Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Heading to Fleckney

The mobile signal is very poor at our current mooring.  Only one bar despite having the phone connected to the powerful aerial on the roof.  It’s also intermittent with the connection regularly dropping out.

We filled the water tank before heading to Debdale Wharf for a pump-out.  NB Uccello was already there on the canal side having the same ‘treatment’ so we were asked to go into the marina and reverse into the slipway.  That was a test of my ability.  A 90° turn to the left followed immediately by a 90° turn to the right and then I had to reverse back into the narrow slipway.  We made it by taking everything gently.  The marina staff gave Waiouru a very thorough pump-out and a good rinse.  We were then asked if we were satisfied (we were).  They did a good job and the cost was reasonable at £12.  We don’t put ‘blue’ in the tank.  Whilst at the marina we purchased 10 litres of oil and a new oil filter as the engine will shortly require another service.  The price for the filter and oil was much lower than we’ve previously paid and they accepted our waste oil from the last oil change.  Another two 90° turns and we were heading towards Leicester.  The plan was to stop short of Saddington Tunnel and moor. 

Fleckney is in the top left of the above map.

The intention was to moor prior to the tunnel so I could walk forward and see if there was a suitable vacant mooring at the other end.  Tomorrow we plan to walk into Fleckney village and catch the local bus back to Market Harborough.  I walked to the tunnel and then over the top.

Southern portal

The path over the top

The length of towpath at the northern end was a little “hairy” and I detoured around it on my return.

There doesn”t appear to be anything architecturally outstanding in Fleckney.  It had a post office, pharmacy, pub and a good sized Co-op on the main street.  The bus stop is opposite the Co-op and I noticed the route number to Market Harborough is 44.  Fleckney is mentioned in the Doomsday Book and until the 19th century it was a farming community.  A brickworks and hosiery were then built.  However these days most of the community commutes to work.

The shopping list consisted of one bag of potatoes and a top-up for the mobile phone.  All of which was purchased in the Co-op.  Google Earth shows there is also a woollen mill at the southern end of the village and as Jan is a knitter we will probably make the effort to visit the factory shop.

A boat was just exiting the tunnel on my return trip and I managed to get the camera out of the backpack (it was under the bags of spuds) and take one of my consistently poor quality photos.

The afternoon was spent attempting to merge maps of the UK.  Currently we have the Open Street Map of the UK on the gps.  The following is a sample of the map detail in our current location.

As you can see the map contains the footpaths but the canal and terrain detail is very basic.  We also have the free Topo map of the UK and the following is a sample of the same area.

The Topo map has far more canal and terrain detail but doesn’t show the footpaths.  What I want to do is combine the detail from the two maps. 

Tomorrow morning we plan to go through Saddington Tunnel and moor at the far end before walking to Fleckney where we’ll catch the 44 bus to Market Harborough to collect our Post Restante mail (if it’s there!).

4 comments :

Nb Duxllandyn said...

Just missed you!
We were on a mooring at Debdale waiting to use the slipway this morning. As it was busy we went and did some shopping first. Seems it was you!
We've decided to make our way westward via the southern route so we are travelling in opposite directions.
Sorry to have missed the chance to meet again but who knows what the summer will bring :-)
Have a good trip.
Marian & Mike

nb Lola said...

Tom, are you intending to go on the Trent and Mersey ?

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Marian,
Sorry we missed you. It's more likely you were still in bed when we emptied the tank :-) The slipway was empty when we arrived and they were lowering a boat into it as we departed!
Happy cruising
Tom & Jan

Tom and Jan said...

Paul,
Yes..... But the big decision is whether it will be a left or right turn. Derek & Carrie recommended we go right but I'm not sure whether we can afford the time as I'm rather close to needing to submit my visa. We might go straight ahead (Erewash)! :-)