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.

Monday, 29 July 2013

A eureka moment

 Having slept well in spite of worrying about the bridge, both of us were up fairly early and while I started breakfast, Ian remove my plant boxes, TV aerial, top box solar panel and the top box covers  with the hope of reducing as much height as possible. By 8am we were ready for the off. First though we had to wind! We debated whether the river was wide enough by our mooring on the meadow but having watched a hire boat make a complete arse of himself by getting stuck just a few yards further on, thought better of it. Only place left was the weir stream above the lock. We waited for a boat to pass and go into the lock before attempting the maneuver. The pointy end went in fine but when Ian tried reversing to swing the front end round we found the pull on the bow from the weir a tad strong. In the end poling the front round seemed the only option. Eventually we made it and very pleased was I that the gongoozlers were nowhere to be seen! Next stop St Cathrine's lock and then the dreaded Broadford Bridge! Now I can safely say we had that eureka moment when the highest point of the boat, being the horn, went through with an inch to spare.

River was a bit higher today with all the rain we had over night.

Slowly does it.

Didnt think the horn would fit but cleared the board by an inch.

We celebrated with a cup of tea and slice of my banana cake and went merrily onwards to Godalming. The start of the Wey and Arun was soon upon us so photos had to be taken.

Start of the Wey & Arun

Jade waiting patiently at Unstead lock

She looks so sad.
On reaching Godalming not a mooring to be had. To wind was a little difficult as the trip boat was on its moorings and with the wind blowing against us Ian had to jump off at the front and virtually pull the boat round. We stopped on the services and with a very quick shop in Sainsbury while Ian emptied loo and watered up, we set off back to Guildford. This time the bridge held no fear and now that we were going with the flow, made good time. We did stop briefly at Dapdune Wharf visitor center to have a wander round but within an hour we got underway once more to find a more rural spot. Certainly been a day to remember at Broadford Bridge and one I'm so glad we attempted. We so nearly chickened out!

Godalming Facilities. To wind you need to aim for just left of the small gate.... by the red building.

Reliance the original Wey Barge.

 An array of wooden sculptures aligned the towpath at Woodbridge meadow (Near to Dapdune visitor center) plus this fabulous train marking the height gauge of a car park.

Looks like a person laying down.


Wooden boat

This notice was by Cattershall lock on the hire company wall! 

And finally:-

Large Skipper butterfly

Type of grasshopper. No bigger then a matchstick head.


nb Chance said...

Hi Irene and Ian, where you are moored on the services point at Godalming there are 2 spaces just behind your boat, and they are both vacant? Thats where we moored with Adam and Adrian (nb Braiar Rose) and another boat moored behind us, infront of the trip boat, that is the visitor moorings.... Its a lovely town to look around and nice moorings.

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hi Doug and James,

Well blow me! If only we had known! We saw no sign to say visitor moorings and from our latest Thames guide that is a designated winding hole. Next time we do the Wey we will remember that!

Love to both


nb Chance said...

Perhaps having Adam with us did help as he knew the moorings! xx

Blog Archive