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Tour 2001


March Trip up Cambridge Backs - TNCFA nb Frogmoore II

The next item on the TNC Tour program has finally been done care of Honorary TNC Member John Chapman and the TNCFA nb Frogmoore II. John's boat is marooned on a sensible bit of water that is not closed to navigation - The River Cam.  We have both been on standby for the last few weeks waiting for Cam to not be in flood and also to fit in with John's business commitments. At 13.30 Thur 28/03/01 Neil  received the *GO* e-mail and as Linda was at home for lunch, Neil abandoned his "commitments" and sped of in the direction of Luton to pick John up and thence to Cambridge. John had just had good news from the Cam river inspector to say that the levels were nearly down to normal. 

We firstly stopped off in the car at Jesus Green Lock to check that the code for the combination locks that hold back one of either top or bottom gates and also secure the oversize square taper windlass for the paddle gear. On the second attempt of remembering the code the padlock came undone. We had a window of just a few days left to do the Cambridge *Backs*, as after the end of March powered craft are not allowed through Jesus Green Lock, until the end of October. 

We then retreated to the Gas Works Museum site moorings to ready TNC Fleet Auxiliary - 45ft nb Frogmoore II. After a brief tidy up we started off at 15.30. After spitting with rain on the way up in the car, we actually had a rain free journey, well until the last part of the journey back! The paddle gear on the lock was of a strange design, a windy up screw affair attached to a really tall but narrow steel paddle, which is held in metal runners. We were soon through and had a slow but uneventful journey up to the next weir by Scudamore's punts. 

We passed two Japanese crewed punts, who scuttled for cover on seeing us coming! Beyond Scudamore's, at 16.30 John went for the wind, but found that even with the level up, there was still not much more that 2ft depth even in centre channel!!! Frogmoore II is very shallow draughted, only around 18". The bow came round OK, but the stern was still aground. After a bit of poling and welly the stern came loose and we made a rather hasty retreat past Scudamore's, to gain steerage for the bridge, which is at rather an angle. . . . Frogmoore II's handrails were saved from a scraping, by the conveniently placed "shock absorber" punts, rather stupidly moored under the bridge . . .well no harm done! 

We arrived back at Jesus Green Lock rather quickly, but we were annoyed to find it was empty, as another narrowboat moored above had just gone down stream. We were soon through and at the nearby sanitary station and had a good, well matured dunny dumping, wash the boat and fill up the water tank session. The free self pump-out kit was in disarray, having been swamped by recent floods. A notice said that it should soon be restored to working condition. The last half of this was done in increasing rain. At 17.50 we shoved off, for the 15 minute trip back to John's temporary moorings. After a quick pack up we were off back home at 18.30.

River Cam.

The Fort St George Of England pub. River Cam.

Jesus Green Lock and weir. River Cam.

Jesus Green Lock. JC @ JC's Lock! River Cam.

The requisitioned Frogmoore II! - John Chapman's nb. Jesus Green Lock.

 Leaving Jesus Green Lock. Middle River Cam.

Tyrell's Punts and Magdelene Bridge.  Middle River Cam.

Leaving Magdelene Bridge.  Middle River Cam.

Bridge of Sighs (St.John's Bridge) St.John's Kitchen Bridge in the background.  Middle River Cam.

St.John's Kitchen Bridge.  Middle River Cam.

  Looking back at St.John's Kitchen Bridge and Bridge of Sighs (St.John's Bridge).  Middle River Cam.

Fortunately these Japanese had chartered a punt Meister!  Middle River Cam.

Looking back at Clare Bridge (yes! . . .it really is that wobbly!), Garret Hostel Bridge and Trinity Bridge.  Middle River Cam.

King's Bridge.  Middle River Cam.

King's College Chapel.  Middle River Cam.

Queens' Bridge (Newton's Mathematical Bridge), Silver Street Bridge beyond. Beyond this is the rather prone raft of Scudamore's punts!  Middle River Cam.

Silver Street Bridge, The Anchor pub and Scudamore's punts. Taken after an "interesting" wind!  Middle River Cam.

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