August 21st 2011 ditch crawling ???

It has been an interesting weekend on Shell Bell.  On Saturday morning we were waiting for the lock keeper to open the lock for us when two boats suddenly appeared with what looked like very unsavoury characters on board!!! Our first instincts would turn out to be right!!!  So the lockie decided that two boats should go first and us being kind let the two go and we stayed to wait for an hour to see if another boat came so we could go in pairs.  in fact he took our phone number and let us go – very kind of him.  Bob and Ron (the unsavoury men) promised to save us a mooring spot. The plan was to get to Bumblebee lock before it was bolted for the night – the locks are now only open between 10.00 and 1400.  We made steady progress but as we only had four boats coming the other way  we had to fill most of the locks before we went down.  We made the final lock at 14.20 but it was bolted!!!  Another night alone on a lock mooring.  After a cuppa we went to look at the place we should have moored and low and behold there was a space saved for us.  For our kindness Bob and Ron took us to the pub for a drink and it was decided that we  would try and catch up with them tomorrow and moor together at Kings Lock before the journey through Leicester. 

Sunday morning and after being freed by the lockie, filling up with water etc. we set off .  Bob and Ron kept in touch with us but after a couple of locks we caught them up as the pounds were so shallow everything was slow.   We crawled through the canal as best we could but were concerned that we would not get to Kings lock before it closed.  We were fortunate enough to meet a young B W worker and a volunteer who said they would do their best for us,   We met them again later when they had to refill a lock for Bob as he had got stuck.  Eventually we arrived at Kings Lock at 14.30 to find it still open – thanks chaps –

And so another session at the pub with Bob and Ron . We plan to travel through Leicester with them tomorrow.  They are really  great people and we have had such a laugh.  They are out for a week wihout their wives. I hope Captain Norwyn doesn’t get any ideas .

a very low canal

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