We left Wistow at lunch-time once the rain had eased and headed off towards Kilby Bridge just to the south of Leicester where we planned to wind.
Events in locks was the order of the day!
The first one just as we were leaving lock number five of seven. Suddenly there was a lot of thrashing in the water where before all had been calm. Something black and writhing broke the surface and then disappeared and then re-emerged and disappeared again and then suddenly a bird’s head broke the surface and then disappeared again as though something was dragging it down. After about twenty seconds, which as we watched seemed an age, a cormorant emerged, shook its head, and swam around as though everything was quite normal.
The second event occurred in the last lock of the day and reminded us that it is necessary to remain vigilant at all times. We were a single boat in a double lock, going down, and clear of the concrete cill when suddenly the boat lurched sideways.
I was on shore operating the locks and alerted by a shout from Storm I dropped one of the paddles to slow the exit of water and was just about to climb across the lock gate to close the other when Storm shouted again.
Storm had been pushing the boat away from the wall and the boat had righted itself.
He moved the boat to the other side of the lock to see if he could see what had caused the problem. He then indicated that I re-open the paddle.
The boat suddenly lurched again so I dropped the paddle and again the boat righted itself. I crossed the top of the lock gates to close the opposite paddle.
Trying to work out what was causing this, Storm noticed that there was a brick protruding from the lock wall on the side where we’d first got stuck and it looked like we’d taken the front face off it. With the boat in the middle of the lock, I slowly opened just one paddle and as the water level dropped we saw that there was another brick protruding on the opposite side.
It looks as though we’d caught the swim of the boat on these protruding bricks. The chances of doing it twice in one lock on different bricks must take some doing! Storm says with those odds he should buy a lottery ticket!
I think from now on when doing double locks solo, we will only open one paddle so we can react quickly to such incidents.
We breathed a big sigh of relief when we left the lock behind. All our cupboard doors were open but nothing broken.
We moored up and headed for the Navigation where we met a lovely couple from Sheffield whose boat was also moored nearby. We had a lot of shared interests and a couple of hours soon raced by.
(3 miles, 7 locks)