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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.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Not a great start to our journey

We had a lovely peaceful night moored just beyond the weir. From arriving on the Wey we travelled approximately 100yds! It was late ( for us ) so we decided to stop around 2.30pm.  Ian did a few jobs around the boat, one being fairly urgent, having to unblock the U bend on the kitchen sink. It had been smelling horribly for the last few days. I went fishing but didn't catch any Carp mores the pity. Plenty of Perch and Roach to keep me happy though. We consequently didn't rush to get underway this morning. After all, we only have 20 miles to do till the end of navigation at Godalming. After a leisurely breakfast, we pulled pins and headed for the first lock, Town Lock. We had literally travelled about half a mile when the high pitched squeal of the engine temperature alarm sounded. Ian looked straight at the water gauge and sure enough, it was showing red. I got the boat into the side the best I could but the foliage made it impossible to get off. I had to cut engine and drift because we had no ropes to hold us into the bank but Ian had to check out what the problem was. Thank goodness we were going against the flow as the boat behaved herself and stayed exactly where I put her.


The boat stayed where she was
 Ian did a bit of tinkering, filled the header tank with water as there appeared to be a lot of water lying about, started the engine and thankful no alarm, Great problem solved! I spoke too soon because no sooner had we pulled back into the main channel then the alarm sounded again. This time we were near enough to Weybridge New Bridge for me to get the boat back into the bank and Ian to jump off. We knew the lock was nearby and felt if we could just get onto the lock landing Ian could have a good look. Nothing for it but bow haul the boat through the bridge on the centre rope and me to use the pole to guide the back if needed.




Safely on the landing.
After 15 minutes he had filled the header tank with water again, kept switching on the engine to see where the water was coming from ( he thought maybe a hose had split ) and suddenly noticed that the water level was remaining the same. So, deducing that maybe it had been air locked with water having blown out of the overflow valve, we both walked to Town lock to make sure no boats were coming down. Impossible to see the lock from the landing and our River Wey guide stated we must send someone ahead first. Anyway, all was clear so I suggested that Ian brought the boat in just in case the alarm went off again.

The first time we have had to use the long handled windlass. It was hard work as the paddle gear left a lot to be desired!

Bringing Free Spirit to the lock and so far no alarm!
Would you believe the alarm hasn't sounded again and we must have travelled 6 miles and gone through 4 locks and no overheating! Maybe Ian was right about the airlock. I just thank my lucky stars that we were not travelling on the tidal Thames!!! I may be a little apprehensive when we do the bit from Teddington to Brentford in a weeks time though. The anchor is ready and waiting just in case!

We are now moored on Walsham Meadow. Lovely place to walk and take Jade swimming. The forecasted rain didn't arrive until after 6 pm so we enjoyed the afternoon sunshine and reflected on the start of this journey with the hope that nothing more will happen!

Steam powered although the owner told me she doesn't run anymore

Looking down the Basingstoke canal at the first lock. Unfortunately, we are unable to travel this canal because we don't have enough air draft to get under the extremely low bridges!
Newark Lock

Newark Priory by Newark Lock
There's a bit of a story to tell at this lock. 2 boats were leaving the lock and even though they knew we were behind them failed to close the top gates. Now I know it states that we should leave the exit gates open but I thought it sheer bad manners for them to ignore the fact we were behind. I was chuntering away to myself when suddenly out of the corner of my eye I spied a movement. Couldn't believe my eyes when this Mink suddenly appeared. I always carry my camera and am so glad I did.


I took lots more photos some of which I will post at a later date on my 'And finally'.

And now to my And finally:-

Scotch Argus


Don't think the ants appreciated the ladybird eating their aphids.

A very scruffy Jay

Mistle Thrush

6 comments:

nb Chance said...

Hi Irene and Ian, Glad the engine problem seems to have sorted itself. We found it easier using our normal windlass, the long handled ones seem so dangerous on some of the locks on the Wey as you have to lean out so far into the water when using it, so we didn't bother with it.... Have a great time we loved the Wey. Hope we meet up sometime this year.....

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hi James and Doug,

We didn't think we could use the normal windlass but we will certainly try it tomorrow. Thanks for the tip.

Xxxxx

Jo (Boatwoman) said...

Hi Irene and Ian. Fingers crossed that you get no more alarms going off and the engine behaves itself. It never rains unless it pours does it, but it sounds like your ok now.
Great photographs as always. It always pays to have a camera handy at all times. Love the Ferret. xxxxxx

Anonymous said...

When will you get to Teddington?

We'll be making the transit from Teddington to Brentford on Sunday 4th August (haven't checked the tide times yet)if you fancy some company.

Regards

Sue, nb Indigo Dream

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hi Sue,

We are due to leave the Wey on Thursday and depending on whether the EU will allow us a transit license to Teddington depends on what we do. If we have to pay £40 daily rate then we may as well get another weeks license for £57 and meet you on Sunday but we wont know until we see the lock keeper on Friday so I'll try to let you know.

Anonymous said...

Hi Irene

Leave a comment somewhere on our blog if you want to come on sunday - we should have a merry gathering at Teddington with nb Matilda Rose and the crew of No Problem on Saturday so let's hope the tide favours a late transit :-D

Sue, nb Indigo Dream

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