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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.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Got the little beggar

You know when your in that semi state of sleep and something penetrates your senses to get you fully awake, well that's what happened to me at some idiotic time of 5.45am this morning. I heard in my subconscious a chreep chreep and immediately knew it was the Kingfisher returning for his breakfast. Trying not to wake Ian, and not succeeding, I very quietly open the galley blind, slide open the window and saw him sitting on the bridge rail. For once my camera was nearby and finally took the photo I wanted. Still not 100% focused but close enough for me to be happy with it.

Yesterday I mentioned about the abysmal moorings in Harlow. Ian's sister Shelia and brother in law Chris hope to visit us tomorrow. We wanted to go to the Harlow Mill restaurant but with the lack of moorings it was impossible. Instead we thought of stopping in Sawbridgeworth and going to a pub, The Gate, recommended to us by Pat and Roger. On the top of Sawbridgeworth lock we found several mooring spaces and now just hope they will be free when we arrive tomorrow morning. Not sure what we will do if they are all taken. This river, although a delight to cruise, has very few suitable moorings and because we are now fairly deep drafted due to the fact that we have most of Ian's stuff out of his garage on board ( 2ft 5"), trying to get into the bank is hopeless. We are keeping everything crossed something is available. The journey to Bishop's Stortford was lovely. The river winds and meanders going through some lovely scenery. It took us about 3 hours from when we left Sawbridgeworth and the first thing to greet us in Bishop's Stortford was the trip boat right by a bridge 'ole. Thankfully there was just enough room for him to get by and  then we realised that through the bridge 'ole also housed the facilities. So stopping to do the biz and water up, Ian noticed a space between two boats further along and instead of winding we grabbed it quick. Another boater was right behind and as shopping was the aim of the day, we didn't want to loose it. Bishop's Stortford is not what I call boater friendly. Rings are set in concrete but a steep bank greets you when you arrive. Steps do lead up to the towpath but I was concerned that the narrow ledge would be difficult for Jade. So it was decided that after shopping we would wind and head back to a mooring we had seen before reaching Twyford lock. And so that is where we are now. It's quite, rural and the fishing is excellent. Ian has again topped up the water in the header tank although it appears to loose only about 300ml in 2 days. Hopefully by continuing to watch the water levels we can keep going until we get back to Langley Mill in November.

Lock landing at Twyford lock. Very short!!!

Bow of the boat against the landing wall

Heading back to South Mill Lock

Trip boat in South Mill lock returning to Bishop's Stortford. All the Gongoozlers are passengers off the boat!

Another lovely mooring found on the river, before Twyford lock

Lovely Golden Rudd caught early evening.

And finally:-

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