Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Back to Birstall

I kept an eye on the river level on Monday evening following the heavy thunderstorm we had, and it rose by 6” before returning to normal by the morning.
It was a fine dry start to the day and we set off to travel the mile back to Mountsorrel, pulling into the now available slot on the visitor moorings. I gave Dad a call to confirm that we’d arrived, and settled down to wait for them.
I was outside with Meg when we were hailed by a boat passing, it was Ray and Ann on NB New-Ark looking for somewhere to moor, so I invited them to breast up.

New-Ark arrives.

They’d spent a few days in Raynsway Marina, taking the opportunity to make a visit home before returning to the boat. They’re now heading north for the Trent and Mersey. With shopping to do they decided to have a couple of hours in Mountsorrel.

They set off into the village and we set off with Dad and Ann to The Waterside for lunch. We had a really good afternoon catching up with what’s been happening before they left us to go home. Meanwhile Ray and Ann had also pushed off, heading to Barrow so we were all on our own.

Ray and Ann and NB New-Ark
Artwork on the cabin side.

We toyed with the idea of heading back to spend another night at Sileby Mill, but inertia got the better of us so we stayed put.

The forecast for today was grim, so we decided to get off early to try to avoid the predicted heavy rain, aiming to get to Raynsway Marina. There we would be safe if the river rose, would have access to the facilities, and I’d still be able to walk Meg over to Birstall for her appointment at the doggy-doctor tomorrow afternoon.
We were on the move just after 08:00, and made good time, with only a bit of light rain for company.

At Sileby we had to be careful as we were joined in the lock by a family of swans, taking the opportunity of a lift up to the next pound without having to walk around. They left the lock as soon as I opened the top gate, without a thankyou or even a backward glance!

Company in Sileby Lock
At Cossington Lock we met a boat coming down, the 1830’s icebreaker Laplander. She’s steam powered, the boiler burning waste oil, which accounts for the pall of black smoke that follows her about.

Icebreaker Laplander
We’d done OK for weather until we reached Thurmaston, when the first fringes of the approaching front arrived. Heavy rain made locking through uncomfortable, and it persisted for the next couple of hours.
We turned into Raynsway, hoping for a berth, but phone calls to the office went unanswered and when we pulled onto the service wharf I found that office is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Into Raynsway in the rain
Dave and Dylis’s boat, NB Trundle (another one!) was missing from her usual spot. He’s the marina manager and I’m sure he’d have sorted us out. But with no-one to ask we didn’t want to moor without permission. We did avail ourselves of the water tap though, before turning around and heading out again, finally mooring below the lock at Birstall. With all this rain forecast, we’ll be keeping an eye on water levels. If we have to we’ll duck into the marina for security, otherwise, if Meg gets a clean bill of health tomorrow, we’ll be setting off back down river again.

I've just been checking on what my favourite bloggers are up to, and came across this on Granny Buttons. If you've got a fairly fast connection and feel in need of a good laugh, check it out.
Locks 4, miles 7


Anonymous said...

Hi Both

I kayaked past you last night (Thurs). Didn;t knock at the boat looked locked up and there were about 30 of us.

See you soon


Geoff and Mags said...

Hi Maggie
I saw your crowd pass last evening. I was on my laptop and Mags was watching TV, but you should have given us a knock.