The Echo Brava and Papa Alpha catastrophes led to much safer procedures

A good night at Clayhithe and then a day trip and back to Cambridge via Baits Bite Lock where Daniel’s friends join us and we have lunch at the familiar Copper Kettle. The weather at fine at first but the rain came later. A commemorative service today for the Piper Alpha victims, the UN try to mediate in the Iran/Iraq conflict and in Angolia and the government is under pressure on dental and optical charges as back-benchers rebel.

A good night’s sleep, after the unrest of yesterday. I was sound asleep until woken with my morning tea at 7.30am. We had a better attempt at our morning routine – without the arguments of yesterday. I had time for a little fishing, but the rain started and so we cast off and set off upstream on the Cam towards Baits Bite Lock. We knocked up the Irish Lockkeeper and he let us through and told us of the plans to electrify the lock later this year; removing the old mechanisms and implementing a self-operation procedure. The old place will no longer be the same, as a guillotine replaces the top mitre gates. On up to Cambridge, with the weather brightening up a little and becoming quite humid. We moored at our normal playground site and walked into town to do some shopping. My contribution was to get the bread rolls and some fishing bait and tackle. Met up with the others for lunch at The Copper Kettle, but Daniel had contacted his friends Gary and Steve by phone and they came to Cambridge to spend the day with him.

All met at the boats at 4.00pm, by which time the weather had become very hot for a short time. We set off down the Cam, locked through Baits Bite and then moored up at the Clayhithe Bridge for the night. I had time to do some fishing and caught a half dozen small dace and roach and then the heavens blackened and it rained again. Inside to my journal. The news this evening is of a special service at Aberdeen, where the deaths of the Piper Alpha oil platform men were remembered and commemorated. The service was also to comfort the bereaved, as many of the bodies have yet to be recovered and will never be. There was a minute’s silence in the oil industry. The UN Secretary General, Javier Perez de Cuellar, is sending a negotiation team to the Middle East in an attempt to get an Iran/Iraq peace plan agreed and date for a ceasefire to be implemented. There have been further clashes, as both sides jostle for a truce position and each does not want to be seen as weak. Also, a South West African truce is also believed possible in the Angolian war. Cuba and South Africa must withdraw within a year. The NPC of the Labour Party have agreed a successor tax for the Rates – a combination of Property Tax and Local Income Tax. 60 Tory backbench MPs have signed a motion to retain the House of Lords amendments, rejecting charges for eye and dental checks. Today’s money supply figures were high in relation to the UK Government financial targets. Jessie Jackson backed the Democratic Party campaign yesterday and pledged his supporters behind the nominated Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates. Dukakis was, for once, in the limelight.