Thursday 25 March 2010

Thursday Foxton to North Kilworth

The heavy rain of last night lead us to a very spring like morning,warm and sunny with very little wind. We said goodbye to Clive and Rita over coffee and chocolate biscuits and headed off towards the lock flight at 1045 hrs. We were straight into the locks but as we were following another boat they were all against us, we were the third through that morning. We had just completed the second lock when the keeper walked down to tell us that there was another boat coming down and that we would have to pass in the middle of the flight. We were to remain in the lock and the other boat would pull over in the basin to let us pass. We continued up the flight arriving at the basin while the boat coming down was still a couple of locks away. The basin was very low and if we had not been instructed to wait in the lock it is debatable as to whether we would have cleared the cill. As the other boat dropped down to the lock above the basin, the outfall between the basin and the side pond above started to gush water and Harnser started to rise in the lock.By the time the gates opened on the next lock we were well up and could clear the cill with ease. The lock keeper who was accompanying the boat coming down laid down at the mouth of the lock with an arm stretched down as far as he could reach ready to take the centre rope of the descending boat as he left the lock. this was to enable him to pull them against the side of the basin and allow us to pass.
We were now on the top half of the flight and of course all the locks were now at their lower level so drawing the red paddle filled the lock we were in while the white paddle only had to drop the chamber by a few inches. We were just about to leave the top lock when 2 boats arrived to go down. We pulled in for water just in front of the "Cheese" boat and while the water tank was filling bought 3 Welsh cheeses from them that we hadn't tried before. The water pressure on the taps up here is far better that that to be found at Market Harborough which was bit of a relief. Once full we continued on towards Welford and through the Market Bosworth tunnel. By now the sun had decided to play hide and seek with the clouds and the temperature had fallen a few degrees, looking to our left it looked decidedly unsettled with rain in the distance and that was the direction the weather was coming from. After a bit of discussion we made the decision to moor just passed the Welford arm against the concrete edging. Like all good decisions this was changed and we moored about 200 yards before the arm. The reason for this was that the wind and rain that was just starting would be against the side of the boat and not the back doors. So at 1500 hrs we called it a day and sat down for a glass of red wine and a piece of our Welsh cheese.

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