Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Back to the Erewash canal for Blacking the Hull

Fri 16 October 2015 Annie has a black bottom!

Mick and John at Kingfisher Boats are putting on the second coat of bitumastic today, then leaving the hull to dry for 48 hours over the weekend. We visited Annie to admire her hull. John's knee seems better after his op, if a little stiff. Jobs to do include servicing the diesel and cleaning off rust around the engine compartment, when John is able to. It will be nice to see more of our friends at home, now we are back.

Fri 9 October 2015 At Trent Lock

So we are here! Annie is moored up at Kingfisher, for which we are very grateful. As Newark town Lock is closed from 19/10 to about 14/12, we would be unable to get back to our home mooring at Clayworth. We will enquire if there is a brief window when we can pass through Newark, of course ...

Now back to reality! Fitting a dutch airer at Sarah's and celebrating her birthday; fitting bathroom cabinet and new loo plus washing machine plumbing for Rachel; and doing some of our own jobs, too, before John's arthroscopy operation on Tuesday.

Thur 8 October 2015 Sileby Mill to Trent Lock
Liana at Sileby Mill, with Annie in the background

John and Annie moored at Sileby Mill

Liana joined at Sileby Mill (with a decent little chandlery shop) for the trip to Redhill Marina, where she walked to Parkway to get a train back to Sileby Mill, then joined John at Trent Lock later. Barrow on Soar is a lovely scene as you pass through the watermeadows, contrasting with the caravan park at the lock to the north. Pillings Lock was closed, but with a paddle open at top and bottom, as it is really a flood lock.
Annie in Loughborough basin
Loughborough basin - handy for the town centre, shops and market
Maffi has a blog, too
Reaching Loughborough, John moored Annie in the basin, after which we both visited the large, thriving street market. Remarkably, we met Ian Sharpe, recently retired, who lived in Market Rasen twenty years ago. It's good to know his family are doing well. Setting off, we were asked to wait for a narrowboat by CRT workers, so did so. Yvonne and husband David Pullen on NB Rhoda Ellen accompanied us all the way to Trent Lock, making for an enjoyable trip as we chatted. There happen to be many similarities and common experiences, as they live at Scothern, near us, are Christians at the church my ancestors are buried at, and have similar interests. Aren't canals wonderful! They moored on the wall before Cranfleet Cut, then David kindly helped John lock up onto the Erewash. Later on, after liana arrived, the four of us met up for a drink at the Steamboat pub. A good time was had!

Wed 7 Oct 2015 Leicester Castle to Sileby Mill (8 locks)

As Annie set off, John and Maureen on NB Cor Blimey! (They said they weren't Pearly King and Queen when John asked!) asked to accompany him. The Mountsorrel area is very pretty.
What a team! John made sure he helped with gates and paddles, and the two boats made great progress all the way to their base at Sileby Mill, where John moored for the night and watched .... rugby.

Tue 6 Oct 2015 Singlehanded from Kilby Bridge through rain to Leicester (12 locks)

Annie moored opposite the services at Kilby Bridge
After night rain, John had a windy but fair start to the day. I have to say that some of those wide lock gates are  pretty stiff when you are on your own! On the good side, Annie is travelling down hill and northwards, so the top gates are often blown open for easy entry, due to the North wind! On the bad side, at least one of the bottom gates blows open after you leave the lock .... hmm...
John had a nice chat with the chap living at the nearby lock cottage below Kilby Bridge, but only saw two boats the whole day until Gee Lock. Here, heavy rain forced a halt for a couple of hours around lunchtime. The sun came out and surprised him into continuing through the southern approaches to Leicester. Every time we return to the river Soar and Leicester, we like it more and appreciate the countryside and green corridor into the city.
Robin Linklater on NB Corinthian kindly let John breast up, as the Castle mooring pontoon was fully occupied. Then tea and Rugby World Cup on the tv!

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