So we did it! We were out on the open water, my worries set aside, we were doing what boat folk do on the weekend, we my friends were going boating! That is once we navigated the exit of the marina. 

Being the supportive and loving wife-to-be which I am, I was at the back of the boat providing all the moral support required, along with the occasional yeah I think there is space my side. That was until I started to see things going wrong, thanks to the famous Yelvertoft winds getting out of our mooring spot was proving to be anything but smooth sailing. Again being the supportive wife-to-be which I am, whilst James fought with Fantine’s Tiller, I retreated inside to hide and hope nobody noticed our struggles.  

brace for impact

Thanks to James’ boat driving we made it out of the marina and we were on the open waterways! We’d made the decision to go right, out of the Marina, and further up the Leicester arm of the Grand Union. Why? This can be broken down into three simple reasons: 

  1. No locks forever
  2. No locks forever 
  3. No locks forever

Joking aside I wasn’t massively feeling tonnes of locks, and as we had already covered the section to the left on our trip up from Whilton we fancied the change of scenery. Did I mention there is no locks forever this way? 

So we set off and it was incredible, when we previously moved Fantine we had been on a bit of a limit time wise, wanting to get to Yelvertoft before closing time. But with a whole weekend to play with time wasn’t an issue, and the pressures of that trip were none existent (And there were no locks … Big thumbs up!). This section of canal is stunningly beautiful. 

Little more than a Mile outside of the Marina, we had friends pay us a visit and trail our boat for about a mile, yeap that’s them our lovely swan family. Whilst it may sound silly it was a truly magic and breathtaking moment. 


There was then the awful moment that Heidi, the Lurcher, decided boating wasn’t for her any more, and she jumped off the boat and onto the towpath, under a bridge, whilst we were moving. Cue Bruce Willis style responses from me, hopping off the boat to retrieve said lurcher, and jump back aboard! 

We were making lovely progress, chugging on down the canal, the sun was shining and the waterways seemed relatively quiet. That was until we got to the bridges, where without fail we seemed to come across an approaching boat each time! Being polite boaters we held back each time, letting the approaching boat pass through, despite them often being un-acknowledging of our home stopping efforts! 


We started to approach the t-junction at the end of the stretch, where we were stuck with a dilemma, left or right? James desperately tried to remember which way our neighbour had advised we go. All he could narrow it down to was it was either left or right … kind of goes without saying!


In the  end we called over to a moored boat on the approach to the t-junction with our all important question. 

‘Which way is the closest pub’

Left we were told, left we went, and our thirst prayed this wasn’t a cruel prank. 

Stay posted for installment three. 

James & Kirsty 

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