Tuesday, August 04, 2015

A Tale of Two Rivers…

Since leaving Wistow this morning we’ve been following the valley of the River Sence. Rising on the flanks of the 720 foot Life Hill near Billesdon, it’s joined by Billesdon Brook then heads just a little west of south to Wistow where it turns to the west, finally joining the Soar near Blaby. I hadn’t realised till checking out the source of this Soar tributary that there are two River Sences in Leicestershire, this one and another over the other side of town, rising in Charnwood Forest and heading to Atherstone to join the Anker. The latter is much bigger… The name is probably Celtic in origin, “shining”.

We’d acquired a couple of long scratches on the right cabin side, the result of an encounter with an overhanging bush yesterday. But a rub with Carnuba wax before we left this morning polished them out. I’d just finished when John on Clarise came past, so I packed up the gear, started the engine, untied and followed down to Newton Top Lock.

Leaving our mooring just up from Wistow.IMG_6658  

The most popular moorings here look out over Wistow Park, the church being the only survivor of the small settlement here. IMG_6659

Wistow Moorings
Heading south you can choose from two spots along here if there’s space, with a fall-back where we stopped last night. But coming north if there’s no room it’s a fair way till the next opportunity. Unless you want a muddy towpath under trees near Bridge 80.

The first three locks are close together, keeping us busy. Then there’s a longer pound to two more, starting with Bottom Half Mile Lock. (Guess how far it is to Top Half Mile Lock…)

The wind was picking up to nuisance strength by now, and it caught John unawares as we waited for the lock to fill.

Above Bottom Half Mile Lock

To avoid the same problem in the short pound below, the steerers decided to stick together…
… and got in the lock without touching the sides!

At Tythorn Lock our steady progress was temporarily interrupted with a boat coming up. We were just getting into the chamber after they’d moved out when I heard a shout from up the canal and saw the boat across the canal, the chap off the tiller running back and a small black head in the water. I dropped my windlass and ran back, hoping that it wasn’t the small child I’d seen aboard. But it wasn’t, it was a cat called Moggy. It swam across the cut and climbed out among some reeds, meanwhile the boat was reversed and pulled in on the offside where Moggy was coaxed back with a judicious shake of a box of cat treats.
By this time Barbara, bless her, had dropped both boats down and opened the gates. Mags was waiting for me to embark.

Last Lock for the day, Bumblebee Lock

Poor struggling water lilies in the murky, muddy water of the canalIMG_6666

The A5199 crosses the canal on a fairly new concrete bridge, there aren’t many that are wide enough for two boats to pass!IMG_6667

We pulled in beyond the bridge after a steady 3 hours. Tomorrow, after a visit to the services, we’ll be heading into the urban fringe of Leicester, once again sharing locks with Clarise.

Hi Malcolm, yes shame to have missed you. Hope you’re keeping well.

Kevin Too, less of that, my son! Bus pass indeed!

Locks 7, miles 3½


KevinTOO said...

Sorry Geoff :(

If it's any consolation I'll get my bus pass 3 months and two days before you will!! LOL

Snowy Owl said...

I love that mooring opposite the church at Wistow, one of my favourites!