Monday, December 08, 2008

Frozen at Kilby, wet at Aylestone.

Flippin’ ‘eck, it weren’t half cold on Saturday night. Cold enough to leave ½” of ice on the canal! And even the bright sunny day hardly had any impact on it.

Andy and family arrived as planned, and we had a very enjoyable afternoon with them.

A full saloon. Sorry Luke, you’re behind Meg.

New puppy Zac is adorable (aren’t they all at that age), but got put in his place a couple of times by Meg. Mind your manners, youngster!

Andy and Zac
Pete and Lisa arrived on NB Pickles No 2 at around 15:00, having crunched their way through from near Dunns lock. Sue had spotted on their blog that they were heading our way, but we weren’t sure whether they’d move in such cold conditions. Needing water made their minds up for them!

Pickles No 2 turns up.
Although we had another frost last night, it was nothing like as hard as the one before. The temperature started to rise this morning under overcast skies, and we decided to make a move around 11:00.

We visited the water tap and facilities at the depot, then set off to the first lock. No Problem took the lead, as they intend to have the hull blacked in the spring anyway. You’d be surprised how fast ice strips the paint from the bow.

Pete on Pickles No 2
Following “in the groove”

We had an uneventful cruise to Kings Lock, near Aylestone. The ice progressively got thinner as we approached Leicester. Here there are just intermittent patches, now. The forecast was for light rain, but, although it was grey and overcast all day, we made it in the dry. It’s raining now though. That should put paid to any more ice.

What, never seen a boat before?
Moored at Kings Lock
Our plans for getting up onto the Trent and Mersey have taken a bit of a knock. Derwent Mouth Lock, the last (or first, depending on which way you’re going) on the canal is having new gates and the work was planned to be finished on Friday. They must have had problems; re-opening has been put back till Monday. We’ll have an extra couple of days on the Soar, now.

Before we left, Mike from BW rang to ask about the message I’d left on Saturday regarding the sunken tug. I confirmed the location, then he asked where we were. When I said we were at Kilby Bridge, he came out of the depot and waved from the opposite bank! We finished the rest of the conversation shouting across the cut. He went up the canal to check it out, but the contractors who are using the boat had managed to raise it. They’ll have to check the engine out though, there was oil in the water alongside the boat so it must have been flooded.

Locks 8, miles 5.

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