This is the only decent picture that I have of the boat. It was taken right before we went through our first lock, located in the town of Earith.
Admittedly, the boat doesn't look so terrible in this picture. If only pictures could capture the smell of mold! Maybe a scratch and sniff boat sticker?
We went through three locks, each a completely different experience. The lock at Earith was manned and could only hold one boat at a time. We didn't need to do much, except pass the ropes to the man at the top of the lock. He did all of the work. We just slowly floated up and when we were at the top, he untied us and opened the gates.
The only scary part was the size of the lock. It was narrow and being it in made me feel trapped.
We didn't take pictures of the other two locks, mainly because they were unmanned. We had to do all of the work ourselves and since this was my first experience with locks, I was little or more realistically, no help to Dan. There was a lot of frantic running around and confusion. It was frustrating, but we made it through. The other two locks were a lot bigger and could hold more than one boat at a time. One part of the boating experience that I liked was the camaraderie of fellow boaters. People were always happy to help out and give advice.
Here is a picture of the Riverview Tea Room in Earith from the canal side. If we had gone through the lock first, we could have moored here for lunch.
Our journey from Earith to St. Ives was the best part of our time spent on the river. The sun was shining and the scenery was beautiful.
I even took the wheel for a bit. This picture also demonstrates my haggard, "river" look. This is what I look like when the spiders keep me up and I'm too afraid to go into the shower.
Mostly, I hid behind my book.
I found a great spot to enjoy the view.
St. Ives was our night stop. It also marked our turn-around point. We would head back towards the shipyard the next morning.
As we pulled into St. Ives, we found a mooring spot right in town and a nice family helped us slide in the tight space. The town was absolutely beautiful and swans immediately gathered around our docked boat. It was Idyllic.
When I think of St. Ives, I think of soap or lotion. What I didn't realize, is that there are many towns named St. Ives in England. We visited St. Ives in Cambridgeshire. Historically, it was a large market town and it contains a large number of pubs. Fun fact, the word Tawdry was created in St. Ives and originally was used to describe fabric that is inexpensive and colorful.
A notable citizen of St. Ives is Oliver Cromwell. Here is his statue in the town center. It's a rather menacing statue!
We walked around and explored the beautiful town of St. Ives. There were so many wonderful restaurants and shops, that I wish we had just booked an entire weekend here, minus the boat!
Our dinner in St. Ives was one of the few times that we managed to eat somewhere cheap, that also ended with the entire family happy with their meal. Seriously, this was a rarity on our vacation. We found food happiness at Local Fish & Chips.
It was a bit of a dive, but the food was great. Dan stuck with the safe bet and ordered battered sausages and chips.
I ordered the chicken kabob meal. It was so flavorful and delicious. Just looking at this picture is making me crave the meal.
We returned to the boat and ate chocolate for dessert while playing Uno. As I settled into bed, I could see swans swimming right outside of my room with the setting sunlight reflecting in the water. It was beautiful and for once, being on the boat didn't seem too awful.