Start 8am, finish 8:20pm
River Soar Navigation, Grand Union Leicester Section
23 miles, 24 locks
Everyone says, “don’t stop until you get to Kilby”. So we didn’t.
Just a brief post as the signal isn’t great.
Up at 7 to go and investigate the showers we spotted at Loughborough Basin. Sadly the drain was clogged up with cigarette butts and rubbish, and whilst the shower was hot, we couldn’t use it.
We pressed on through the strong wind, and at Sileby Lock paired up with NB Wychwood, who had bought the boat back in November but hadn’t been able to use it at all because of the floods on the Soar.
We shared the wide locks with them until Leicester. Although we stirred up the bottom in the pound below Lime Kiln lock, seeing a multitude of dead leaves, a couple of televisions, and a huge number of plastic bags, we only got one of the tougher bag-for-life kind wrapped around the blade, which was soon removed.
Once in Leicester we had a decision to make; breast up alongside another boat on the pontoon, or press on. We decided to press on, and luckily at Freeman’s Meadow lock, Anglo Welsh hire boat Beeston caught up, having left the pontoon in order to share. They too wanted to press on to Kilby, in order to return the boat on time, and their crew of two young lads and experienced steerer soon had us all flying through the locks. We met up with another boat at Gee’s Lock, and Beeston shared with them, but courteously agreed to draw a bottom paddle on leaving the locks. We’d only seen three other boats moving all day, and so the likelihood of this holding anyone else up was minimal, and we were right behind them throughout.
The other boat ended up mooring up, but Beeston had pressed ahead, so we had the last 8 locks to ourselves. As the sun set, we were nearing Kilby, and arrived just as the light failed.
Now time for a long, hot shower! I really hope they’re open, as I’ve been looking forwards to this since last Friday….
Pictures to follow tomorrow, when we have better signal.