Monday, 24 June 2013

Hamburger & Mince

Time to move on and so this morning we simultaneously emptied the rubbish bin, filled the water tank, and put on a load of washing.  The Candy had finished its cycle before the water tank had filled so we now have a full tank of water.  Whilst at the water point a hire boat arrived.  They needed to empty their two toilet cassettes and told us their tale of woe.  Apparently the ‘full’ indicator hadn’t worked on the second cassette and was stuck in the toilet.  The bowl was also full.  And people say pump out toilets can be a problem!

The plan was to cruise for half the day dropping down through seven locks to find a mooring somewhere around Gee’s Lock which is slightly rural.  The idea being we won’t be disturbed and will be within ‘striking distance’ of Leicester.

Departed Kilby Bridge (red arrow) and now at Gee’s Lock (bottom left of purple line)

It was actually quite pleasant cruising though the southern end of South Wigston.  The residents appear to have embraced the canal and a number even have moorings at the end of their gardens.

The only resident who wasn’t friendly was Mr Swan.  As we turned the bend he saw us coming and rapidly swam towards us puffing up his wings in an aggressive display whilst “hissing” at Waiouru.  It seemed rather daft to pick an argument with 20 tonnes of narrowboat.  But 100 metres later we understood why!

Mrs Swan on her nest

All the swans we have seen appear to be very good parents and they have all had more than two signets.  So why isn’t England overrun with an excess of swans?   Oh… Yes, I forgot… the Poles are eating them! Smile

It must have been Jan’s lucky day as we met boats coming in the opposite direction at two of the locks and two others were already in our favour.

The weather improved as the day progressed.  We started wearing a fleece and by lunch time all that was required was a T-shirt.  We attempted to moor above Gee’s Lock but it was too shallow to get against the bank so we dropped down through the lock and found a mooring just beyond the lock mooring bollards.  As we entered the lock Hamburger and Mince came charging around the corner of the hedgerow and stood at the side of the lock staring at us.  They were joined by Sirloin, Topside and Brisket.  Eventually Chuck Steak and Offal joined in to ogle us!

I mentioned the magic words “Sunday Roast” and they scarpered back around the hedge.

First job was to check the ‘dot in the sky’ could be found by the sat-dome and then the rotary clothesline was erected to get the laundry dry. 

The plan for tomorrow is to get through Leicester and find a mooring on the far side.  However we also need to stop at the Tesco and Sainsbury’s on “The Mile” in Leicester to restock the cupboards.  I’m also mindful of “The Weir”!  The crew of the hire boat we met at the water point this morning told us they had a difficult time with the weir as the wind caught the boat.   I now recall seeing a photo of this large weir so I’ve been to Google Earth to have a look and do some forward planning.

The red arrow points to the weir

We will be approaching it from the south (bottom) and it looks like the most obvious method will be for Jan to alight at the railway bridge and go forward to the lock on foot.  I’ll hover under the bridge until Jan calls me forward.  That way we won’t need to moor immediately prior to the lock.  All of this may be unnecessary.  But better to be safe than sorry!


David said...

Hi Folks

Weir not so bad if river not in flood, watch out for shopping trolleys on bend under A453.
See you soon


Tom and Jan said...

Hi David

A453 is up near Radcliffe on Soar?
Where shall we RV? Pillings Lock or outside the marina? Any ideas/suggestions?


Geoff and Mags said...

Don't worry about Freeman's Meadow, the tow from the weir is minimal unless the river is running high. Go dead slow below Lime Kiln Lock, the water is shallow and contaminated by something you wouldn't want to have to grope around in to clear the prop!
First good mooring N of Leicester is Birstall, just below the lock. The village shops are handy, mid-sized supermarket, butcher, chippy etc. If Birstall moorings are full you can usually find space at Thurmaston, either above or below the lock. And you'll come across a lot more aggressive swans!
Enjoy the Soar.

Tom and Jan said...

Thanks Geoff,
I didn't know about the potential problem at Limekiln Lock but has seen the mooring bollards at Birdsall on Google Earth.
We're looking forward to the Soar.