Last night as planned we ate at The Water Front in Union Wharf and it was as good as we had expected it to be. We last visited here in March this year, just after they opened. There were quite a few people in there, several of them from Canal Boatclub boats who were turning round first thing today. The food in there is not cheap, it cost us £50 for the two of us having 3 courses and a bottle of red wine. A nice touch is that they bring a carafe of chilled water to your table when they bring the wine without being asked, the also brought us each a small orange liqueur with the bill. Would we go there again,to true we will.
This morning we were in no great hurry to move as the stoppage just beyond the junction at Foxton was not due to be lifted until 5 pm.so after taking the dog for a walk and then having a wander around the basin we set off at about a quarter to eleven and chugged very slowly the five and a half miles to Foxton arriving about 1-30 pm. On the way we spotted a couple of Kingfishers, one sitting quietly in the hedge before darting off down the cut, the other like most of them just shot off as we passed. We moored up just before the swing bridge and had lunch.
After lunch we decided to walk down and see how work was progressing on the stoppage, lo and behold it was all complete, the contractors had cleared up and most of their plant was already gone, I wonder when BW will remove the "Canal Closed" notices? Seeing this we returned to Harnser and set off. Just as we were leaving I could see the first of this weeks Canal Boatclub approaching and Diana held the swing bridge open for them. As they passed through the bridge they got their centre rope ready to stop and I expected them to swing left towards the locks, wrong, they turned right and stopped right where you would expect a boat to stop if going up the locks. We carried on past the site of the stoppage which was just beside the foot bridge. They had to lay several hundred feet of temporary roadway to cross the field with their plant to reach the work site and in a couple of weeks there will probably nothing to show that they were ever here.
Just beyond Debdale Wharf BW have erected a large notice informing us that we are now entering a SSSI and to take care that we don't damage the plants with our propellers. Does anyone know why this is an SSSI and what magic plants exist here that we must take so much great care not to damage, or is it just the case that the area is a SSSI for some other reason and the canal just happens to pass through it just like the lanes do?
We pushed on to Smeeton Aqueduct where we hoped to moor for the night but another boat had just beaten us to it and not wishing to moor fender to fender in this lovely open countryside we continued just round the bend to moor at about 4 pm.