Woke up after a great night’s sleep on the boat to a gorgeous sunny day. We were all in a great mood and ready to get going. Doing some checks, we noticed the water tank was low; the first task was to turn the boat around and fill up. Lewis turns the key in the ignition and NOTHING and again and another 20 times, still NOTHING…. ARRGGGHHHH!

Meanwhile at the bow Amber is getting Tam ready with a bowl of cheerios and a lovely photo opportunity…


Moments later he fell of the ledge face first and bashed his nose. Things were taking a turn for the bleak…

Back at the stern, Lewis and I are looking at every switch and lever in the engine trying to figure out why the boat won’t start…

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We couldn’t, so we called Jeremy the boat man and while we waited we decided to turn the boat manually to fill up with water.

Tam and Amber were feeling pretty bad but luckily the boat yard was full of lovely old diggers to cheer Tam up. The boy loves diggers.

Jeremy arrived, turned the key once, twice and guess what… the boat roared into life and we felt a bit silly.

Finally we were on our way. It was a gorgeous day for driving but a bit of a strong wind on a very winding river.


We made great progress until I beached the boat! ARRRGGHH (again!). We were firmly wedged in some deep mud and it took a lot of shoving off with the pole and back and forth with the engine to get free again… but we did. (The engine started to smoke but we’re not going to worry about that).


On our way again but we decided to pull over for Tam to have a stroll in the pram. Mooring is always  tricky especially in a strong wind and tempers were starting to fray in the Mottram clan leading to a bit of a domestic.

Finally on dry land and before they had got very far the front wheel fell off the pram… needless to say at this point Amber was at the very end of her tether. We all got back on the boat and Tam took a nap in their lovely cabin.


We had to keep going, spirits tested but not broken!


As we approached Ely, our first night destination, the afternoon sun blazed off the cathedral the river widened and it was all pretty majestic. We could have shown you if the GoPro hadn’t packed up at that point.

Seemingly against the odds we made it to Ely! Yippee!

We refueled the boat and ourselves with ice cream and chips.

Day 1 and it’s safe to say we faced some of our worst-case-scenarios. Undefeated, we’re ready to see what day 2 brings.




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