Thursday 25th July 1991

Daniel was ashore visiting Angela as the family stayed with me in Ely and we serviced the Paxton Princess and tender and prepared for or forthcoming trip out of King Lynn to Grimsby. A nice lunch in Bonnets and then the girls went swimming as I caught up with my logs and journal.

The weather had made a real improvement today, with the sun coming out again. I reckoned we might have sufficient fine weather for our trip to Grimsby on Saturday

Another satisfactory night moored up on the newly refurbished public moorings at Ely. This was despite being near to the railway bridge. Ten or fifteen years ago, the railway used to be a terrible disturbance but now the reduced services mean that you hardly notice it at all. Then we all got on with some chores this morning. Yesterday we had got both holding tanks pumped out which pleased Diana and today we changed an empty gas cylinder and then filled up the outboard motors with 2-stroke fuel. I also did some greasing on the propeller shafts and rigged up the manual double-action bilge pump with nearly ten metres of hose pipe. Diana took the girls up into the town and Debbie went to the library whilst Della went round the shops with her.

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Wednesday 24th July 1991

From the Twenty Pence Inn along the rest of the Old West river to Ely, negotiating shallows and weeds on the way. Daniel set off by train and car to see Angela as I worked at my charts and computer for most of the afternoon whilst the girls went swimming and roller skating. At least that warm and muggy weather had come to an end.

Another settled night on the Paxton Princess and then we got ready to set off at a reasonable time because rain was forecast for later. The boat had been aground outside the Twenty Pence Inn despite the recent dredging by the NRA. The crew were working well today as I had introduced a system of "crew points" for the girls who could earn money of they were helping on the boat. Even Daniel was at the helm for much of the time.

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Tuesday 23rd July 1991

After some private time and shopping in St Ives as I planned our cruise to Boston and Grimsby, we enjoyed a trip roller skating at the St Ivo Centre, before we took off along The Old West to arrive at The Twenty Pence Inn in early evening for a meal out. The overnight was warm and muggy conditions and turned to showers and then rain.

It was warm and muggy overnight and we had great difficulty getting to sleep and even then woke up several times during the night. At one point, I went over to see Diana and she was receptive for once. We awoke with the morning light at the usual time and then had breakfast on the boat. This morning, Diana first went shopping with Daniel and then took the girls to the St Ivo centre for a roller-skating session. I stayed on the boat and used the computer and printer to enter the routes to Boston and Grimsby and then calculated the best passage plans.

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Monday 22nd July 1991

From The Hayling View in Paxton, downstream to St Ives where The Waits Quay was full and so we moored by the Dolphin Hotel and walked into St Ives and visited the market on a very hot day after buying a take-away lunch.

John Major's "Citizens' Charter" which seems to be fifty ways of trying to avoid spending the money necessary to really improve government services. A rail crash in Glasgow had two trains colliding head-on and five people being killed.

After the late night, we were still up early in the morning sun. Diana went into The Hayling View to get the remainder of her washing back and I filled up with water and then stowed the canopy ready for our trip downstream. We set off after 9.30am after I got the chance to see Bill Medlock and answer his queries about the gardening work, which we wanted him to do whilst we are away. We locked down through all of the locks to St Ives in glorious weather, arriving just after lunchtime.

The Waits Quay was full and so we moored by the Dolphin Hotel and walked into St Ives and visited the market after buying a take-away lunch. The market was hot and not very good; but we enjoyed the experience, and I bought my updated charts from Imray's and then took the inflatable over to L.H. Jones for some boat bits. I could not, however, get a short stay permit for our boats there. This evening, I wrote up my log and journal and then took Diana for a nice dinner at The Dolphin. The news today is of John Major's "Citizens' Charter" which seems to be fifty ways of trying to avoid spending the money necessary to really improve government services. A rail crash in Glasgow had two trains colliding head-on and five people being killed.