Travelled 6.8 miles, worked 14 locks in a time of 5 hours and 25 minutes.
When I read how far we have travelled and the time it has taken, I can honestly say I thought it was a hell of a lot further and longer, but that is just because the 14 locks were bloomin dreadful.
We set off from our over night mooring at 8.45am, it was cloudy, cool and very little wind, so perfect in every way really.
The first lock of the day was Newton Top Lock and to begin with every lock was not only against us but one of the bottom gates was left open on the first few locks.
At Lock 27 Turn Over Lock we were being caught up by NB Mallard, who were just at the previous lock, so I said to one of their crew members we would wait for them at Lock 28 Tythorn Lock. When we set off there was no one in sight to share with, so it shows how much we had been held up with NB Mallard catching us up, I do not even recall us passing them moored up. We arrived at Tythorn Lock and there was a boat coming out of the lock, which was a welcome sight because finally we had a lock in our favour. NB Mallard duly caught us up and we shared the locks all the way down to Kilby Bridge.
At Kilby Bridge they winded then stopped and would be heading back up the locks, I do not think they were looking forward to the prospect. We pulled in at the sanitary station to take on water and empty a cassette, as there would be nothing for a while.
We said our goodbyes to Mallards crew and headed off to Kilby Lock. When we did this part a few years ago, 2009 to be precise there were padlocks on the gate paddles, but there was not one padlock to be seen, now that is either because they have all been knocked off or the Canal and Rover Trust have decided not to bother replacing them as they are broken. The ground paddles still have their security devices on, but they are of little use if the gate paddles are not secure. The run down through South Wigson is actually rather nice, it is just the locks which tend to drain your enthusiasm for the countryside around you. Some serious maintenance needs to take place and a bit of grease would not go a miss.
Keith had thought of going to Kings Lock, but was worried there would be no mooring spaces left so we decided to stop between Gees Lock and Blue Bank Lock on a nice country deep mooring. My bank is non to happy at the moment, but hopefully if I rest it for the remainder of the day it should be fine for the run through Leicester tomorrow. Today only reminded me why we have not done this stretch since 2009 and I have to say we will not be hurrying back until the locks are improved.