Monday, 21 June 2010

Leicester Ring - Post No 3

Friday 21st May 2010 - Market Harbrough to the Welford Arm

Today was so warm at 7.00am that even Elaine opted for the 'factor 50' (on her nose & ears at least). Set away back down the Arm towards Foxton Locks to be greeted at the bottom of the locks with more of a 'log-jam' of boats than a organised queue.
We had a long wait at the bottom in baking sun before beginning the climb as we had timed our arrival with all the "canaltime" boats that had left the basin the day before.
We were soon up through the locks and on our way through Husband's Bosworth Tunnel (1100 yards). The cool air in the tunnel was very refreshing, although for Elaine maybe too refreshing as she did suffer an ice-cold dribble of running water down her neck despite it being a largely dry trip. In the centre of the tunnel we did encounter thick fog despite it being a very hot clear sunny day outside.
We reached and turned down the Welford arm by mid afternoon and after first winding at the last winding point marked in the Nicholson Guide and exploring on foot the last mile we discovered there was winding space at the end of the Arm so winded again to navigate the extent of the Arm by boat. Only then would we feel we could mount our Welford Arm bridge plate! Moored on the Arm overnight.

Foxton Locks (viewed from above the bottom lock)

Foxton Locks (viewed from the top lock).

Saturday 22nd May 2010 - Welford Arm to Braunston

Set away early on another day with 'factor 50' at 8.00am!
Shortly after bacon sandwiches en route we encountered a calf in the canal just before Yelvertoft! I left Elaine holding the boat while I went in search of the farmer; as the calf was clearly unable to rescue itself. It turned out the farmer was in fact one of the owners of the new Yelvertoft Marina. After the calf was recovered we cruised around the corner where GJP were making a great job of the finishing touches to the landscaping around the marina. The marina, now with several berths already filled looks like a quality setup!

Travelled down Watford Locks and passing Watford Gap motorway services proved to remind us of the speed of alternative transport.

Top Lock in the Watford flight

The sun was still burning up the grass as we turned at Norton Junction onto the Grand Union and headed for the cool of Braunston Tunnel. We passing another boat in the middle of the tunnel without suffering any damage despite the tight squeeze before emerging into bright sunshine again and mooring for the evening above the top lock.

Sunday 23rd may 2010 - Braunston to Long Itchington

Another very very hot day as we travelled down the locks with Narrowboat 'Mrs Mickfee' (from Milton Keynes). A boat that was famous, and much photographed, for taking the waterways minister for a cruise up the canal earlier in the year. Sun still high in the sky as we continued down through Stockton Locks before finally mooring at Long Itchington.
After a quick call home; we realised, yet again, that you can't leave kids home alone! Even if they are 22 years old. Danielle, after only 24hours in the house, had managed to burn out the pond pumps by turning them on despite the motors being choked with weeds!. I guess that this is a cheap repair compared to other damage that could have been caused during her end of year house party!

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