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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, 25 April 2012

The Jameison Madness. ( sorry kids it may be hereditary! )

Well I thought yesterdays madness was bad enough having got under way by 6.30 am.  Today's madness? Starting out in the stormiest conditions we have had for a long time. The wind howled and the rain beat down on our roof but we still decided to set off!!  I choose to take the tiller first and the plan was to swap over once up and through Hillmorton. With the wind and rain blowing hard toward me, the rain actually stung my face and It hurt like billy oh! There must have been hail  mixed in with it. I decided to go all girlie and grabbed  the umbrella. Ian reckons I am a complete wimp but he wasn't out there to experience the conditions. You wait until its his turn. Then he'll know!!!! This brolly is one of those super doper Jobie's that allows the wind to blow through. and stop the brolly from blowing inside out. Wrong!!! At Hillmorton locks the gusts were so strong that not only did it go inside out but I physically couldn't do anything about it other then hang on to it for dear life. Thankfully I was in the lock otherwise the boat would have ended up on the opposite side of the pound! A great photo moment lost because Ian was laughing so much and also having to hang onto his own hat for all it was worth as well! That did it for us. Both of us said that 'enough was enough' and, as luck would have it, we managed to squeeze into a space not far from Hillmorton top lock. The wind helped us in, mind you. Nice sideways manoeuvre directly into the space. Almost like having bow thrusters forward and aft. If the rain stops later we may carry on towards Braunston but just at the moment I'm feeling cosy and warm and don't really want to get going again. We will see.

Togged up like the Michelin man  and with the girlie brolly.

First lock at Hillmorton

A very bedraggled Ian

When did this occur? I'm sure it wasn't like this when we came through beginning of the year!

Guess what! We are on the move again. Not long after writing the first part of this post, the rain stopped and Ian donned waterproofs and got us going again! How long before we stop again all depends if the rain returns. I did notice a load of wood shavings and trees with their branches cut down past the 14 day moorings. Seems to be no end of tree cutting going on at the moment. Could it be BW honouring their veg pledge ?

I stayed nice and warm in the boat only putting my head out occasionally to see if Ian was all right. The rain had returned with avengeance and I asked him if he would like the brolly. All I got was a scowl and I think out of sheer cussedness he wouldn't have taken it. I did offer to swap with him and take the helm but he insisted he was fine, so I just let him get on with it! I did supply him with coffees and warm soup. I think he was ever so grateful to see the Braunston church spire in the distance and as we were well inside the lock closure time we decided to go up the flight today.

Who says we haven't enough water. Judging by the amount pouring over the bottom gate I would say we wont have to worry about low pounds on the way up.

No room for us on the landing so had to nestle up to the hire boats instead.
  A Kate hire boat saw us coming and waited on the landing for us to arrive. Very nice people who had never taken a boat before. They had plenty of crew so while Ian went ahead to set locks, (they were all against us) the others stayed behind to lock us through. By now the rain had eased and we even had a glimpse of blue sky as we reached the tunnel entrance. Only met one boat in the tunnel and that happened to be an Anglo Welsh hire boat. We did bump but as it was right by the 'bendy bits' it was inevitable that this would occur. Once through the blue sky had disappeared and the rain started again. We were advice by a couple walking toward us that there was no moorings to be had by the locks so we have moored up just before the junction ready for the off when the locks open at 10 am.


Ali and John (NB Triskaideka) said...

& I thought we were mad, we sat tight until this afternoon when there was a break, we still got soaked, as the heavens opened before we moored up.

Sorry we only managed a 'fellow bloggers recognition' hello yesterday, hopefully next time we will have time for a chat!


Ali and John (NB Triskaideka) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adam said...

Those trees at Hillmorton were all intact when we stayed there in January, but by March they'd had a very severe haircut.

At Norton Junction, I prefer the moorings just before the bridge. Feels much more countrified than near the locks, and nice views (if you can see through the rain and cloud, that is!)

Anonymous said...

Glad to see we wern't the only mad ones today like you pics i never got the camera out.

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