Monday 5 October 2015

Monday washday

If you thought today's showers would make washday a wash-out, you'd be wrong!

The CRT guy was busy pressure-washing the gates of Kibworth Top Lock, the last of the the twelve we needed to negotiate today.

"Just be half an hour", they said. So we waited below, and made some lunch, while a group of Canadian hirers waited above.

About an hour and a half later they had finished, and we took Erin Mae up in the lock with the work-boat. I think the Canadians got a raw deal!

When we finally reached our destination, more washing was taking place.

This is Debdale Wharf marina, where on Thursday Erin Mae should be the boat slung in the air getting her bottom washed prior to blacking. We wanted to get here early, because a seal on the propellor shaft is leaking, putting half a bucket of water into the engine compartment every day. Having her out of the water is the ideal time to get the seal sorted as well, and it's helpful for the people here to see in advance what parts they'll need to order.

On the way up to Debdale we encountered some sights of interest. There was the half-mile Saddington Tunnel to go through.

And then there were these objects in the concrete wall of the canal around the bend at Smeeton Aqueduct. The sections with a bar across them all came in pairs, and some of the pairs had one of these small cages in the middle.

A boat was tied to some of these bars, which seemed a perfectly sensible use, but I have no idea whether it was the intended one, or what the cages are. Does anyone know?

We met cheerful Joe, who lives in the cottage at Newton Top Lock, and waved us on our way.

And we saw some undulations in Leicestershire – we knew there had to be some somewhere.

So it wasn't a wash-out of a day at all. Far from it, in spite of the regular drizzle.


  1. That's where we had Jubilee blacked last year. Very good service. We had the underneath done as well, which we hadn't originally intended. We'll see next year how much is left. (The idea was to fill in the pits!)

    1. It was partly your satisfaction with them last year that made me select the, I'd been impressed with their attitude at a Canal Festival, their price is very reasonable, and they offered a reason to go home the long way. Mind you, they didn't like me trying to book a date when we were still in York!

      Haven't yet decided about the bottom. Some would say just not worth it, and there's a real hike in the cost.

  2. Are you here in Debdale now? I will look for you tomorrow. We are here and having the boat hoiked out of the water on to the hard for the winter. Just doing some maintenance tasks before we leave for NZ.
    Cheers, Marilyn (nb Waka Huia)

    1. Hi Marilyn. We're due back at Debdale on Thursday, and have already come down to Foxton. We hope to visit Market Harborough tomorrow, and come back to moor up just outside the marina entrance on Wednesday night.

      BTW, Wikipedia says Waka Huia are always carved on the bottom. That's a novel way of thinking about hull blacking!