Day 70: Kilby Bridge

September 16th, 2010

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.

7 Responses to “Day 70: Kilby Bridge”

  1. Pozorvlak Says:

    Marlinspikes are wonderful bits of kit, aren’t they? I recently had to take down a large number of election placards, and improvising a marlinspike before setting out was one of my better decisions.

  2. James Says:

    Hi Mike,
    I take it you are Cambridge bound? In case you don’t know Northampton Lock is closed 11-17 October for work on a landing stage. Best check with the EA if this might affect you as I don’t know if you can pass through.

    I hope you left your supervisor chained to your thesis in Leicester. It will be good to catch up when you get back.


  3. John Witts Says:

    Greetings, Brave Captain,

    We hope to see you on The Parish soon.


    John and Jackie. XX

  4. Michael P-J Says:

    James: I hope to be through Northampton before then, but thanks for the info. My supervisor is best not discussed in a public forum… I shall be glad when it’s all over!

    John and Jackie: I’m looking forward to it – I should be down your way sometime around October 8th, but contents may vary from those illustrated and your mileage may vary.

  5. James Says:

    Bottisham lock is closed until further notice due to a mechanical failure see:

    I dare say the EA will fix in fairly promptly but I hope it does not affect your plans.

  6. Michael P-J Says:

    James: yeah, the boat’s stuck in Ely… at this rate it may not get back to Cambridge before I go to Antarctica!

  7. James Says:

    If you do get stuck I would happily bring innocenti back into Cambs from Ely for you.

    I did not know you were so close, come out rowing (and for a pint)!

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