The boat was dropped (under control!) into the water this morning, and we were free once more. Jan had cycled ahead to meet Ally who was on her way to Foxton by car, leaving me to cruise gently there.
As part of the blacking process the weedhatch and its cover were given the same treatment, so the cover had to be put back before starting up. The fenders had been removed too, so they went back as well.
We had a look round the marina before we left, always considering the options for our next mooring: the boats are packed in, moored end-to-end along long jetties, the jetties spaced to enable boats to squeeze past others into their slot. Electricity is available to every boat, but it looks as though water points are only along the path connecting the ends of the jetties. If you're moored at the far end I imagine you'd need a very long hose. Of course, I might have got this wrong ...
The marina is enclosed by tall trees, which should help to minimise unhelpful cross winds while mooring. One big advantage of a mooring there would be the availability on-site of all workshop facilities and covered DIY bays. Against might be the need to negotiate either the Soar and a bit of the Trent to get onto the north-western canals, or Foxton and Watford locks to get to the midlands and the south: not in itself a reason for not mooring there.
[As I write this, Ally is just about to return to her car with bag loads of heavy books/computer.]
Where was I? Oh yes, on the way to Foxton. I had decided to tie up on the 48 hour moorings just before the junction, but was persuaded to carry on to the Market Harborough arm to make it easier for Ally with all her books to come aboard. It wasn't. Oh well, we needed to use the washing machine, so we cruised on to the first winding hole, winded, and returned to Foxton. On the way I saw a snake swimming across the canal and into the reeds. It had a yellow chevron on the back of its neck: perhaps a reader can identify it for me.
At the junction we winded and reversed along the Leicester Section under Rainbow Bridge to the water point, later moving back a little further to a 48 hour mooring.
While Jan was helping Ally with her essay I cycled back towards Black Horse Bridge to see which boats had arrived. I was pleased to see Chertsey there, and Sarah and Jim on board. They had been to Market Harborough, winded in the basin, and returned. They must have passed Jubilee while we were still up in the air this morning.
It's been another superb sunny day, and the three of us bought an ice cream and walked to the top of the locks and back.
We ate in the Black Horse: perfectly satisfactory.
Tomorrow we might return to Market Harborough for a while, or else we'll stay here another day and go the next day.
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