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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.

Monday, 16 July 2012

A very wet ascent upTardibigge

Why is it when you don't bother to watch the weather forecast, the day turns out to be horrendous. We would have stayed moored if we had known! The early morn seemed promising, grey and overcast but no hint of what was to come. Both locks on the last of the Stoke flight was against us and we fully expected every lock on the Tardibigge to be the same. We were, in fact, pleasantly surprised when Tardibigge bottom lock was in our favour. As was the next and the next and the next. In fact all 29 locks were with us. Fantastic. Mind you with the weather getting worse by the hour I was very thankful not to have to hang around waiting for the next lock to be got ready. Part way up the flight CRT turned up on a new mode of transport, informing us that the river was up ( we were heading away from it ) and that two boats were locking down ( we would have found that out anyway ) My thoughts on this fellow? He just likes to ride up and down the flight looking important instead of doing something constructive. He could have told us about the high water levels by the reservoir or indeed about the low water levels nearer the top!.

After Ian had done the first seven locks it was then my turn to do seven We did this all the way up the flight to give each other a breather.. Some of the paddle gear took some winding and I struggled with quite a few but its amazing how much can be achieved if you put your mind ( and muscle ) to it.  We had a great system worked out, working one lock ahead but the rain was getting heavier and my feet began to squelch  every time I put a step forward. I did get a great photo looking down from the reservoir after climbing about 15 steps in thick mud and puddles but it was worth it to get this view.

CRT bods helping Ian through. They were moored in the pound and was in the process of coming up the flight themselves but very kindly let us through first. As you can see the rain was still coming down. 

New van, new sign and parked next to it, the old.
After 4 hours of hard slog we made it to the penultimate lock We were tired and very very wet and made the decision to stop in the long pound and do the final lock on the flight tomorrow. Both of us were looking forward to hot showers and a cup of hot chocolate. In fact just to get out of our wet clothes would have been nice. Then we discovered the long pound was extremly low. In fact we had only travelled 3 or 4 mtrs when the horrible sound of us rubbing on bottom came to our ears. We were smack bang in the middle and I prayed that we could at least get part of the boat to the side. Thankfully the bow made it even though the stern couldnt. Ian jumped off and while I held onto the boat, ran a couple of lockfulls of water down so we could at least get moored up and in the dry..

A very wet and bedraggled me on our last lock of the day.

Well away from the side. This doesn't show just how low the water levels were

Residential boat listing badly.

Isn't it sods law, that when we have finally got dry and warm the sun comes out. Typical!!!!

1 comment:

Tyson said...

We came down Tardebigge and Stoke on a very wet day in May (nothing changes!). All the locks would have been against us (we were following a boat that was leaving the paddles up) if it was not for the lockie who set eight locks for us.


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