Friday, 11 April 2014

Easter 2014 cruise: Foxton Top to Market Harborough

We were the first boat down Foxton Locks at 0800 on the dot. There was a lot of water to let down, so it took 55 minutes, a bit slower than normal. At the bottom we stopped just after the swingbridge on the Market Harborough arm so I could go and have a proper look at the inclined plane and take some more photos. Then it was a fairly incident-free cruise to Union Basin (Jan had to take avoiding action at one inconvenient sticking-out branch, and I stopped to garner some free wood from a huge fallen tree).

At the basin we had to wait for a couple of minutes while a Hire-a-Canal-Boat boat was being hosed down at the services, then we swung round and tied up to the service point and emptied the Elsan. This essential task completed we tied up to the first available 48 hour mooring just outside the basin. The moorings here are excellent: there's a water point within reach wherever you are.

After lunch we walked down the hill to the town centre and bought some provisions. I had taken my bike with me so I cycled back to the boat to unload before meeting up with Jan again in town. We did a bit more walking around, then we separated so I could go in search of wood primer for the front doors and one or two other things.

It's been a lovely sunny day, and I have been in shorts and T-shirt. I found some primer in Wilko, but it was in rather a large tin, so I looked elsewhere. Market Harborough is very well supplied with supermarkets: competing for your custom are Tesco, Sainsbury's, Waitrose, Aldi and Lidl. Back at the boat we had a cup of tea (and choc chip cookies I'd bought in Lidl) and then I washed the top of the boat. Aren't microfibre cloths wonderful things? After sponging with a Carnauba wash/wax solution the microfiber microfibre cloth dries the surface brilliantly.

Then it was time for tea, so we returned to the town centre and had a good meal in the Wetherspoons. I surprised myself: I had the fish and chips - and it was very good. The ales were good too.

We had invited the couple on the neighbouring boat over for drinks, but they had a family member visiting, so they insisted that we join them on their boat. This we did, and had a very enjoyable time drinking wine and talking to Nigel, Elizabeth and Mandy on (Braidbar boats) Kala (70' with a two-cylinder Gardner).

Having checked with Debdale Wharf Marina that it would be all right to get there on Sunday, we'll stay here in Market Harborough for the full 48 hour allowance. Tomorrow will be a day of boat jobs, such as attending to rust spots and patches of bare wood, as well as relaxation.

updated to correct American spelling - I don't know how that got there.


Adam said...

Nigel and Elizabeth are a lovely couple. We met them in Birmingham a couple of years ago.

Halfie said...

Yes, and they were complimentary about you too!