Sunday 21 March 2010

Sunday North Kilworth to Market Harborough

We looked out at about 7 am and it was decidedly foggy, but very bright above with all the signs of being a grand day. By the time we were up the fog had lifted but looking out it remained misty until lunch time. 
At twenty past ten we said goodbye to Clive and Rita and set off on our way. It wasn't long before we came across our first fishing match of the season. I don't think I have ever passed through such a friendly bunch of fishermen, there were about 30 of them in all, but they were in 4 small groups, each group being between a quarter and half a mile apart. This meant that you were not on tickover for yunks but just a short stretch followed by a bit of ordinary cruising, even so, poor old nb. Balmaha managed to end up in the middle of the last bunch.
We stopped at the top of the Foxton flight to finish our lunch and set off again a 1 o'clock. There were no boats coming up so we were able to set off as soon as we arrived at the top gate and a volunteer lock assistant offered to help us down, he didn't have a windlass but took care of the gates on the towing path side. It took us just 50 minutes to do the flight and when we got to the bottom we found the boat ahead of us moored on the lock moorings drinking what looked like their G&Ts. A tight right hand turn and through the new swing bridge on the Market Harborough Arm before mooring on the visitor moorings to walk back to Bridge 61 shop and the museum to purchase some reading material. The visitor moorings were all empty, they were moored on lock moorings or the water points just at the bottom of the locks.
The next swing bridge which carries the road across the canal is very stiff and Diana couldn't move it. I had problems with it and had to pull from the towing path side to get it to move at all.Once I got it started it was OK, but once Diana had taken the boat through I had to get it closed again,all went fine until the last few inches which I achieved aging from the towing path end. There are stories of boaters having to use the boat as a battering ram to get it open and closed.
We continued on towards the end basin passing Dewern6 on the way, another boat we had not seen for some time. Once in the basin we made good use of the BW services block as we were in a desperate need of a pump, luckily I had a BW card in my file, it was a bit ancient and I was not 100% sure it would work, but work it did and in a few minutes we had an empty tank, I am sure that if there had been a second boat waiting it would have been sufficient to do their tank as well,an excellent unit, well done BW. It was gone 6 30 by the time we had finished this so we just drew backwards out of the basin to moor for the night. In the basin were more old friends that we had not seen for some time on nb. Hadar, so we walked round to see them and partake of a cup of tea while we caught up on the past year.

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