Wednesday, December 12, 2012

An Update

We have been a bit quiet over the past week while we made our way back to Loughborough for Christmas, New Year and to wait out the worst of winter. Our intention was to get to Loughborough via the Leicester Arm of the Grand Union Canal, part of which also includes the River Soar. The day before we were due to turn onto the Leicester Arm we were reminded to check the winter stoppages, when Canal and River Trust close locks and sections of the canals for maintenance. Naturally we then proceeded to do so and discovered that we would be unable to get through the Foxton Locks until after the 21st December.  Plan B meant taking the longer route around, about 2 1/2 times further. So now instead of moving 4 hours a day, we needed to do more to try and beat the winter freeze. 
Beautiful sunrise on the Coventry Canal

Lucky for us the following days were clear but very cold. Andrew was up before sunrise and we were off by 8 - 8:30 in the morning. We rushed through the rather beautiful Northern Oxford Canal and on to the Coventry Canal over the next few days. Frosty clear mornings and iced canals, Andrew was having a ball. Me I was keeping warm inside and only popping out to manoeuvre into and out of the locks. 

Waiting for Andrew to open the lock gates 

An unusual 'haystack' near the canal 

We planned to only stop for water and groceries at the end of each day, mooring up at 3 - 3:30pm allowing time to go and get groceries after this.It is an odd feeling going grocery shopping in the dark but still only 4pm in the afternoon.
We were making good time and the weather was being reasonably kind and we were on track to arrive in Loughborough on Wednesday evening or Thursday, UNTIL we arrived at the Barton Turns Lock on Tuesday morning, just an hour and a half after starting out. 
In our haste to change route we missed another stoppage on the longer Plan B route, Barton Turns Lock was closed until the 14th December, but only the day before we arrived, the stoppage was extended to the 19th and we are now having to wait !  Luckily for us there is a very large marina right here, the Barton Turns Marina. For now we are marina based, not very pleasant I must admit. On the plus side I have managed to get the laundry done and there is a very nice butcher and grocer in a waterside development. Along with a cafe and a bar, so we will not be short of the essentials. For a place to be stuck not to bad from that angle but bloody boring in every other way. It has not helped that the fog rolled in early Tuesday afternoon and has not moved since. Crappy photography weather !

We also had to change plans to see some friends we have not seen for a very long time. Another stroke of luck there is a small Travellodge across the canal, our friends have changed their night stop from Loughborough to Barton under Needwood, so we still get to see them on Friday after all.

Other than that we wait to complete the last 2 days of travel to Loughborough. We are hoping the locks might open before the 19th and we will be the first boat through I would suspect. We can only hope that the weather holds out and we do not find ourselves frozen in here for the rest of winter.

1 comment:

  1. If I was you i would check on the Soar and the water levels through Sawley on a daily basis.
    Good luck, be careful.