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Foxton Locks, bottom to top

We enjoyed a peaceful night tied up outside the Foxton Locks Inn and awoke to blue skies just after six o’clock this morning. We had a light breakfast before going to find the lock keeper so that we could register our position in the queue. As it turned out there were no boats waiting to come down and we were to be third in line to ascend the staircase. The first boat entered the flight just after eight o’clock and within twenty minutes we were closing the gates behind us in the bottom lock. The wind increased in speed as we took the ‘stairs’ one at a time but it presented no difficulties to us and we left the top lock just an hour after entering the bottom chamber. We didn’t go much further, we had never intended to but the high winds only convinced us that mooring here was the right thing to do.

After lazing around for a couple of hours we wandered down to the pub at the bottom of the hill, hoping to see some fun and games as descending boats leaving the locks fought against the wind as they turned towards Market Harborough. The first boat didn’t disappoint us as it drifted sideward towards Leicester before managing to get itself under control before it completely blocked the canal. After that there was nothing to see with each of the following boats managing to negotiate the turn without incident. It’s a known fact in boating that you will only make a mess of a manoeuvre when there is an audience, clearly the lack of gongoozlers had ensured a safe passage for all concerned today.

Nevertheless we whiled away another hour or so at the pub before walking back to Phoenix III where we ate dinner, lit the fire and settled down for the rest of the day. The wind soon brought squally showers but it was too cosy inside for us to be concerned about the elements.