Soar­ing down to a pleas­ant cruise

Canal Boat - - Letters - GRA­HAM BOYLE, via email

I NOTED YOUR re­quest at the end of the Cruise Guide ( CB, Nov) for ex­pe­ri­ences of the River Soar. We took our 59ft canal boat along the Soar in the last week of Au­gust.

Af­ter the wide river and not so in­ter­est­ing scenery on the Trent, the Soar was a pleas­ant change al­though, like most river nav­i­ga­tions, there is a lack of op­por­tu­nity to get off and walk which my wife likes to do. Again, com­mon to rivers, is the lack of good moor­ings and those that are marked tend to fill up early.

On smaller rivers like the Soar I noted that the bends (not be­ing man-made) can be fairly sharp and one needs to be cau­tious of this as boats trav­el­ling down­stream with the cur­rent will be com­ing down quite fast and 60ft boats take a bit of space to turn.

Wa­ter points are not in abun­dance with none marked on Ni­chol­son’s be­tween Bar­row-upon-Soar and Kilby Bridge as I re­call, al­though we read else­where, and had it con­firmed by an­other boat, that there is a tap built into the wall of the Hope & An­chor pub at Bridge 19 al­though, with no re­served wa­ter moor­ing bay it isn’t easy to spot.

This is men­tioned in all notes about the river – the flows pick up fast af­ter just a small amount of rain so it is worth al­low­ing for time to let the cur­rent sub­side.

We didn’t ex­pe­ri­ence any dif­fi­cul­ties at the weirs ad­ja­cent to the locks but oth­ers have pointed out that, in strong wa­ter flows, th­ese can be quite an ex­pe­ri­ence with the need to aim the boat well away and open the throt­tle to get past.

Hope th­ese few thoughts help.

Take a trip along the Soar with us in this month’s Cruise Guide on page 47

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