Another cold night left a thin skin of ice on the canal. But the sun was bright and the day looked promising.
Last evening’s rain had raised the water levels by 3 or 4 inches at the lock. The marker was in the green last night.
I walked down to Aylestone Mill with Meg, and noted that this lock, like Kings, was against us (empty) and the bottom gates left open. So I resigned myself to a harder trip today, having to close the gates before filling the locks would slow us down a bit.
But I reckoned without our surprise visitor. Maggie, who lives in Leicester and moors the family narrowboat NB Forever Young at Crick, is a blog reader, and spotted that we were heading down through the city. So she hopped on her bike, windlass in hand, and volunteered her services for the day.
The assistance was very welcome, with Maggie cycling ahead to set up each lock the cruise through to Belgrave Lock was a breeze.
Here she said goodbye, having set up 6 of the 8 locks passed today. She cycled most of the way, just hitching a lift with Sue and Vic for the 1½ mile section between Freemans Meadow and North Lock.
Through the city. Maggie is on No Problem, we’ve got the bike! Castle Gardens mooring on the right.
Here’s a man on top of his job….
IWA Commemorative Plaque at Limekiln Lock
Wolsey Hosiery Mill
Parting company at Belgrave Lock. Thanks Maggie!
A couple of miles of meandering river later and we arrived at Birstall.
Towards Birstall, NP disappearing around the bend.
We moored just below the lock after a very enjoyable 3 hours. That’s a pretty fast run through the city; we couldn’t have done it without assistance.
Moored at Birstall
Went shopping in the village, then spoiled ourselves with fish and chips for tea. Lovely.
I had a bit of bad luck though. Crossing the bottom gates at Kings Lock this morning with my camera in my pocket, I bashed my leg on the paddle gear. I didn’t think anything of it till I got the camera out to use. I’ve succeeded in cracking the LCD screen. Without a conventional viewfinder, it’s almost impossible to use. Fuji UK won’t sell me replacement screen, but will repair the camera for around £60. Hmmm…. I’m now trying to find someone who’ll supply the screen. Maybe I won’t be able to, in which case I’ll have to bite the bullet and send the thing back to Fuji. I just begrudge them doing a job I could quite well myself, if I could get the bits.
Meanwhile it’s back to the trusty old Kodak DX3500 I’ve had for 5 or 6 years.
Just picked this up on my emails from BW….
River Soar in flood
Tuesday 9 December 2008 until further notice
The River Soar is currently in flood and high water levels mean that the river is unsuitable for boats.
Enquiries: 01636 704481
Locks 8, miles 6½