About Us

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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

My Kingfisher

I was ecstatic when this kingfisher landed just a few yards from the front of the boat. I hoped that it would stay put and eased the throttle back to slow done while struggling to find my camera which was conveniently at the back of the boat. Ian had been below and came up to see why I had slowed down. It was a good job he did because he managed to divert disaster which had been about to happen when the boat headed for the bank. I was to intent on capturing the picture of my kingfisher to see what was happening!Posted by Picasa

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Adrift


One of the so called "Dosser" boats adrift on the Llangollen. Needless to say we didn't bother to bring it back to its mooring because we object strongly to these licence evaders. They seem to think they can use all the facilities that BW provide for nothing.
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our two boats

We bought Merlin in 2004 as a sponsor boat to go into the hire fleet of Anglo Welsh waterways holidays. The boat was designed to our spec with only a few criteria from Anglo Welsh because it was going to be in the hire fleet for at least 5 years. After this time we could take her back or leave her in the fleet. We find she is very useful for letting our family take her out and giving them a cheap holiday. When Christine and Kev decided to take her out we arranged to meet them on Free Spirit and join them on their holiday.

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crossing the aquaduct


We met Christine and Kev at Anglo Welsh boat yard at Trevor in Wales so they could take our other boat Merlin for a week. Also joining us for the weekend was Kevins dad big Kev and his mum Gunda.
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Pontcysyllte Aquaduct

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crossing the Pontcysyllte aguaduct

To get our two boats together was really difficult. In front was a day boat and being cheeky I asked if I could jump across their boat to get to the other side. Luckily they agreed I managed to get a few photos


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View from the aquaduct


Heading toward Chirk aquaduct


big Kev had a go at the tiller. Little Kev was at hand to make sure he didn't crash into the bridge!!!

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In the distance is the first tunnel. As there was a boat already in the tunnel heading towards us we held the boat until it was clear for us to go through.















We also got held up at Chirk Aquaduct

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On Chirk Aquaduct


I had wondered if big Kev was doing his Kate Winslet impression, but then I realised he was pretending to be Merlins figurehead instead.

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Kevin looking really smug


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Gunda, big Kev and little Kev

Gunda and big Kev

Gunda, little Kev and big Kev. (gets a bit confusing does'nt it!)















Gunda





















Big Kev


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Chimney pots

After crossing the Aquaduct we left Wales and entered into Britain again. Only on seeing these chimney pots did we realise just how high the canal is.
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Which way did I need to move the tiller?


Gunda took over the steering. I wanted to get a picture of this as she really wasn't sure about taking control of the boat. On board both boats we had walkie talkies and I radioed for Gunda to turn around and give me a wave. unfortunately in doing so she pushed the tiller in completely the wrong direction and consequently nearly hit the opposite bank. Christine came to her rescue in the nick of time.

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Chris and Kev on Merlin


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Our doggie guests


Echo and Cain (Staffy ) joined us. Cain had a very fetching life jacket on. On enquiring why he had to wear it we were told he couldnt swim. Now as far as Im aware all dogs can swim, but when big Kev and Gunda took him to the Broads they thought htat it was high time he did more then have a paddle and consequently gave him a gentle nudge in slightly deeper water then he had been used to and sank!!!! When they realised he wasnt coming up big Kev panicked and luckily managed to grab hold of him and bring him to the surface.
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Montgomery Canal


There are two staircase locks leading from the Llangollen canal to the Montgomery. Big Kev and Gunda had never seen this kind of locks before so we decided to have a stop and show them. On the side of the canal was a basket full of apples. No one appeared to be around so I helped myself to a few and made a lovely apple crumble that night!!


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Lift bridges


Christine took the dogs off for a run but then realised that they would have to get back on at the lift bridge. Kev did a good job of positioning the boat so the dogs could jump back on.



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