Departed Welford this morning with intermittent sun and clouds. The only lock of the day was set against us, but we quickly descended through that and arrived at the junction. This time we turned left, heading towards Norton Junction some 15 miles away. We however, were going to stop before that. The fine weather seems to have brought more boats out of their winter berths, as we passed quite a few today. We met the Canal and River Trust dredging teams near the winding hole at bridge 28, but passed them without delay. They appear to be repairing the bank using metal piling. We continued on a couple of miles more, just prior to bridge 22 where we are stopping for a couple of days. The towpath is wide and grassy, and is South facing so we have sun on us if it pops out, and a clear view of the sky for the satellite dish. We will stay here til Friday, when we are due to return to Yelvertoft Marina for the weekend. Just after settling down with our lunch we heard a loud toot toot. Looking out of the portholes we waved as our neighbours from the marina passed by on their Hudson boat ‘At Last’.
As planned, lunch today was taken at the Foxton Locks Inn where they do a splendid carvery. This was followed in my case by lemon meringue pie which I can recommend. We then took a circular walk back to the boat to enjoy the afternoon sunshine. Later I took to fishing and caught a monster sized fish.
Woke early this morning, due to the astronomical event that was due to take place today. Amazingly the weather reports were accurate for our position in the country, and we had perfect conditions for viewing the partial eclipse. Based in Leicestershire, we were expecting 85 to 90 percent of the sun to be blocked by the moon. Having said that, it still meant 10 to 15 percent of the sun would be shining and so I was not expecting for it to go particularly dark.
We have been at our mooring now for six days and it is a nice peaceful spot. When the sun is shining it is on the solar panel all day, which is good for the batteries. We are now able to run all our electrical needs for two to three days without having to charge them using the engine. Today we needed to take on water and to pump out the holding tank. We were also out of coal for the stove. We set off at 8.30 in the mist, for the water point 300 yards ahead of us. It was slow filling due to low pressure so it was nearly an hour before we were done. In this time the mist had lifted, and we had clear blue sky and bright sunshine. A number of anglers had passed us, heading for the stretch of water we had just left. During a conversation with them I told them our plan was to return to our previous spot. They were happy to leave it free for us which was great. We set off for the junction, as we had to now head back to Debdale Wharf for the pump out and coal. Whilst there we met the owners of Black Bart who had just had the same zinc coating done that we are having in October. What was really spooky was they are from Kent like us, they moor at Yelvertoft like us and have been living on board since July like us, it’s a small world.
On Saturday we broke free from our winter mooring at Yelvertoft Marina and headed for Welford junction. We moored on the rings overnight and set off Sunday morning for Foxton. On both days the weather was quite windy and very cold. On arrival at Foxton we moored above the top lock and then walked down to the Foxton Locks Inn for Sunday lunch. We all opted for the carvery which was very tasty. After lunch during the walk back to the boat the rain came. We were tucked up inside with the stove going before it really poured.
As a final note, our dog Oscar has developed some bad habits over the winter. He has taken it upon himself to leap from the boat to the towpath as and when it pleases him. He does not know yet but he is going to be undergoing some re training over the next few days.