Thursday, 23 January 2014

Smeeton Aqueduct Thursday 23 January 2014

Last night we had yet another excellent meal, this time in Market Harborough at Ascough’s Bistro. We have had lunch there before so thought we would give it a try. They have a fixed price menu for 2 or 3 courses, we were very pleased we skipped the starter as we were quite full after the sweets.

This morning we woke to rain but it only lasted about an hour so had cleared before we took a walk into town. Market Harborough market place is now full of wooden sheds which they use as market stalls, its not at all markety.

We were back to the boat by mid day and winded in the basin before filling with water. If you want a pump out  you have to ring to make an appointment. A short chat with Joe who has taken a winter mooring in the basin this year and 12-15 we were on our way. By now the sun was out and it was quite pleasant. A quick chat with Lesley and Jill as they walked the dogs along the towing path and then I spotted this on the off side. I had passed before I could get a photo  so had to back up and was amazed it was still there.DSCF4482

Just beyond this must live the neighbour from hell, this was the back of their garden wall.DSCF4484

We had a bit of trouble with the swing bridge, Diana put the key in and couldn’t do anything, not even get the key out again. A young mum pointed out that the white lines were not exactly in line which they have to be to start operations or to get your key back out. As she was standing on the deck of the bridge when she told us this the bridge moved easily to line up the marks and we were away. The next bridge was no problem and we were soon at the bottom of Foxton Locks where we went straight on up the Leicester line. There are a few boats moored along here under the new CaRT winter mooring permit system, but just after them was this sorry sight. DSCF4489I think its always sad to see boats in this state.

Just beyond Debdale Wharf the canal becomes an SSSI andDSCF4490 within this stretch of water there has been a land slide reducing the width of the canal by almost half. DSCF4491 CaRT have cut back all the trees that slid down which has improved matters by I suspect there will be long negotiations withDSCF4493 Natural England before things are fully resolved.

We pressed on planning to moor on Smeeton Aqueduct and it started raining, The only place to turn is the winding hole beyond the aqueduct and as we were turning it started to hail, just a few yards further on still is a nice length of piling complete with mooring rings so I decided to reverse onto there for the night. Just as I was backing up two CaRT work boats came by and moored a short way passed us, I am sure they were also making for those rings, but we got there first,

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