We set off from the Hope and Anchor at 0730 in benign conditions but with rain forecast for the afternoon. We hoped we would make it to Loughborough before getting too wet. The Soar makes its way through countryside with only the occasional town or village for extra interest. Near Junction Lock the River Wreake joins the Soar's waters, and the navigation is called the River Wreake for a short distance.
After using the services we reversed onto a pontoon. As soon as we had tied up it started raining heavily. Phew!
We looked round the town and got some supplies from Tesco, then wondered how much more of the buffeting from the wind we could stand. The pontoons in Loughborough Basin are only about 30' long, making it impossible to use the front rope. In the wind the boat rocked around, cups on hooks constantly crashing against the side and the centre line creaking and straining. In the end we could take no more, and powered out of the basin in the rain. We tied up outside the Anchor pub past Chain Bridge and waited for my brother to arrive.
This morning the wind was possibly not quite as strong as yesterday, but it increased through the day making for quite interesting lock approaches. At Ratcliffe Lock we decided to sit it out for a bit and wait for the wind to abate before the last section of the Soar and the crossing of the Trent. I used some of the time to prepare and prime the damaged paintwork.
Eventually, with another narrowboat approaching the lock, I decided the time had come to go for it. We shared the lock with Eos, a boat we had seen several times on our way down the Leicester Line.
This is my favourite photo of the day; Ratcliffe Power Station.
Incidentally, I'm really glad that we weren't trying to go up the Soar today. Against the flow would have been bad enough, not that it was particularly strong, but against the wind would have been a test of engine and steerer's stamina.
I've stowed the anchor again; we'll be on the Erewash for the next few days.