Friday, June 07, 2013


And better weather is what we got! We moved on from last night's mooring in warm weather, with temperatures rising with every lock I did! And it was another ten of them today. I'm feeling really fit! The countryside is beautiful, so is the weather, and we rarely see another moving boat. Lock-keepers agree that it's still very quiet on the canals, but not nearly as bad as this time last year when it was raining all the time.

Just before we went to bed at around 11:30 on Thursday night, we realised that the boat was sitting in the water with quite a list away from the bank to which she was moored. We went out to investigate, but found that Kantara was not hanging from tight moorings as we had feared. We thought that perhaps the wave of a passing boat had lifted her and moved her up the slope of the bank, leaving her port side higher than the other, and the moorings slack. There was nothing we could do about it in the dark, so we went to bed.

At about 4:00am, we found that the angle of the list had increased to such an extent that Grace risked being tipped out of bed. Investigations revealed that the canal water level had fallen considerably, and Kantara was well and truly grounded on the slope of the bank, with no water under her. There was enough light now for me to be able to go back to the last lock and release enough water to refloat Kantara. However, to do so might well lower the water above the lock, causing the same thing to happen to others moored up there. It didn't seem fair to them. We were in no danger, so all we could do was wait it out.

Amazingly, we went back to sleep fairly quickly after that, and awoke unusually late at around 9:00. The water level was back to normal, and Kantara was on an even keel (well, she would have been, if she had a keel!). We had not felt the return to normal, nor did we have any idea as to how normality had been returned. It was all rather odd.

Leaving our mooring late, then, we moved on down seven more locks towards Leicester, mooring up late afternoon at a lovely open spot opposite a field where large numbers of very noisy geese were involved in a gang war, and cows on our side of the canal were cheering them on!

Counting the dead after battle!
I didn't have my camera to hand when we saw this brave - or maybe plain stupid - cat offer a challenge to the two swans.

By the time I had the camera, he'd thought better of it, and sat regarding them with interest. My money was on the swans!

The day had started grey and chilly, but had cleared before noon, leaving a bright blue sky and hot sun. The soft light on the western horizon at past 11:00pm reminded us that, despite the awful weather over past weeks, we're not far from the summer solstice.

As I write, Friday morning, the field opposite reminds me of Brighton beach in the 60s, with Mods and Rockers arriving in their droves, preparing to fight. There are two distinct groups in the field, all grazing, and others are joining them from the canal, trying to look nonchalant as they eye up their opponents. Let battle commence!

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