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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.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

To many people = broken branch and serious injury.

Well....... What a let down. Last night we sat in anticipation of the oncoming storm, heard the rumbling in the distance which got louder and louder and then......nothing! Not a drop of rain, the humidity never changed and we didnt even see any lightening! It rumbled off towards the west and we continued to melt in the boat. We couldn't even have the windows open because we were inundated with mosquito and midges! After a pretty awful night we set off early and on reaching the first lock realised it was still to early for the lock keeper to be on duty. No choice but to do it ourselves.

 Before we reached Caversham lock we sailed through Reading and Caversham Bridge

Caversham lock
 Next stop was Tesco shop and backtrack to get deisel from marina. It was at Tesco that Ian helped a couple to bring their large cruiser in to moor.

 A story was told by this couple of a serious incident that happened at Phillimore Island by Shiplake. This couple had already moored on the Island when a number of youths swam across and proceeded to climb onto a branch. All the youths were sat on the branch when a loud crack was heard and the branch snapped in two. One of the girls suffered serious injury to her leg as she hit the ground and, as this couple pointed out, if anyone had been underneath the branch they would surely have been killed. To get the girl back to the mainland, the boys had to manhandle her onto a surf board and swim across with it. What happened next they were unsure of as they could no longer see what was happening but they felt sure a hospital visit was on the cards. As we approached Phillimore Island we could see the branch and how much had come down. I think judging by the size of it this was one very lucky lady.

You can see where the branch snapped off

We left Tesco and back tracked to Better Boating Marina. It was a self declare at 90p a litre, the cheapest we have seen on the Thames. Ian took on board 90 litres to fill the tank and did the usual 40/60 split. We could have gone for a smaller split but I felt that was being a bit dishonest. Anyway we had a pleasent run through Sonning, Shiplake and Henley on Thames.

Approaching Sonning lock

Henley Bridge

I loved this property.

Henley on Thames

Post and marquees were still there after the regatta.
We finally stopped at another bankside mooring by a farmers field at 3pm. The notice said £6.00 a night but so far no farmer has turned up. So we may get away without paying.

 We had our first BBQ in ages and although the bank was high, a lovely dog friendly swimming area was to be had right by the boat. Even Ian had a paddle!
Great swimming hole

Jade had to remain tethered because sheep roamed the field.

Ian cooling off.

Ian filled our yellow bucket with water just in case we had a fire. Everywhere is so dry at the moment.

And finally:-

Grebes greeting each other

Egyptian Geese

Feeding the chick fish

More babies on dad or mums back

Common Tern

Mayfly on the window of our cratch.  Seems a bit late for them to still be around.

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