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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, 24 July 2013

Is that a dragon on the Thames?

The farmer arrived last night for his £6.00 mooring fee. A very jolly man and no wonder. We reckoned 20 boats had moorings by his field so he must have collected £120 in one day. X that by 7 and I reckon he is one very happy man. After our BBQ the Mayfly came out. They do this wonderful up and down dance and lasted until dusk.  Then this morning the geese arrived. Why they have to fly in at 5.45am I don't know but once awake, going back to sleep was impossible.

On the saloon window a Mayfly had spent the night and I thought they only lived one day. Apparently it is a myth to think they only come out in May. They emerge at any time throughout the summer months.

By 7.30am we were under way, pushing the nose out into the currant to turn ourselves around and head off downstream again. First lock of the day was Hurley lock, another self service. Ians getting a dab hand at these big Thames locks now. Its all a question of pushing buttons at the right time!

Onwards past Marlow and the elegant suspension bridge.

Then on the way to Cookham lock I did a double take and pointed out to Ian that a dragon was hiding in the bushes. He looked at me as if I was mad and just to proove it we turned the boat to have another look. Great to be able to swing round at a moments notice. Anyway I wasnt wrong and here is the proof! 

We turned again and, not one, but 2 kingfishers flew past the boat. Maybe a breeding pair and if only I could get a decent photo I would be one very happy lady! They didn't stay long enough in the trees for me to even attempt a picture. Then Cookham lock came into view which I thought the nicest lock approach so far.

 The cruiser waiting at the landing happened to be one of the little boats that went to Dunkirk and also paraded in in the jubilee pageant. You may have seen it in the flotilla.

Before Windsor came into view we did the last but one lock of the day, Boveney lock. Here the panels had been changed to mark the achievement of our medalist from Eton Dorney.

I must just show a few bizarre items on route to Windsor.

Life size crocadile. Cant think why the house owners would want that in their garden.

Larger then life swan

???? Old Father Thames perhaps.

Unloved Monkey.

Arriving at Windsor we were hoping to get onto the meadow. For once there were only a few boats moored right at the very end and judging by what had taken over the meadow its a wonder even those few boats were brave enough to tie up!

We found a mooring opposite the fair so expect a bit of noise tonight. I think for our peace of mind it was safer on the other side even though a 24 hour mooring cost us £8.00. The bailiff came to collect the money at 5pm and then had the cheek to tell us we had to leave by noon the next day. Since when has 24 hours only had 19 hours in it?

Tonight's mooring,

I have seen the cheese boat selling cheese, the sweety boat selling sweets, the book boat selling books but never have I seen a plant boat selling plants!
And finally:-

Mr and Mrs Egyptian Geese

Female Manderin duck

North American Wood duck

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