Sunday, 15 July 2012

A Wash in Waterbeach

I was pulling off of Mother's drive at 6am yesterday morning, the car stuffed with dogs, clothes and an assortment of goodies that had been delivered to Mum's during the week.  I arrived in Waterbeach, where Yarwood and MR were reputably moored up,  then plugged in the sat-nav to locate the specific road I needed.  By 7.15 I was walking along the flood bank near Bottisham lock.  I had spotted the boats and, in order not to disturb the MR crew at this ungodly hour, I walked past the boats aiming to approach Yarwood without walking past MR.  As I was loaded with bags and boxes, the dogs were loose and they had not taken on board my consideration for sleeping boaters; sadly the MR crew were rudely awoken by the Labrador-boarding-party which woke Baxter and Muttley who in turn, can guess the rest. 

We are stuck here at Waterbeach where the R. Cam is on strong stream and is breaking its banks.  The lock, Bottisham Lock,  just behind our current mooring has been closed to navigation much to the bewilderment of  some boaters who were attempting to get up the R. Cam yesterday.

 Yarwood with Joe pretending to be a fishing gnome on the deck

 Bottisham Lock.  The bottom gates have been locked open to prevent use and the guillotine gate, currently in the down position, might well be used by the Environment Agency (EA) as a flood control.  Normal use of the lock doesn't allow boaters to raise the guillotine gate if the down stream gates are not fully closed.   EA are able to override that and operate the guillotine independently which effectively converts lock into sluice.

 Immediately in front of that sign is the lock landing, now 18 inches under water

 Whilst walking along the flood bank towards Clayhithe you pass the Cam Sailing Club.  Marooned in it's own lake (centre picture) is a deployed folding camper!

 As I took this photo of the dogs taking-the-waters on the Cam notice Fletcher moving towards the work flat at the top of the shot.  He was reaching for the mooring line which he delicately took between his front teeth and pulled...result, one untied boat!  
Jill and I had to hurriedly get the boat secured again before it took off down stream.

 Cambridge Motorboat Club moorings
Yarwood secured in flood conditions, mooring planks to keep her away from the bank and a handily found length of scaffold pole pressed into service at the stern.


  1. Hi, Amy Lucky Duck here

    In answer to your question about breasting up in Cambridge, just letting you know that it is against the Cam Con bylaws to do that and the exterior boat would get hit by rowers a lot.

    Obviously you can't go anywhere right now but when you do come in to Cambridge, the first place to look for mooring would be the visitor moorings at Jesus Lock, or outside the Fort St George pub. All this assumes that the fallen willow currently blocking access to both of those has been removed by then!

    Mooring on the Common, near where we are isn't allowed either, bit they will turn a blind eye if its just for a few days and the visitor moorings are full. But even if you do moor on the Common, I'd still advise mooring separately rather than breasting up. There will be a lot of rowing traffic - all being well with water levels, the Town Bumps races are happening from Tuesday - Friday every evening week from 4pm - 9pm and so restricting the width of the river wouldn't be wise!

    Hope the flood waters abate and we see you here soon!

    1. Thanks Amy. I have noted your contact number but not published it obviously but will give you a call when we know what is happening.

  2. Fletcher: Oh muuuum, I was makin my escapes on that to a faraway land before you rooned my plans...

    Abby x

  3. No Fletcher, I think you were just being a vandal!!


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