Sunday, 4 December 2016

Foxton (top end)

Here I am Rune
Distance 0.6 miles
Total 2262 Locks  95 Tunnels
Running total mileage 3198.7 miles 

Plans are just there to be altered I suppose. The suggested plan from yesterday, to get to Welford, took a bit of a hit when we woke up this morning to find the canal frozen again. Fortunately another boat came through quite early (9.00am) and broke a passage through the ice so we then followed up to Foxton Locks where the ice was clear. A good passage back up through the locks taking about 45 minutes brought us up to tonight’s mooring which is at the top of the locks not far from where we were moored when the car crashed last time we were here. It was a glorious sunny day at the locks although being a low winter sun meant that I could hardly see where I was going for most of the way up. Being such good weather there were quite a crowd of people out walking around the locks. That is usually when the opportunity to make a right hash of things presents itself, but surprisingly all went well, at least until we got to the top lock.

Anyone watching probably wouldn’t have realised what the problem was but as I entered the lock I immediately felt something wrap around the propeller. Use of forward and reverse gear didn’t have any effect, it wouldn’t clear. If it had just been us on our own coming up the locks I’d have switched off in the top lock and gone down the weed hatch there, but there was another boat following on behind so I needed to get out of the lock. A lot of engine churning got us out of the lock to the water point immediately above the  locks where the inevitable dive into the weed hatch had to take place. Since the canal had been frozen overnight, yo can imagine that the water wasn’t particularly warm and the stuff that wad wrapped around the propeller was a big mess of bramble hedge cuttings, it was basically a mass of thorns. It took about 25 minutes of careful prising to get it all off the propeller, by which time my hands were just a bit cold! That was the point at which I decided that we weren’t going on any further today.

Forecast for tonight is again pretty cold, just hope that the canal isn’t frozen again in the morning.

The view from the top of Foxton Locks on a cold winter's morning!

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