We got up promptly this morning and after a quick breakfast I reversed us back to Boot Wharf for our engine servicing – it needs it every 250 engine hours, and we are over 500 now. The owner had phoned and told us to come “in the morning” but no times had been mentioned. Once we’d moored up the friendly chap who I’d spoken to before appeared and asked if we were in a hurry. We weren’t, so he said he’d come back after his break – in about an hour – but we should run the engine for fifteen minutes to warm the oil and help it come out.
When he’d finished, he lined up all the boxes of filters for me to photograph. He suggested we should go to a car parts maker in the coming months and pick up compatible filters for our next service, which should save us some money. I did as he suggested, but also compared the numbers to the ones in the engine manual – they don’t match up at all! Still the engine seems to run perfectly with the new ones, and he has tightened up a couple of belts which has also reduced some squeaking noises.
Clare got back from shopping for provisions just as we’d finished, so we set off back to our previous mooring to decide on our next actions. She’d been back to the convenience store on Prince’s Street (one prince, his street). While we were there last time, somebody had told us they did fresh samosas but we hadn’t seen any. This time Clare was given a menu of take away food to order. So back at the boat she spent some time deciding what to have, researching the named items and guessing what we’d like. She phoned the order through and collected. We had more than we could eat for a surprisingly low price – what an excellent service.
We had been planning to explore the Ashby Canal but the guy at the boatyard reckoned it could be difficult with the low water. We were reluctantly considering taking this local advice. However, in the last few day I have several times noticed a boat we hired many years ago. It is based on that canal, so it ought to be navigable that far at least. We decided to give it a go and turn back, or even reverse back, if necessary.
The Ashby-de-la-Zouche Canal (as it is almost never called) starts with a narrow and awkward junction and runs through the Leicestershire country. It is now eight miles shorter than when it was first built, but it never went as far the town it is named after. The canal immediately feels very rural compared to the one we just left. The water is undoubtedly low, but we had no difficulty making progress. I heeded the advice to “keep to the channel”, the sides look very shallow, often more like beaches. The mileposts are very clear about the distances, but nothing else – and you have to subtract eight from the right hand number.
We found a rural mooring with some other boats. The condition of the canal means that mooring points are worth looking out for, much of the canal bank will not be suitable. I spent some time reprogramming the boat control panel. I’d discovered last time we had a service that the logic to flash a warning worked, but the reset button didn’t appear. Last time I discussed this with Rob and found a workaround. This time I think I found a better fix. At least when I applied it the reset button appeared, and when I pressed it, the flashing stopped. It will be another 250 engine hours before we know if it comes back on again – more than a year I expect.
Clare made a dahl to stretch the leftovers in to a delicious evening meal. We spotted a crack appearing in another of our dinner plates. We perhaps need another dinner service – more charity shop hunting required. We went for a post-prandial stroll along the canal before dark, saying hello to our neighbours through the hedge.