We spent a glorious weekend cruising out to our old mooring and back, to catch up with friends and simply enjoy boating for the sake of boating.
Saturday morning was inevitably spent rowing and coxing, but with the exciting addition of sculling! Both James and I are learning to scull so that we can take the double out together or with friends when we feel like it. So we've been getting the training scull out and pootling about, learning the basics so that we can try the double racing shell soon! I was quite apprehensive about the idea, but once I got going, I loved it! We're both looking forward to the freedom that sculling could bring, as well as the opportunity to row more (if that is possible!).
Once we'd finished messing about in little plastic boats, we set off in our big steel one, both for a change of scenery, and because it was a lovely weekend for boating. It was a very pleasant trip out of town, marred only by a foolish college rowing boat who overtook another boat, and pulled out in front of the Duck, requiring James to slam the boat into reverse and hoot the klaxon.
We moored up close to our old mooring, and wandered over to see what was going on. John and Jackie on Pippin were about, as was Andreas on Rowanberry. We had cups of tea and caught up on each others' news. Lots is going on out there: Helen and Gabriel on Brass Monkey are about to become first time parents (she was due on Thursday, so everyone was geared up to see them rush off to the hospital any moment!), and they have just had their boat stretched. It looks great. They were looking to sell up and buy a longer one, but decided to simply improve on what they had rather than go through the stress of buying and selling. Very wise. Visitors from the vicars on lovely electric boat Sunflower also moored up to say hello. They were waiting in the queue for the lock, which was about 6 boats long, and not helped by a Bridge cruiser moored up on the landing stage! We stayed on Pippin for dinner which was most enjoyable and slept very well away from the noise of the centre of town.
On Sunday we woke late and read the papers in bed, until we heard the familiar noise of Kestrel's engine, as James moored up behind us. He and Emma had spent the night out at Wicken Fen (which is apparently lovely - we must make it out there at some point!) and he was now single handing back towards town. However, he wanted to give Kestrel its annual polish, and James was eager to help. I supplied bacon sandwiches and continued to tidy up inside the Duck.
Soon we were heading back into town in warm sunshine despite the BBC's predictions of rain! In the evening we went back out to the old mooring in James and Emma's car, to pick up a huge mahogony box which James had bought from John in order to make a new cratch board for Kestrel. Of course we couldn't visit without being invited in for more drinks on Pippin! Adding to the excitement was the arrival of Rhoda earlier in the afternoon, the most recent addition to the mooring, on her red widebeam Hullabaloo. So another convivial evening was had by all.