Wandering up the Leicester Line has been quite rural so far. Every day I get to hear the little lambs bleating, but they must all be camera shy because I’ve hardly had a chance to snap any of them. But we’ve had plenty of other things to watch out for on our journey north.
The canal has a fair amount of debris in it. So far it’s been lots of vegetation and branches, hardly surprising considering the strong winds a fortnight ago. But the amount of plastic and domestic rubbish is on the increase. We try where possible to pick up litter and dispose of it in a bin, so we were somewhat nonplussed when we came across about 15 big black bin liners that had obviously been fly tipped off a bridge, they’d be sure to cause a problem to someone’s prop so we dutifully attempted to hook them out as we cruised past.
Anyone who’s tried to lift something out of a canal knows that the laws of physics doesn’t make it easy. I got the first heavy waterlogged bag onto the bank, but the second split and revealed what looked like garden waste. “Thank goodness it’s not body parts” I thought glibly, only to realise that the weed I’d revealed had seven leaves, hmmm a quick Google search confirmed my suspicions that it was indeed cannabis.
Now believe it or not, we try to be good law abiding citizens, our primary thought was how much could we make out of this haul, then we went back to our more immediate concern that all those bags would be a hazard to other boaters. It being Sunday meant that CRT was only available for emergencies, and I’m not sure where the division for emergency and non emergency lies, so whilst I dithered, I thought I’d let the police know, again, I knew this wasn’t a 999 emergency so I dialled 101. It was an automated answering service which suggested I pressed “hash” for other options, goodness knows what the operator thought cause I’d definitely got the giggles by then. 101 weren’t interested, the council deal with fly tipping. We’d decided not to hang around but saw some CRT guys who said they’d go the next day to remove them.
We were happy to leave our bags behind although we were still on a high having finally got cruising again this week. Fresh air and warm sunshine is enough of a fix for me. But oh boy, am I tired. We are now into double lock territory, and we haven’t had to do a double since the Braunston flight in October. My muscles are stiff and achey. There’s still hardly any boats moving and not only has every lock been set against us, the bottom gates are blowing open of their own accord and wouldn’t stay shut until there was water flow. It really is time I took the helm more. But that’s a challenge for another day.