Friday, 23 May 2008

Mechanical delay.

4 Locks, 13 miles. Now moored at great Barford, Great River Ouse

After yesterdays cruising Derek on Nb Kalimera discovered a fault with his electrical system which we both worked out as being a faulty alternator. This morning he contacted a Marina at St Neots who said they would have a look at it. After 1 lock and 1 hours cruising we arrived at St Neots where we pulled onto the council moorings by the Priory Centre while Kalimera went on to the Marina.

River Great Ouse 135

Nb's Kalimera and Gypsy Rover in St Neots Lock

During the course of the day Dot and Christina met up and went into town a couple of times but I stayed on the boat which was just as well because it turns out that the Priory Centre is a meeting place for the local youths good or bad. It transpires that only strangers to St Neots would moor overnight on this mooring as there have been many incidents of trouble. As it was, several youths , male and female, came down to the pontoon moorings and left graffiti on the decking, rubbish all around and were generally unruly. It's a shame that so much money has been spent on these moorings and boaters are unable to safely use them. The council need to fence the site off and secure it as BW have had to do on some of the Northern canal basins.

Eventually after 6 hours Nb Kalimera was under way again. The alternator had failed and cooked the starter battery. Even though it was late we opted to try and reach Great Barford as it was a lovely warm sunny evening just right for cruising. When we arrived here the local scout group were playing something like water polo or soccer in kayaks just above the weir but they were no problem. There was just enough room for both of us on the EA mooring next to the beautiful and very ancient bridge. While mooring up, a couple on another narrowboat that we had been crossing paths with lately came and gave us a helping hand. While chatting they told us that they had mistakenly moored on the Priory Moorings at St Neots when they first started cruising only to be threatened with wilful damage. The threat of being set on fire and let loose during the night frightened them off so they vowed never to return. Their home base is Bedford and apparently all the local plans their trips so as to avoid St Neots. I think that this sort of situation is intolerable and needs to be addressed by the powers that be.

1149 locks, 1596 miles, 41 Tunnels, 41 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

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