Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Summer has arrived - hopefully

The wonderfully remote mooring at Barford Mills
We spent last night moored in Priory Marina, Bedford, taking advantage of our GOBA membership for a free night's stay. It was a chance to get the washing done in the laundry there and - for the cost of one whole British pound's worth of electricity – to charge the batteries, heat the water with the immersion and for Mrs B to do the hoovering before we left this morning.
Yesterday closed with thunderstorms and torrential rain showers so I left the marina expecting the river to be running fast and high. No, it was slower and lower than when we came up - I can't really think why.
Ozzie the owl enjoying his boat trip
We retraced the route we'd covered a few days back in high winds, wearing winter clothes, this time in tee-shirts and glorious sunshine. It was like a different river. Apart from the locks, of course. We almost got ourselves stuck in the first, Cardington, because of the low river level, but squeezed out to find the trip boat from the nearby Danish Camp waiting with Ozzie the European Eagle Owl riding on the roof.
Down in the depths of Castle Mill Lock
It's nice to try and find new mooring spots on an out-and-back trip so with some energetic reversing I got us backed up into the remote EA mooring at Old Barford Mills. It's an old lock cut and a gloriously picturesque spot. The old and new channels have created a mid-stream island on which is a cottage, accessed only by footbridge and with electricity by diesel generator. It's a remarkably remote spot to find so close to towns and traffic. Unfortunately the mooring was just too shallow for us to get at all near the edge so after a cup of tea and a relax in the sun we moved on, left the cottage to its fortunate inhabitant and moored once more at Great Barford Bridge.
Secluded hideaway on the island at Old Barford Mills
Not quite so isolated, for sure, but still a lovely spot where we spent the evening sitting on the deck and watching sand martins and great tits going back and forth to nests they'd made in tiny gaps in the stonework. And marvelling at the diving skills of a kingfisher as it plunged off the bridge into the river after fish. Who needs to go abroad when you've got weather and wildlife watching like this.

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