About Us

My photo
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.

Friday, 8 March 2013

What a night

Last night must have been one of the spookiest nights we have ever had. We cant remember the last time we experienced a night so dark, especially as Langley Mill is always full of light.  It was the sort of black where you couldn't even see your hand in front of your face.  Letting Jade out for her last tiddle was scarey. The torch we had only just about picked out Jade so everything around seemed even more sinister. Strange noises kept breaking the silence and even the hooting of a distant owl   seemed ominous. And then there were the bangs, cracks, groans, creaks from the hull of the boat and the constant 'drip drip' of the water dripping from the trees onto the boat roof  . Merlin never seemed to be quiet. Then as we settled down in bed, the boat rocked alarmingly and banged into the side. We shot up expecting to see someone about but nothing was to be seen or heard. I must say it was the most restless nights sleep we have had for a long time. I'm beginning to wonder if the place was haunted! Still, sleep we did as all to soon the crows were squawking and acting as our alarm call. After a cooked breakfast we set off to make the short journey to Ellesmere.

Passing Blake Mere
  Tesco was our destination as realisation hit us that neither of us had packed any shampoo. Before Ellesmere Marina I noticed a footpath leading off toward a visitor center. We had never stopped or walked this part of the canal so we did no more then moor up and go for a walk. Bad mistake because when we returned and tried to start the boat, nothing! Not even a click or the engine trying to turnover. Ian did the usual checks but still the boat refused to start. All we could do was phone Anglo Welsh and ask them to come out. So to make it easier for Tony the engineer to meet us we bow hauled Merlin the 100yds or so to the marina entrance.

I had just started to prepare lunch when Ian suddenly had one of those brainwave moments ( doesn't happen very often these days! Must be old age creeping in) Could it be the starter motor lead that had come adrift? Sure enough his brainwave was correct and as soon as he had reattached the offending lead, Merlin sprung into life. Quick phone call to Anglo Welsh to stop Tony from coming out and we were once again on our way to Tesco. Unfortunatly this coincided with the heavens opening yet again and by the time we got to Tesco we were drenched. By now the time was about 2 pm and although we could have stopped in Ellesmere, we had spied a lovely rural 48 hour moorings, complete with rings, on the way to Blake Mere so we pulled pins again and just as we reached the junction of the Ellesmere Arm a Canal time pulled out in front of us. Obviolsly first timers as they were bouncing from one bank to the other. 30 odd years ago as a beginner I was doing the exact same thing. Today I still get it wrong occasionally so to watch them doing their best made me feel quite nostalgic. How I would love to be back in the seventies again.

So we are now on the rural 48 hour mooring. It's still raining but we are cosy and warm and still thoroughly enjoying our short break.

Here are the photos from our walk to the visitor center. We hadn't realised there was another lake. 

Walk through the wood with the abundance of snowdrops everywhere.

Ellesmere Marina seen from the wood

Merlin can just be seen through the trees.

Visitor center on the side of The Meres

Is this a hybrid of the strange duck I saw yesterday?

Synchronised flying!

Does my bum look big to you?
And finally a photo of Ellesmere tunnel showing why the other boat nearly hit us yesterday.

No way can you see if there is another boat coming.

No comments:

Blog Archive