Monday, 8 October 2012

Up the Backs again

On Saturday, we went up the Backs again, having previously booked passage with the Conservators.

It was a wonderful sunny day, but - due to the rain - the river was slightly up and there was a stronger stream than usual. I debated not going, reckoning that the combination of stream and lots of punts enjoying the sun would make the trip slightly more challenging than usual, but I'm glad I went for it in the end.

Ascending Jesus Lock

Magdalene Bridge, with plenty of punt traffic

Bridge of Sighs, St John's College

Corner between Trinity and St John's colleges 

Mathematical bridge - with a punt traffic jam!

This cheeky chappy - a liveaboard boater in Ely - hitched a lift through a clearer part. We didn't mind, we had some good conversation!

As I suspected, the river was full of punt traffic, some more competent than others, and made for challenging conditions. We got through, though, going into reverse fairly often - something the punts cannot do! - and carefully threading our way through.

The way up to the Mill Pond was, though busy, particularly good humoured. We had some very good laughs and jokes with the punt tour guides, and everything was very good-natured. After a brief pause for cakes in the Mill Pond, we headed back.

This time, a couple of punt tour guides had a moan, one saying that we were "the biggest hazard on the river" - ironically as I was reversing to avoid a hired punt, veering across our bows.... It didn't spoil the day overall, though, as the sun shined and we had a good time.

Lyra slept through most of the trip - and enjoyed scrutinising passing novice rowing boats from a lofty perch once we were moored back in the usual spot.

twitter // facebook // email // follow // any questions?


  1. Would my little boat navigate the Backs and be able wind?

    1. Afraid not (unless you're referring to a smaller boat, not the mighty Avalon!). See this video of the narrowest bridge:

  2. We are hoping to do it before Christmas. We are 57 feet and 5ft 6in air draft, we draw about 2ft 4in. Will we fit.
    I take it that mid week would be quieter than week ends?
    How much notice do I have to give to the Cam Com please?