So a new chapter begins.
So what do you do if you can’t afford your own sailing boat ? Go sailing with other people on theirs.
What if you can’t always find the right trips to the destinations and for the durations you want ?
What if you’ve become a little tired of those train journeys to the airport ? Of sitting around in departure lounges ? Wondering what the next boat/people are going to be like ?
Something had to change as i wanted to have my own ‘something’ – my own ‘somewhere’.
I pondered buying a campervan and an extended tour of Europe/Scandinavia. But i knew i had to be near the water – somewhere.
I started looking at adverts for narrowboats, something which i had done before. I had been on narrowboat holidays before many years ago, my parents had been on many of them.
Well, to cut a long story short, i bought a 40ft narrow boat mid July 2019. It was in good condition, only been used for short trips and used as a weekend hideaway. It had lived on the rivers of the East Anglian waterways and had never yet seen the canals. (Boats tend to get bashed up on the canals !)
So ten tonnes of steel to drive around in at a leisurely pace of 4 mph. No strong currents, no high/low tides, no gale force scenarios to worry about (hopefully).
When i purchased the boat the paint was a little dull and was in need of some renovation. Many hours of elbow grease and strong polish later it was looking good !!
Little Wing was now nice and shiny and ready for a new adventure !!
The boat is normally moored in Cambridgeshire on a quiet stretch of the Great Ouse river. Enjoying a beer in the evening……….
Its a very quiet beautiful place, theres a nature reserve only a hundred yards away called Wicken Fen. It was the first ever nature reserve owned by the National Trust. Apparantly very well known and all of the well known wildlife presenters have been there.
After finding out how everything worked I headed out for my first solo trip.
The weather looked reasonable so i embarked on a short 3 day trip to Ely in Cambridgeshire, home to a fantastic cathederal, a lovely riverside setting, and a few good pubs – bliss. .
Approaching Ely with the cathedral in the distance………
Entering Ely with the well known Cutter Inn on the left hand side.
The amazing Ely Cathedral, such a huge size for a small town. The present building dates back to AD1083 but there was an origjnal church abbey that was built in AD672. Apparantly the inside is even more amazing with fantastic painted ceilings and decorative finishings. Something to see next time i visit !
It was a successful first trip out despite the fact that the weather changed and i had a brake down on the way home. The alternator belt snapped when i was trying to beat the rain home, so had to change it standing in the engine bay with the rain beating down on me !! Still came back to my mooring with a smile on my face so it was a good start !! Only about 20 miles, three days, 2 locks, one alternator belt, a load of rain but a load of fun !!
Always enjoy the views and sunsets……….