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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.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

One very happy lady :-)

I feel quite sad that this is the last day on the river. Apart from that one incident with the engine over heating, the trip has been fabulous. The dawn greeted us this morning on the meadow with a hint of red, which may mean more bad weather on the way, but for today it has been wall to wall sunshine. To hot in fact!!!

Leaving the meadow mooring a bit later then normal, we made tracks to get back to Thames lock. A stop at Priory ruins was a must even though we couldn't see anyway of getting near to it. As the lock was with us I sidled in and waited with the boat while Ian went off to take a couple of photos. No other boat turned up so I didn't have to panic wondering when Ian would arrive back.

Underway again I spied in the distance a dredger at work. It appeared to be nearly across the whole  river and with boats moored on the bank side, I began to wonder if we could get past. So with the engine on tick over and being watched from the dredger by one of the workman we both held our breath and slowly edged past.There was no way I was going to squeeze through without the odd bump and luckily no one was on the narrowboat I happened to nudge but we made it through with sighs of relieve from the workman and from us! I can imagine the horror on hire boaters faces when they come up against this obstacle.

As our oil change is long overdue Ian wanted to stop at Byfleet to visit the chandlers. It also gave me a good opportunity to visit the tackle shop for more bait. Just before we pulled in, and on a long stretch of meadow, I finally got to see a fox! I was steering at the time and for once Ian was with me and could take over while I grabbed the camera. These shots aren't that brilliant but hey, I got to photograph a fox! I am one very happy lady!

Being chased by a crow.

As it turned out the chandlers had run out of oil  much to Ian's annoyance but I did mange to get my bait. So back at Thames lock we had a 15 minute wait for the lock keeper to come back from lunch. Then as another boat was waiting to come up he turned the lock round as it would be easier for us to get onto the landing below with it empty. All to soon we were released from the Wey back onto the Thames. I agree with everyone who blogged about how wonderful the Wey is. My all time favourite river so far.

Thames lock approach

Geoff the lock keeper opening the paddles on the flood lock

One very large gate.
 Once back on the Thames we moored on the EA 24 hour free moorings. But big problem was how did we get Jade off. The bank was very high! So we pulled pins and headed down river toward Sudbury lock. 1/2 mile down stream we spied the perfect mooring with just the right bank height for Jade. Shame there wasn't any shade but we managed to pull in without going aground and Ian is now in the process of making the boat ready for tomorrows adventure..
Mooring for tonight.
Tomorrow we reach Teddington and the tidal journey to Brentford. I am still a bit apprehensive because of the trouble with the engine a week ago, but the boat has been behaving itself and I have read up about throwing the anchor out ( never having to do it before ) so fingers crossed the crossing goes well.

And finally:-

Trying to stay cool


KevinTOO said...

Enjoy your tidal Thames trip tomorrow :)

Don't forget you have an open invite to photo the foxes that visit my mum's garden when you return this way :) The get much much closer than your fox today!

Jo (Boatwoman) said...

Love the Fox photographs, I always get very excited when I manage to photograph a Fox. Jo xxxxxxx

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