Market Harborough to Stone Hill Wharf

Up incredibly early, a quick breakfast, and walked swiftly into Town by 8.15am, TESCO first to stock up on food, then collect the curtains from the dry cleaners, and back on boat by 9.00am. Marian joined us very shortly, having caught the train from Chesterfield, so another early starter. We were on our way by 9.30am.

Swing bride at Market Harborough

Swing bride at Market Harborough

First we did the swing bridge, which was half key operated, and half mechanical, the bit that was hard, was shifting the bridge, but with Marian and I pushing we managed it, when we came through last time we didn’t have to do it, so it was only fair we allowed another boat through at the same time, we found out later the lady had a broken arm, so she was very appreciative.
Then onto Foxton Locks, where we had to wait an hour before we

Foxton Locks

Foxton Locks

could start our trip, eventually at 12.45pm we were allowed to start, and Marian and I had a good system to work the locks, I love this place, there is something about it, we had ten locks in total, two blocks of five, and it took us 50 minutes to complete. Geoff and I had walked around earlier, but

View from the bottom

View from the bottom

Marian took the opportunity to look at the Foxton Incline Plane remains, whilst we finished the last lock. We then went through the Husbands Bosworth Tunnel which was 1160 yards, amazing structures that were built so many years ago.
We travelled onto Welford, where Geoff wanted to go up small arm of the canal, but the guide book didn’t make it sound very interesting so we bypassed it, and moored up for the night, in a very quiet place.
We played Phase 10 and I managed to win, and an early night was had by all.
Next morning we had a lazy start, and travelled about ten miles, no locks, and a very easy day, Marian and I walked between bridges, just to keep the fitness up, a very very windy day. Arriving at Crick, we

Marian managed to photograph a kingfisher

Marian managed to photograph a kingfisher

filled up with fuel, and then stopped outside the marina, for another peaceful night. Another game of Phase 10, where Geoff was quite nasty to me, and kept skipping me, so Marian won the first game, and Geoff the second. Good night was had by all.
Our first part of our journey the next day was to go through Crick tunnel which was 1528 yards, this one seemed to go on forever, but we were out the other side and onto the Watford Locks, there I realised I

Watford locks

Watford locks

did not have my windless, Geoff had spoilt our routine at Foxton Locks and done the last paddle, and sadly he left my windless there! Oh dear!
I spoke to the lock-keeper and asked if he had any old windless’s and he said yes, so for a small donation, we were back in business again, another seven locks, which we completed it quick time, then onto the next set at Whilton Locks, unlike the

Whilton locks

Whilton locks

Foxton Locks, these are back to the big double ones, seven in total, and very heavy, as well as being hard, there were 60mph winds, so Geoff was struggling holding the boat, a challenge to us all. The weather despite being windy was great, it was very exhilarating some of the gates weighed 1850kgs which were a challenge but we cracked it, I have to say, I appreciated

Marian relaxing in sunshine

Marian relaxing in sunshine

Marian being with me, 24 Locks in total, (17 small ones and 7 doubles) whilst we were struggling at times, we had a good laugh!
Marian was supposed to leave us here, but as we were ahead of ourselves, we then travelled onto Weedon Beck, to the Heart of England Pub, where a taxi took her to Long Buckby Train Station, and home, whilst we travelled on, we stopped to fix our new fairlead cleat, which had sprung off and landed in one of the locks, I was a bit concerned as there was a strange lady wondering

Meg A Star in last lock of the day

Meg A Star in last lock of the day

around as if she was drunk, but we ignored her and got on with the job in hand. We then stopped at StoneHill Wharf for the night.

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