Saturday, June 08, 2013

Friday - one week into the cruise

(Posted late - I forgot to press the "Publish" button!)

Thursday night's mooring

Another beautiful day, and we set off, intending to reach Leicester in the afternoon. Much of today's journey took us through the outskirts of Leicester, with a lot of housing on one side or other of the canal. Nonetheless, it was all very pleasant, and there were stretches which were entirely farmland.

After Freeman's Lock, the canal joins the River Soar, and we continued into the city of Leicester on the river, wide and deep. It was because of the River Soar being in flood that we failed to complete last year's approach to Leicester. No rain this year, thankfully, but blue skies and a warm breeze.

The weir where the canal and river join

Looking down river from Freeman's Lock

Through the lock, and looking back up the river

The entry to Leicester is very impressive, with old and new architecture side by side, and some Victorian, iron bridges spanning the water. There was, unfortunately, no space for us at the secure mooring below the beautiful Castle Park, so we tied up opposite in a clean and tidy basin which put me in mind of Banbury, though much bigger.

We moored next to a small Burger Boat. One of the women who own it, and run what sounds like a very good business from it, asked me for help. They had to get the craft across the river to the space on the secure mooring which had been too small for us. Their problem was, however, that their engine didn't work, and they had to punt it across! One of their crew was not with them, and they asked if I could help.

I'd never punted before. I stood on the tiny foredeck with a ten foot bargepole in my hands, and - punted! With one of the women punting at the stern, and the other waiting to catch ropes when we got to the other side of the river. We made it without incident. Hey, I can punt!

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