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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, 20 March 2013

Back down the Erewash

Slight hiccup with this post yesterday. I started a draft and hit publish by mistake so to all those that wondered what had happened on our journey, here is the full story.

What a day to travel down to Sandiacre.. It was cold.......really cold with rain sleet and then snow falling but we had no choice other then leave today. No good for us to leave tomorrow as Ian is set to see the Consultant in the afternoon and Friday is the day most boats start arriving for the Pie and Pea weekend. For us to get the mooring next to our bungalow and be able to get Jade on and off the boat, we had to be there first. By the time all the other boat start arriving tomorrow, we will be well and truly wedged in on the Derby Arm. So on went the Thermals and with Ian lock wheeling with the car and me at the helm of our boat we started the descent down the canal.

Couldn't have chosen a worse time to travel down.
All went well until we reached Potters lock. First thing we noticed in the distance was a huge crane barge with another barge at its side, and beside the lock itself was a mountain of scaffolding being loaded onto a lorry. Ian arrived by car a few minutes before I did and walked down below lock to see what was happening. After informing the men that we were waiting in the lock and after a delay of about 10 minutes,  they obligingly pulled one of there butties out of the way.  Apparently one of the barges was out of balance after loading and before they could leave for Trent Lock, had to adjust the load.

Waiting in Potters Lock
The rain sleet and snow was still ever present and I just had to resort to my trusty brolly. Ian calls me a fair weather boater when he sees the brolly out but I was beginning to feel wet and chilled so I ignored all his snide comments and carried on regardless.

Looking decidedly wet, cold and miserable.
 After stopping for lunch in Greens lock ( Not something we do normally but the chance of another boat coming was very slim ) the weather improved and we even glimpsed a bit of sun. Ian went on ahead again with the car and eventually I reached Gallows Inn Lock. Now this lock is right on a nasty bend so the entry when descending  and the exiting when ascending is extremely challenging.  I was very surprised to see another of C&RT's butties moored on the lock landing at this very difficult lock. Seems they still feel its one rule for them and another for us!!

The approach to Gallows Inn Lock

After taking 5 hours in horrid conditions, getting to Sandiacre was a welcome sight. I reversed into the Derby Arm and breasted up next to Crested Lark, an ex Alvechurch hire boat. We now await our fellow boaters to turn up tomorrow and Friday. I must say the warmth of the boat helped thaw out my old bones and I am so looking forward to Steak and chips and a glass of vino later.

My photos of the journey

One very startled horse as I came past

This is the wall around Tesco in Ilkeston

A very irate swan coming to attack me

And this is why

Seems like all the birds know its the spring equinox

 And finally another weird bird on the Erewash. This time (if my bird book is correct) a Common Scoter. Winter visitor that frequents the coastal waters of the UK. So I wonder what its doing on the Erewash canal!

I seem to be having difficulty in removing this second picture. For some reason blogger has posted both pictures. Every time I click on one to remove it, blogger deletes my last 5 photos. HELP Any ideas??????

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