Monday 28 June 2021

Car Shuffle Day

 Today's Navigation - River Soar

We were due to present ourselves at the boatyard at 9 o'clock so we made an earlyish start with only Sileby Lock to drop down. (We had moored just above the lock last night). We had expected to tie up alongside another boat waiting to be taken onto the slipway for work to be done on it later in the week. However, as we started on the lock we spotted that that boat was already being moved so we held back until the coast was clear. As we started out of the lock we were hen signalled yo come alongside their service boat/pontoon. This would give them much better access to our damaged window.

Before long, Andy arrived to set about removing the window. He then fitted a board over the gap in case it rained before the glass could be fitted.

With uncertainty over where we might be in he next few days, we had already decided that Mike would fetch the car from Barton Marina. On the one hand it might be useful for a couple of days but it would also be near enough if we moved on to another marina or boatyard as we had originally planned. He had already worked out an itinerary that included walking to Sileby station, train to Nottingham and then to Burton-on-Trent. a walk into town would then allow him to catch a bus to just outside the marina.

In the event, removing the window took longer than was expected and it was not until 11.30 that Mike began to walk into the village. Alas, as he came within two minutes of the station he could see the train just departing! At least the services he was planning to use are hourly through the day and so the delay allowed him to check out the small shops in the village and to buy a sandwich for lunch.

Meanwhile, Christine was sorting out  our contact with our insurance company - although it may not be worth making a claim, taking into account the excess and loss of no claims.

And then . . . the boatyard came to tell Christine that the glass company they use in Loughborough are unable to make the piece of glass until Friday, more likely next week. However, the boatyard are being extremely helpful and have offered that we can stay here until it is fixed and also until after we can go home and return - around two weeks later. We also have electric hookup.

Mike was by this time at the station and after a phone discussion we agreed to continue with the car shuffle and to look later at what we do for the next few days and when we will return home.

The train journey went as planned - initially the first train arrived five minutes late and the tight connection at Nottingham seemed at risk. In fact it caught up the schedule on the last part into Nottingham and Mike had no difficulty in catching the second train which took him to Burton-on-Trent.

By now, Mike was already aware that there is a gap in the bus schedule: it is hourly (five minutes past the hour) through the morning until just after lunch but then switches to hourly at 45 minutes after the hour! This meant that Mike had over an hour to wait for the next one, even after the lengthy walk from the train to the bus.

There are at least three shopping malls in the town centre but but was noticeable that most were are the lower end of the retail value chain. On the bus journey later, Mike passed a large edge of town retail park where many of the national brands are located so he guessed that this is where more of the upmarket money is spent.

The bus dropped him a short walk from the entrance to Barton Marina and before long he was on the road back to Sileby. It was interesting to note that, apart from the short diversions of the trains into Nottingham and Derby (in both cases leaving in the direction of arrival), all three of our canal/river, public transport and car journeys followed closely the same route. The original canal surveyors, working with very limited map information, could not have realised just how long lasting their work was to be! It was just after five that Mike drove into the boatyard car park.

After  chatting about our situation and working out options, time was passing and rather than preparing the planned meal we drove into the village to collect portions of fish and chips. They proved to be some of the most generous portions we have ever seen - in fact too large that we were both defeated!

We had sent out three enquiries about possible moorings for the end of the week and, quite unusually, all of them came back during the day with very positive answers. Good to know but, of course, we cannot now take up any of them.

0.1 Miles - 1 Lock

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