Monday, 16 September 2013

Possibly the last locks of the year?

We have done a 'Manley' the last few days, staying in Market Harborough basin, for two reasons, we like it and the weather forecast for the weekend especially Sunday was appalling, so we thought we would sit it out hooked up to power!  We like Market Harborough and on Friday I met my sister and we had a good look around the shops, Saturday, John & I wandered down, had some lunch and wandered back, it is traditional market town and somehow seems to avoid the recession.

Market Harborough basin

Yesterday the wind was really bad and we felt really sorry for the hire boats trying to return to the basin.  We had to help a couple of them in as they were really struggling, not surprisingly, one chap managed to get the boat parallel to one side of the basin and then to the opposite side, neither of which was where he needed to be, eventually he was within aiming distance and managed to get the stern lined up and reversed, the pontoons are only short and the bow was blown away from the pontoon, we managed to get his centre rope and pull him in and then tie the bow to the next boat, to hold them together, there were three boats tied together and the bows were definitely blowing in the wind!  We spent the evening with Jane & Paul and due to nowhere being open for food on a Sunday evening in Market Harborough (well no where we fancied) we went to Foxton Locks Inn.  

A bit of floating weed, only half the canal width

This morning was still windy but not as bad so we decided to make a move.  We made our way back to Foxton, stopping at the village shop on the way.  We moored in the basin, there were three boats already waiting so I walked up to find the lock keeper.  The news wasn't great, unannounced a team had turned up to jet wash the lock gates, so no-one was going anywhere, the team had already been doing the gates for a couple of hours and had only done two locks.  There were boats waiting at the top and bottom, however once the flight was open we would go up, so we would be fourth.  The lock keepers said that they hoped to have us moving by about 4pm, it was 1:30!  However, as I was chatting to the lock keeper, one of the other lock keepers said he had persuaded the jet washers to go back up the locks, so the flight could be re-opened, so we didn't have to wait that long, we were off up the locks just after 2:00.  No problems with the locks, the boat in front wasn't that quick so I had to keep waiting to fill the lock as they were still in the one above.  We decided to cruise to Welford junction, the wind was getting worse and we had a couple of rain showers but nothing much.  When we got to Welford we couldn't get in on the mooring rings as the three boats moored couldn't have been spaced more awkwardly, not enough room between any of them for us, why can't folks share mooring rings, another two boats could have got in, but no, lets spread out attitude!  We couldn't be bothered to get them to move up, it was too windy to be faffing about and we know there are other places so we kept going and have moored just south of bridge 38, obviously someone's favourite mooring as there is a bird table in the hedge. 

Our mooring tonight
14 miles, 10 locks, Husbands Bosworth Tunnel 1166 yards

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