Bandit's Off to Ely Again - Planning Our Adventure

It's currently the October half term so to us, that means it's out last big trip out for the year. For the last couple of years, we've almost made it a tradition to head to Ely, from our berth in Saint Ives, to spend a good four days away on the boat.

This year is no exception. We so thrilled to be doing this journey in Bandit with working engines. And this time, we mean that... The last time we made it to Ely, we were upset by the fact that we were unable to solve our mechanical problems and had to go with one good engine and one less-reliable, lumpy starboard engine. It was a shame as we wanted to open Bandit up somewhere along the journey but we were simply unable to. We will be doing this last trip solo, which isn't a bad thing. We can move at our own pace and not worry about holding anyone else up. Don't get me wrong, I prefer to head out on these type of adventures with friends in a flotilla but we're looking forward to messing about solo this time.

So, plans for this time. We head to the boat tomorrow night (Wednesday 26th Oct 2016) and set off early Thursday morning. We will get to Ely on the Thursday for sure and spend the remainder of the day enjoying Ely Quayside and walking into the town. Ely is out favourite destination on the entire river so it's always so exciting to plan a trip there.

Friday we plan to spend most of the day in Ely and head off at about 1400hrs to Littleport, just a couple of miles downstream from Ely. This is where it's going to get interesting. This stretch to Littleport from Ely is pretty much a dead straight. The river is wide and deep and this time, we've got two working 410hp engines at our disposal. On Sunday, we put Bandit to the test and we're happy to say she's performing as she did back in 1991. She was quick to plane and held a good 22-knot cruising speed. We're past those engine problems and can now begin to have a bit of fun with her. I'll charge my GoPro Hero 3+ and get some video if we manage to open her up for the long straight to Littleport.

Saturday we plan to head back to Ely for a couple of hours and then move on up to a little place called Upware to a restaurant called the 'Five Miles From Anywhere'. They've got great pub-side moorings, water and electricity hook up - perfect! We'll pass our turning for the Old West River, leading back to Saint Ives, and continue further until we reach Upware. Quite a way in the wrong direction but it's worth the visit. It's a lovely restaurant with good food and a fab, quiet mooring.

Then comes Sunday when we make our way back to Saint Ives. We wouldn't usually leave it until the last day to head back just because if we hit problems, we've not got much time to solve them and return back to base before it gets dark but we hope everything will be alright.

So, that's our adventure in a nutshell and we'll try to provide daily updates here providing we've got a signal. Another reason to go to Upware - free WiFi!! :)

Before anything, though, Bandit needs a good clean so she looks all smart rolling up at Ely on Thursday.


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