Thursday, 28 May 2015

Social boating

I have a lot of catching up to do. The last photo I published was from Sunday; today is Thursday. Eek! Here goes ...

On Monday, the last day of the Crick Show, we took up the Herbies' invitation to tea and cakes.

Jan, Kath, Jacob, Neil, Halfie
Delicious! Thanks Neil and Kath. (Thanks also to one of the Herbies' boating neighbours who took the photo.)

Very near where we were sitting a great (?) tit was attending to its nest which was inside a traffic cone.

We wondered how the babies were going to get out.

That evening, after striking the BCF stand and having a debrief on Sola Gratia we moved Jubilee to the service point for water and Elsan; then we breasted up to Mecca for the night.

The next day, Tuesday, we left Crick behind at last and headed north. Queueing for Foxton Locks we talked to the new owners of Limoux who were very pleased with their boat and looking forward to not having to show hordes of people round it as they had been doing at the boat show. They did insist that we had a quick tour, though!

We were the last boat down the flight that evening; the lockies had had a long and tiring day. Here is a view looking down the locks.

We tied up as soon as we could on the Market Harborough arm and were treated to a lovely meal by Chris and Adrian on Essence.

The sun shone as we made our way along the arm the next day (we're up to Wednesday now).

All the visitor moorings had gone by the time we'd winded in Union Wharf, so we tied up on the short length of piling by the CRT sign welcoming boats to the wharf. Adrian and Chris joined us for a curry at Avatar Dining (formerly Indian Zest) in Market Harborough. As we were there before 1930 we ate from the two courses for £8.95 menu. Good value but, of course, poppadoms and drinks always add to the bill!

It was good to see Jo and Keith on Hadar down at the basin. Keith looked well as he steered out the next morning (hey - that's today! I've caught up!)

We had briefly seen Trinity and Gospel Belle as they looked in vain for a mooring at MH; they had gone by the time we passed where they would have moored. They are going to the same BCF event as us in Cotmanhay on the Erewash Canal next week.

As we motored away from Market Harborough we met Gabriel heading for the town - Hazel had a dentist's appointment there.

After taking on water and then turning left at Foxton Junction we continued down the Leicester Section, past lots of fields of buttercups.

We stopped for lunch at Fleckney, then went for a walk (through a buttercup field) to the village. We'd seen that Chance was tied up just ahead of us; Jan went to investigate while I was mooring but reported that there was no-one in. After a bit of a detour on the way back - I was trying to take a short cut which didn't work - we returned along the towpath past Chance and the boat tied up in front of Chance: Eleventh Heaven. On board Eleventh Heaven, of course, were James and Doug. We waved to them through the window; they immediately invited us on board their friends' boat and plied us with wine and nibbles.

Chris, Doug, James, Les, Jan
A big thank you to Chris and Les who very kindly put up with our impromptu invasion.

Moving on, we caught up with Adrian and Chris on Essence at Newton Top Lock. While locking down the five locks to here from Fleckney Jan had been cooking a beef stew which the four of us enjoyed on Jubilee. Her piece de resistance, however, was the scrummy chocolate and walnut pudding with chocolate sauce. Yum yum!

As we were letting that go down James and Hazel on Gabriel arrived, taking the last mooring spot here. There was time for a self-timed group photo before they got an early night after a long day.

Tomorrow's weather forecast suggests that in might be rather wet; we might have an easy day and just go down seven more locks to Kilby Bridge and eat at the Navigation in the evening.

I have calculated that we are easily on schedule to arrive at Cotmanhay on Wednesday, with cruising days of 1.5 hr, 4.75 hr, 3.75 hr, 3.75 hr, 4.75 hr and 5 hr, so not too strenuous.

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