We left Market Harborough on Wednesday morning and headed back to Foxton. The temperature was just below 1 degree C and with the sun shinning it was ideal cruising weather. Just outside of the town we came across the canal completely frozen over so we pulled in to let it thaw a bit before continuing. After about an hour a boat came in the opposite direction and cleared a channel through the ice. So off we set again.
After a couple of hours of cruising we arrived at the bottom of Foxton and picked up a mooring with good TV and Internet. Being a weekday the locks at Foxton were very quiet. We went for a walk at 15.00 and had it all to ourselves Above is Inca on her mooring at the bottom of Foxton.
The sun going down over the Foxton Inclined plane.
On the lock flight the paddles are painted in different colours and when operating the locks they have to be operated in the correct order or else !!!! There is a saying that goes “Red before white and you will be all right”…”White before red and you'd wish you were dead”. But you always have lockkeepers on the flight to watch over you and the locks are padlocked when no keepers are on duty so there should never be a problem.
This is in interesting boat, its an ice breaking boat. As the canals were the highways of their day they had to be kept open at all times. This boat had up to 15 men in her rocking from side to side and it was then towed along the canal by 12 horses. What a sight that must have been.
On Wednesday morning we pulled pins at 09.30 and headed for the locks. On route we stopped to fill up with water and got rid of all the waste at the services. Carolyn then went up the locks to book in with the lockkeeper but he was nowhere to be found. She came back down and checked in the shop and the pub, well you never know he might of liked a drink. After going back up to the top again she found 2 CaRT workers who said “No lockkeeper today you will have to do it yourself”
So off we went with Carolyn remembering which order to do the paddles and she soon had it sorted .Half way up we had help from the crew on nb Harnser which speeded up our ascent.
When we got to the top we were surprised to see 4 boats waiting to go down. Last week they only had 4 boats all week using the flight. It must have been the good weather today that has got boats moving.
The next place we want to visit is Welford. It is up the end of an arm that was originally built to supply the main canal with water.We have been told its a good place to spend a few days as it has a shop , Pub and all water and waste facilities and plenty of good walks.