Brother Neal was bright and breezy at just after 0800 and we were off about 0915 and had just reversed out of the drive when Helen asked if we had the keys for the boat. Just as well she asked than as we hadn't and went back for them. It was just as well that she didn't leave it to the M18 to remember that she hadn't packed the clock radio, milk, cats harness and hair trimmers. That means that I can really live the dream and grow a pony tail!!
I hope that he made it okay for the kick-off. They won any way. After a sandwich we set off at 1400 and went easily to Foxton. The is 2 x 5 rise set of locks, the remains of an incline plane and two pubs and it is always busy. We just hit it right as a boat came down the staircase and were going through the swing bridge. We just tagged on and so they shut it too. About a mile further on was another swing bridge and this time we did the honours. We are now on the Market Harborough arm and intend to get to the basin at the end. There are no more swing/lift bridges and no locks so we thought that we would be there in under an hour. We hadn't contended with a real slow coach boat in front of us. At first I thought it was reversing to the winding hole as there was nobody on in sight and they we re steering erratically In the end it turns out to be a very weird design with an open, but covered bow where the steering is done by a wheel. On a straight bit I tooted them to pass but they ignored so we we were doing half a mile a fortnight in the rain. We finally arrived and stopped at the first water point to fill up and let them sort themselves out. When we were topped up we just moved to a flatter bit of jetty and finished for the night, just after 1730. I had lit the fire when we were taking water so it was nice and warm, but still raining. We put our clothes away so we could get the bed made up and then headed into Market Harborough. It is about a 20min walk. Not long ago it was voted one of the 10 best places to live in England and it seemed to be very nice. Of course we made our way to a Weatherspoons pub, the Sugarloaf, and had a beer and cider for £3-15 and two meals for £6-97! We know how to live. We will stay her tomorrow to get everything sorted out and may leave first thing Monday morning so more info about the place later.
It just about fitted in, including the cat of course.
We arrived at just after 1130 and Neal backed the van down the wharf to make the transfer a little easier. After a cup of tea Neal was away up to Bradford to watch Dan play rugby. A real big thanks to Neal for getting us and all our gear down here.
Not quite as neat and tidy as previous photos, yet.
This was out berth in Debdale Wharf Marina, C5. I wonder if we will be back here?
This is the entrance to the marine, so we are now well and truly on the way.