Adrian arrived at our marina at about 11.30 and we loaded his car with quite a lot of stuff. We then headed north on the M1 to Thurmaston to pick up our boat for the weekend. We're borrowing a boat for a boat test feature with a difference: what's it like for a whole weekend? It's a boat which was at Crick.
So we loaded our stuff on board and set off on a very warm and sunny afternoon. We passed Chance, almost immediately -- which, thanks to James's operation, clearly hasn't had a daily wash for a while!
I got off at the first bridge hole to take some photos, as I'm doing my own photography on this one. At Junction Lock we were joined by a day boat from Barrow Boating. It had a wooden cabin and a flat roof covered in felt. At Cossington Lock a boat was just going in, so we joined them. And at Sileby Lock two boats were just going down so we had to wait a little while and turn the lock. The mill below the lock must be quite a nice place to live.
When we got to Mountsorrel, the pub alongside the lock was absolutely packed. Our locking partners decided to stop above the lock (even though the two mooring spaces there were taken) so we went down alone, and carried on to Barrow. Barrow boating has been doing a roaring trade, as not only was their day boat out, they also had a trip boat which may well have been hosting a Hindu scattering of ashes, and there were rented pedallos, rowing boats, and a kind of bike on floats.
The visitor moorings just before Barrow Boats was free (and we can't find any mooring pins on board, which means we need somewhere with rings, bollards, or trees!) so we pulled in. I've taken some photos of the interior of the boat, and we've sat at the bow in the sunshine drinking wine and eating crisps. Later, we'll wander into Barrow to find somewhere for dinner. Tomorrow's forecast is pretty bad, so we may not go far. At least this boat can be turned around almost anywhere.
7 miles, 4 locks.