It was a long slog up to Kilby Bridge. I had hoped that some of my labmates would join me but they were all otherwise engaged. The navigation undergoes a strange transition during this journey, becoming more and more canal-like – the first few locks are accompanied by weirs, as the influence of the river is still strong. The southern fringes of Leicester came with a poor reputation – I’d heard tales of boats being vandalised and lippy teenagers swimming in locks from people over the last couple of weeks – but in fact the whole area was pleasantly suburban with gardens facing the canal along almost all its length. There was a fair amount of graffiti, but it’s not Manchester by any means.
In one lock I had a mild incident with a clove-hitch – the boats surging motion in the wash from the filling paddle had managed (for the first time in 700 miles) to overstress the clove hitch on the centre line, such that I couldn’t release it from the bollard. I closed the paddle and went in search of the marlinspike I’d bought from Clas Ohlson in Manchester – a few deft pokes and twists and the knot came apart. At Kilby Bridge I moored up and collapsed into a heap in the Navigation Inn with a pint of Marstons and a five-pound curry. Mmm.
Day 70: Leicester Castle Gardens to Kilby Bridge, 8 miles and 12 locks.
Total so far: 742 miles and 552 locks.