Yesterday I said – “A couple more days of these low temperatures and we’d have had ice on the cut.” Well it didn’t take a couple of days, merely a few hours!
It dropped down to -4° last night. It’s only thin, brashy stuff though. And the temperature has steadily risen throughout the day, so all the frost has melted too.
We were a bit later getting away this morning. I was just setting off for a morning perambulation with Meg when I was was accosted by a gentleman coming the other way. “Hi Geoff, you don’t know me, but I’m Dave”. Dave and his wife Sarah have a boat in Mercia Marina and are regular blog readers. They’re new to this boating lark, having only acquired the vessel in the summer, and have yet to have a serious trip out. We had a good chat while walking up the towpath, then he came back for a brew and to meet Mags. Thanks for coming to find us, Dave. Have a good trip next spring. May see you then.
So it was nearer 11 when we got going, and the promise of early sunshine had been dashed by thickening cloud. Without the sun, however wan, it felt quite raw on the tiller.
The ice was only localised, as we got near the main moorings it thinned and disappeared. I was amazed that the moorings were empty. Normally they’re busy here, with three pubs and shops within shouting distance. But the only boats were two up near the road bridge.
Most of this length on the left is set aside for winter moorings, but at £1000 for the period it’s not surprising that there’s been no takers.
We pulled on to the services and topped up the water tank. It’s always a good idea to fill where you can this time of year. You never know when you might get stuck…
Then we pushed on, out of the village. A couple of miles up the cut the canal crosses the River Dove on an aqueduct. Just upstream the original road crossing is now redundant, the A38 dual-carriageway crosses on a modern concrete bridge just a little above.
The crossing was also considered strategic during WWII…
This little chap crossed the canal in front of us, bounced off the hard edge of the towpath and came back again before realising that there was a dirty great tin thing in the way!
I think he’s a common brown rat, not the protected water vole.
Into Burton now, passing the old transhipment wharf at Horninglow.
The first of the narrow locks, and the first we’ve encountered since Foxton last July, is Dallow Lock, under the road bridge carrying Dallow Lane.
Mags was happy when we came off the river onto the cut, she’s happier still now we’re back to narrow locks!
We planned on stopping on Shobnall Fields, the large playing fields not far up. But the moorings looked a bit busy…
There was just room for us on the end though.
Mags decided it was time for a picture of me on here. I think we can do without, but here you go.
See what I mean?
Locks 1, miles 5