Thursday, 9 October 2008

Finally back on the move

Yesterday, I sprung out of bed at about 6am to make some coffee and check on the water indicator marker before sunrise. By this point I was fed up of waiting and praying to the weather gods, so fortunately the water was right on the line between red and amber. With no wind, I decided to go for it.

I set the lock ready, so that as soon as it was light enough (about 7am) we could set off. The journey from Cossington to Sileby was beautiful, but uneventful. The morning mist on the water reminded me of quiet mornings walking from boat to car in Rugby last winter. Though flowing, the river looked impressively still. It is hard to believe that this was the same river that we had been waiting 2 days for.

On arrival in the lock at Sileby, the water indicator was again on the amber/red border line, however this time there was a rather serious looking weir off to one side, creating some turbulence and white water in what was to be our path just the other side of a lock. I don't think I would want to moor at the top of that! Not ideal territory for a narrowboat, really. An estuary tug went down, and was absolutely fine. Watching someone else go first allowed me to see where the current took the boat, and I then followed. The ease at which we travelled down that stretch was an anticlimax really, after the build-up and excitement. Whilst deciding whether or not to go, I took some interesting photos of the white water.

The rest of the day was given over to cruising through Loughborough, Zouch, Kegworth, and down the remainder of the River Soar to Redhill Lock, the last lock before the Trent. En route we managed to get filled with diesel (just to be sure on the river), fill the water and empty the loos. Having come through the last couple of flood warning lights (on green) it was rather a disappointment to be met by the red light of doom at the last hurdle before the Trent! Still, at least we got a decent day's cruising in at last.

Mum and I moored for the day at around 4/5pm, taking one of the last spaces available in the shadow of Radcliffe power station. We wandered over to the marina opposite and bought a rather hefty anchor together with the necessary chain, rope and connectors in preparation for the Trent. Unfortunately, the marina is a 5 minute walk away over 3 bridges, and anchors and chains are rather heavy. Still, the exercise did me good.

Last night I swapped crew - my little brother arrived, and mum left in his car. We're all set for another full day on the water today - the weather is looking good, so fingers crossed for the water now too.

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