in 1426 and dedicated to St Leger.    The town of St Ives, whose original name was Slepe � a Saxon word meaning muddy!   According to legend the name St Ives is derived from the aforementioned Persian bishop, Ivo, who came to preach in East Anglia and who is said to have died near Slepe in about AD6000.  Some 400 years later, bones found in a field to the east of Slepe were immediately attributed by the monks of Ramsey Abbey to be those of the by-then canonised St Ivo.   Our mooring at the quay was fine except that the wall was really high up and I wasn�t sure if I would be able to get on and off the boat!  In the end we dug out Clive�s little stool from engine compartment and I managed to get off by standing on that first, then putting one foot up on the stern rail then the other foot on the bank whilst Clive was hauling me up!  Not very elegant!  We went to do a bit of shopping and have a look around St Ives, which is a lovely little town which we have always liked, we have even considered moving here at some point in the future.  We headed back to the boat and in order to get back on board I had to sit on the wall, get my feet on the stern rail, then step down onto the stool again � I was quite relieved when I finally got down!      We had noticed some anglers fishing off the quay up in front of the boat and Clive suddenly realised that one of them had a really big fish on the end of his line!  He grabbed the camera, climbed up onto the quay and went to see if he could get a shot.  Unfortunately by the time he got there the angler had unhooked the fish and let it go again.  However a few minutes later and he had another one on the line � this time Clive managed to get there in time to take a couple of photos of the huge pike that the guy had caught.  What surprised Clive however was when the angler told him that as he was hauling this pike out of the water there was an even bigger one trying to nibble at this one�s tail!  He said it was half as big again!  Once again the pike was thrown back into the water to live another day.   Interestingly you may recall the gentleman we met in Ely, Ken.  Well he passed on our website details to another boating couple that he met and they decided to have a look at our blog and photos etc.  Well we received an email the other day from the lady on board NB Shambles saying that having had a look at our website they were really surprised when they passed us on the Cam on their way into Cambridge, they even took a photograph of Lady Arwen.  Well whilst we were moored at the quay in St Ives I happened to notice Shambles cruising past so I gave them a wave.  They went through the bridge and moored up on the opposite bank.    Saturday July 11th � St Ives   When Clive went up on deck this morning he found a window sticker which somebody had obviously tossed onto the deck from the quay.  It is notice for other boaters to say they are welcome to moor alongside us � a replacement for the hand-made one that I had produced whilst at The Crown, we wondered where it had come from!  We decided to change moorings this morning as soon as some space became available at the moorings under the bridge.   There were a couple of reasons for the move; one being my difficulty getting on and off the boat and the other was noise.  Last night there was quite a bit of noise from a local hostelry, raucous laughter and loud chat etc.  In fact there had been another boat moored next to us when we first arrived but they decided to move on at about 8pm because of the racket!  Today being Saturday we figured it could be even noisier tonight!  So we cruised under the lovely bridge and over on the left bank is a hotel called the Dolphin which has its own moorings then right next to it are some EA moorings down a little channel and we managed to moor up there.  Just as we were reversing down the channel, the gentleman from Shambles came over to have a chat � he also asked if we had found our mooring sticker � now we know where it came from!  It�s lovely and quiet here and best of all, when I tuned in the TV, we have 95 digital channels!  This means Clive will have an excellent picture for the Grand Prix, which will keep him happy.   We intend to stay here in St Ives until Monday because there is a lot going on this weekend.  Today is the date of the annual St Ives Carnival and tomorrow the St Ives Music Festival, both of which sound good fun.  The only trouble is it�s a Grand Prix weekend so that will tie Clive up for a couple of hours this afternoon and again tomorrow!  Also the weather forecast isn�t brilliant for tomorrow, at least in the morning, so the music festival might be a bit of a wash-out.  I have never been to Glastonbury and I�m not sure whether I want to start doing the rain, mud and music thing at my age!  So we will have to see what happens on that score.  We are also hoping that our daughter Vicki will pop over to see us at some point this weekend.   So that�s all for now.

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