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We acquired our Narrowboat in January 2010 and are looking forward to many cruises around the network.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Day 5 Foxton Locks

Woke up to a clear bright morning and decided to move quite early. Set off to Foxton Locks by 8.30 as they can be notoriously busy. Arrived by 10.00 and checked in with the lock keeper. We have heard stories of people being turned back if they start going through the locks without permission as this can cause serious blockages.  We were lucky today we entered the top lock at 10.30 following 4 other boats.

Entering Foxton Top Lock 10.30
  I followed the instructions of 'red before white' when raising the paddles and we had a smooth transition down to the middle pound.  However, I then did not read the notice on the white paddle  Walk down to next lock across the pound to raise the red paddle first then return and raise white paddle.  Fortunately I noticed it before too much water had run through, lowered the paddle, the lock-keeper was down at the lower red paddle ands raised it then indicated I could raise the white one.  It sounds very complicated but was quite straight forward and will not happen again!! The lock-keeper made a small comment and then said no harm done.

Working the lock with extra help.
While working down the locks two young families joined us and showed great interest as to how the locks work.  I had a great deal of help all the way down all 10 locks.  The boys were asking very interesting questions and were keen to have hands on experience.  By the bottom they were telling each other what to do next.  We reached the bottom and Colin steered out of the bottom lock around 11.40.

Exiting the bottom lock with our helpers watching on.
 At the bottom we turned right into the Market Harborough Arm whilst congratulating ourselves how smoothly it all worked.  Oh such a mistake!  We had just started along the arm when we realised we had lost steerage.  Colin brought the boat over and moored and had to investigate the weedhatch. (This is where the propeller is.)  Fortunately we had bought long armed pond gloves just in case.  And boy were they needed. To our great surprise a single sheet/duvet cover had managed to wind itself round the prop.

Colin climbing out of weedhatch after clearing the prop.
Once sorted we were able to continue on our way having quite a laugh about our catch of the day. The rest of  the cruise was quite peaceful after this and a pleasant afternoon meandering along the canal that appeared to be something from the African Queen (in Colin's words). By 4.00 we had reached our overnight mooring at Market Harborough.  This was a very comfortable and interesting place to visit.

A sculpture at Market Harborough Wharf.
Thursday 5th August

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