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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Friday, 15 March 2019

Tantalising close

Yep, we are still here. Hopes had been raised Wednesday evening when the river fell by 2" only to be dashed with the coming of more rain during Wednesday night and by Thursday morning up it had come again. So yesterday, to ease the boredom, we took the bus into Loughborough, did a Tesco shop and then bussed it back again. Took up all of 2 hours! Another afternoon spent watching films!

This morning and could this be our chance for a getaway after no rain fell overnight and the levels were considerably lower than when we arrived last Monday. Could this be the day we make a break? Still in the red though judging by the height gauge by the lock but by how much??? Couldn't really tell. Anyway, we thought if we waited until this afternoon just maybe the levels would be down by another inch. With this thought in mind, we decided to bus back to Loughborough for an early lunch at Wetherspoons and fingers crossed we would be good to go on our return.

Bit disappointed when on getting back and checking that gauge, we still couldn't see any sign of amber showing but we knew by the position of FS (and keeping an eye on marks on the concrete) that the river had dropped even more. Ian then had a brainwave. Sileby Lock was only about 3/4 mile further upstream. Walk to the weir to see what was what first and if it looked okay then our escape would be imminent.

One of the river weirs controlling the levels

Looks calm enough.
 I am so glad we didn't just pull pins and go as most noticeable was how fast the flow was causing strange waves to appear, especially under the A6 bridge. I wondered if it was the combination of the fast flow in one direction and the wind blowing in the other. Whatever was causing it, it did not look inviting!

Proper waves but only on this section.
 There was a footbridge over the river just before the weir with wooden pilings either side. Get that wrong and immediately after was the left-hand bend towards the weir and lock approach. With an overstayed boat on the visitor moorings on the bend, (C&RT had issued the notice) the way the river was flowing and the turbulent weir coming in from the left...I need say no more!

Looking from the lock, the Weir coming from the right and that overstay boat on the bend on the left. THAT would have been nerve-racking to negotiate if we had left without knowing what was in store.

Weir to get past before heading into the lock.

Turbulent waters.
 Hmmm...still on red at this lock but look closely....

Is that amber we see???? And only about 1.5 inches below the water line. So tantalising close to us being able to get underway.

Hope the boat ropes are secure!!!

Above lock and Ian just had to check the height gauge. Showing 4m we still didn't know if that was well above the norm.
 The first thing we did getting back to FS was have another look at the red board by Mountsorrel lock. Hang on a minute!!!! Now we are totally baffled! πŸ˜• Why is there no amber showing on this one? I'm sure someone out there could explain why. Anyway, we have already decided not to leave tonight and hope that by morning normal river conditions will be showing.

Shows a significant drop

No sign of amber though.
Ah...Ian has seen the weather forecast for tonight. Seems we are not out of the woods yet, more heavy rain to come😟😒

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