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.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Return to Free Spirit

Okay so maybe the daily photo will wait for another day. In fact, because the sun shone this morning and the snow covered the mountain tops, it was to pretty to not take several more photos. ( sorry folks!) Even the aqueduct looked marvelous. Much better then yesterdays picture.

  It was blooming freezing though, with the wind chill feeling more like -10.  Put it this way, after a few minutes of being outside my hands and fingers started to hurt with the cold even though I was wearing gloves.  Then for the first time ever ( and we have done this journey more times then I can remember ) crossing the Pontcysyllte made me feel quite anxious. The strong wind kept pushing the boat toward the edge of the drop. All we could do was sit tight and hold on. As we approached Anglo Welsh's base I knew I would have to reverse Merlin back into the Ruabon Arm. Mike ( Manager ) prefers all the boats to have the pointy end facing the aqueduct.  Normally this would be no problem but not today. The gusts made the turn and the reverse ever more challenging. I was at the helm and watching the proceedings were  Mike and Tony ( engineer ) so I had loads of pressure to get it right. Well I did manage but Ian had to jump off on to the bow of another boat to push me round. All in all I didn’t make to bad a job of it and no sooner had we secured the boat a  pump-out hose was connected and loo flushed and cleaned. Good job I didn't need to use the loo before we left!  An hour later we were packed and ready to go and a piece of paper left in the galley with a few more faults written down for Tony to sort out. I'm glad to report the shower worked like a treat. A new shower pump was installed and the flow was so much better. The fridge still hadn't been repaired but Mike had sent it to the manufacturer to see if a new door could be fitted( the one we used was off of another of their fleet boats). So a good job was done by Anglo Welsh and for a hire boat Merlin still looks in fine nick.

Looking toward the lift bridge

The one place we could get TV

Twig collecting

 Our journey back was a doddle. No traffic to speak off but we did have squally snow showers to contend with. Back on board Free Spirit first thing was light the fire and put kettle on. Then dodging the snow showers we unloaded the car, unpacked and are now cosy and warm once more with the feeling as if we had never been away. We will be cruising again in a couple of weeks time, though, but only as far as Trent Lock where we will be blacking Free Spirits bottom at Kingfisher dry dock run by Mick and John. Link is on my useful info list. Tomorrow I will definitely be posting my daily photos once more.

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