Watermead Country Park to Barrow Deep Lock 51
Pitter patter on the roof as we woke this morning, that wasn’t meant to happen today! Not here, maybe in Scotland, but not here!
A few things to do before setting off today and not just getting a newspaper. The anchor needed attaching to it’s chain and rope and then to the boat. We’ll be doing more stretches of river now so it should be ready for deployment should the need arise. Mick did all the necessary, then I moved things around in the cratch so that I had enough space to be able to stand and open the front doors. The weed hatch was opened and the prop checked for any plastic we might have picked up on our way through Leicester. To Mick’s amazement there was only a tiny amount, hardly worth bothering with, considering the amount of rubbish and urban jelly fish we’ve seen over the last couple of days.
We pushed off to pull in just the other side of the bridge to fill with water. Boy the tap was slow! A collection of full plastic bags, which has to be boaters rubbish, surrounded the tap. There are no bins here, so why have lazy people just left it. Who will clear it up? Maybe another boater or someone from the pub, or will it just become a health hazard. Yes we could have picked it up to put in the next bin, but it would have to sit on the roof until such a time and with strong winds forecast it would most probably get blown into the river.
We are definitely now on the river, it meanders round some quite tight bends. Plenty of weed growing where we’ve seen waterlilies before. Other rivers join in and weirs help to keep the levels for navigation whilst letting the excess water flow over them.
Four locks today one of which we moored at three years ago as the river rose around us very quickly and then slowly subsided after a downpour. Looking back at Oleanna today I reckon the water got halfway up the wall that night.
There were plenty of people out walking along the river bank, one chap with his dog kept overtaking us at locks. At Mountsorrel Lock he had stopped for a pint and watched as I started to fill the chamber for us. A Grandad and Granddaughter came out to see if they could lend a hand, which of course they could. Mick brought Oleanna out of the lock as the rain started again, the chap said they’d close the gate for us so I could climb back on board. There is a bridge just after the lock, so to get back on board you have to cross over a road on a bend with the humpbacked bridge. Back on board we looked behind us and both gates were wide open, the chap just disappearing back into the pub. Nothing for it but to walk back and close them.
The gravel conveyor bridge is still one of my favourites and always requires a photo or two to be taken. This is shortly followed by the small basin surrounded by dutch style gabble houses. I say style as they look more like a lego attempt to recreate Amsterdam which has forgotten to add a floor or two to the houses.
This morning there was around eight hours of cruising on the Soar left to get us to Trent Lock, we decided to chop it into three as we’d had a later start today. So we reached Barrow-upon-Soar at around 3pm. The visitor mooring by the weir was free, but I didn’t like the idea of Tilly roaming around fast moving water, so we carried on into the lock cut. Three jolly fishermen filled up the space left on the winter moorings, so we carried on and pulled up on the first of many bollards before the lock.
Lots to play with here, including a very bright blue birdie. I was told I had to leave it alone, no choice really as it was far far too quick for me to catch….not that I tried!
The forecast last night hadn’t mentioned any rain, so we’ve had a look at the Met Office radar for today. Scotland had rain, that was expected. Then just about exactly where we are is the only other place in the country! We have slack ropes and the tyre fenders are out to keep us away from the overhanging edge should the river rise which we doubt.