But in the Winter, with permission, powered craft are allowed to navigate (if not moor up). We had always wanted to ascend Jesus Lock and attempt to cruise down to the head of navigation at the Mill Pond, so this year, decided to celebrate my birthday by doing just that. I emailed the Cam Conservancy last week, and yesterday got a reply saying that yes, we have permission, and that the punt companies will be duly informed.
|It has been done. This is a photo from the Camboaters website|
St John's Kitchen Bridge is the lowest bridge, and the most likely to cause a problem. Under nomal river conditions, the height is given as 2.08m. The Duck has got under 1.70m on the Nene, but that was a flat bridge and this is arched. Hmm. But we could turn round if it all goes wrong, and there was only one way to find out!
Sunday dawned bright and sunny, perfect for our adventure. We spent the morning doing last minute preparations, including buying provisions, stowing a quarter of a ton of coal and sealing a couple of drain holes which we were worried might end up below water level with lots of people ballasting the bows down.
At 12:30, we set off from where we are moored and headed to the water point to fill up in order to keep the bows low. At 1pm or so, everyone began to arrive. I handed out warming cups of butternut squash and bacon soup, mulled wine and tea, since everyone was sat outside in the bows to get the best views. We'd also taken off the fabric cratch cover. Bones and James went to set the lock and the once all the guests were on board, we set off through the lock and onto the Middle River.
|The Duck prepares to exit Jesus Lock and onto the Middle River|
|We approach St John's College, where the lowest bridge,|
St John's Kitchen Bridge was our biggest worry in terms of air draft,
with its height given at 2.07m on the Cam Conservancy website.
|Soon we were under the famous Bridge Of Sighs at St Johns,|
and jostling with punts, which were out in force on this glorious sunny day.
(photo: R. Herzig)
|We made it under St John's Kitchen Bridge!|
Everyone took photos of this momentous occasion.
From here on in, all we have to worry about are the rogue punts!
(photo: R. Herzig)
|James steers expertly under the Kitchen Bridge,|
but has to duck in order to make it! Plenty of room.
(photo: P. Garsed)
|Another of the Kitchen Bridge|
|Clare Bridge (photo: R. Herzig)|
|Clare College, James' alma mater (photo: C. Houldcroft)|
|Lyra was very good. She kept out of the way in the bedroom mostly.|
Jackie took this photo of her when were at the Mill Pond.
(photo: J. Witts)
All in all, it was a very sucessful trip, and having seen how easy and fun it is to do, we'll most likely try it again sometime before the powerboat ban is enforced again in March! So, thanks to everyone who came, for making my birthday cruise so much fun, and for getting off to take such lovely photos!