Thursday, August 16, 2012

Last bit of the summit level

We’re now moored just 100 yards above Foxton Top Lock, ready for an early start down the locks in the morning. We had time to go down today when we arrived, but it was heaving with visitors on the flight. We don’t really like to be exhibits in a living museum if we can avoid it…

Rain was once again forecast for this afternoon, so we were on the move before 10:00. A steady cruise, winding gently through the humps and bumps of the Leicestershire wolds. Yes, since Welford Junction we’ve been in Leicestershire.

Leaving Welford Junction, NB Silkware heading for Watford.SAM_2298 Welford Junction

North Kilworth WharfSAM_2299 North Kilworth Wharf
There isn’t much in the way of boatyard services south of Leicester, so this is a useful stop for the usual facilities. Quiet today, though.

Less than a mile on we came to the south portal of Husbands Bosworth Tunnel. There was a boat coming this way, almost out, so, although it’s two way traffic I pulled over to let him out.

Husbands Bosworth TunnelSAM_2300 Husbands Bosworth Tunnel

I went to stop, and realised we had a problem. The gearbox shifted into reverse but would not rev higher than tickover. It was fine going forward, though. We weren’t going fast, little more than drifting so tickover in reverse stopped us.
We proceeded through the tunnel, there was nowhere I could easily pull in at the south end. I’d racked my brains as we went through, trying to guess what was wrong, but hadn’t come to a firm conclusion by the time we came out into daylight and put a pin in to hold us temporarily while I stuck my head down through the hatch. Ten seconds later I was back up, having moved the bilge pump which was preventing the gearchange linkage from moving more than a few millimetres. I‘d repacked the stern gland yesterday (one of the little jobs to tick off), and had moved the pump out of the way while mopping up the drop of water that had leaked in during the operation. Where I’d left it was just below the linkage, fouling it nicely. I couldn’t have left it in a better  worse place.

The rest of the trip was uneventful; we’d met a couple of boats in the tunnel and a handful further on, but it was by no means busy.
My favourite spot on this stretch is as the canal passes along the edge of the Laughton Hills.

Laughton HillsSAM_2305

The cows weren’t optimistic about the weather, either.SAM_2310 Cows

We pulled in above the locks, just past NB Sheherazade where you can buy hand-made wooden mushrooms.

Mushrooms for saleSAM_2313 NB Scharezade, mushroom Man

They’re so cute I went and bought one….

Locks 0, miles 7¼

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