We had intended to head back yesterday, breaking the trip half way, but we got a phone call on Wednesday evening asking if we were stopping at Sutton Cheney, if so we’d have visitors… my sister Sue and her husband Trev are over from New Zealand and we’re having a family get together anyway on Sunday. But they decided they’d like to see us a little earlier.
So yesterday morning we moved from the 24 hour mooring next to the water point and tied up on the plastic pontoon. It was from here that we spotted a water rat on the bank, there’s a small colony next to the pontoon. But Mags was disappointed this time, the bank is so overgrown now that you could hide a small herd of water buffalo in there let alone a small water rat!
Sue and Trev arrived about 2, and brother Andy was with them too so we had a good afternoon.
Feeding the ducks with rice krispies.
This morning dawned clear and bright, in fact the sun as hot when I took Meg out at 8 o’clock. But cloud rolled in and it’s stayed mainly overcast but still warm.
Leaving Sutton Cheney Wharf
We had a steady cruise back to Hinckley, you can’t do much else really, the canal is very shallow in places. Meg needed a comfort break so we hopped off at Bridge 29 and walked to Bridge 28.
Not a good idea, teaching the kids to play chicken with a narrowboat!
Even if you’re actually a swan…
We spent our first winter on here, and the enduring memory is of the mud. Mud everywhere. Meg had just snagged a dew-claw and it was a nightmare trying to keep the wound clean and dry. The towpaths seem to be a lot better now.
One improvement that has been made in several places is repairs to the canal edge. The contractors are using a fabric barrier supported on stakes and backfilled with coir rolls and dredged silt.
As the vegetation takes over the method gives a friendly soft edge, better than harsh steel piling, but I’m not convinced it’ll be as long lasting.
We arrived at Trinity Marina at around midday, booked in and moored up on a pontoon in the marina. After lunch I walked around to Enterprise and picked up a car for the weekend. So we’re all set now.
Locks 0, miles 5½