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.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

another cold night

We woke to the boat creaking and groaning again. Minus 3 degrees temperatures over night and another 1/2" ice on the canal. We had thought on leaving our mooring here in Stone but have now decided to wait until the ice melts. After all we have had quite enough of ice breaking at present!! When we do leave we will be heading for the Caldon Canal and hopefully travelling to the very end. Only Froghill tunnel to negotiate. Air height is only 4' 4" and because of all our stuff on the roof I very much doubt if we will get through.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Stoppage at Sandon Lock

This was supposed to be a two day stoppage but BW brought their butty down the first day and didn't start the inspection until a day later. We had a word with them and they said that apart from a bit of crumbling brickwork and a hole in the floor of the lock, all was well.
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I was very pleased to see that at least this one had survived our harsh winter. I was lucky to take this photo although it is a little blurred.
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Friday, 21 January 2011

Moon Set

A very cold Friday Morning. This was taken at 7.30am with my new camera and I was pleasantly surprised that the pictures came out as well as they did.
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Thursday, 20 January 2011

Branston Water park

Posted by PicasaJudy & Jade posing for the camera again.

A lovely tranquil morning.
Posted by PicasaOur mooring by the park.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Another sunset

Taken at Willington
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Aston Lock

Found a lovely mooring above Aston Lock. The only downside was the very loud bird scary in the field opposite which terrified the doggies. ( wimps that they are!!!) It stopped as soon as it got dark and as we were away just after 9 am, we didn't here them again.

This lovely little pied wagtail came visiting.
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Where's the bl**dy water gone?

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Sunday, 16 January 2011

Made a break for Shardlow

At the coming together of the two rivers Derwant and Trent, this branch acted as the perfect place to observe the surroundings. Shame it was a seagull on it and not a kingfisher.

Kevin took us back to the boat this morning. As we came over the bridge at Trent Lock the river level gauge was just in the amber. That's it then. Its not the first time we have travelled this stretch of river just of the red. In fact we did our boat handling course at a similar river level so we made ready, released our mooring ropes and away. What we hadn't realised was the gale that hit us as soon as we left the protection of the lock. We had to make a sharp right hand turn onto the river against the flow. Sure was interesting!!!!!! Anyway we made slow but steady progress up to Sawley but trying to get Ian off to do the lock was something else. The wind kept blowing us away from the side. In the end Ian climbed onto the roof and just about made it onto the lock landing. Luckily the lock was empty so I didn't have to wait to long before we made it in. We could have stayed in the protection of Sawley Marina but heavy rain had again been forecast and as we still had one more mile of river to do we decide to go for it. This time all went according to plan and we are now moored up above Derwent mouth lock with the rain beating steadily on the boat roof. At least we are back on the canal system and no longer reliant on the state of the river, so rain do your worst, we don't care!

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Baby sitting duties

Christine phoned us today to ask us to baby sit Josh. Kevin's works Christmas do, postponed from December because of the snow, was scheduled for today. Talk about leaving it a bit late!!!! Anyway as we were still waiting for the river to come down we agreed. Christine came and fetched us and we arranged to stay the night. Bad move. Josh went to bed as good as gold but whether it was mum and dad arriving back from their evening out or he just decided to wake up, all hell let loose at about 2.30 am. That put paid to our sleep because he either talked, shouted or cried until well after 4. I did feel sorry for Christine though, she had to be up for work on Sunday morning so she must have felt like death warmed up.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Trent Lock

Well we've arrived. All the locks were with us so the journey took about an hour and a 1/4. As predicted the river is in flood so now we wait.

Farewell Sandiacre

The ice has gone!! To think we arrived middle of November just for a couple of weeks and stayed until middle of January. As the weather has turned wet again no doubt the River Trent will be in the red again but a change of view is better then waiting here in Sandiacre. Before we left a young swan arrived. It was being pursued by an older swan so we took pity on it and chased the bully away.

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