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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, 6 August 2013

Tug stuck in a bridge ole

It was manic last night with 4 boats all arriving in the basin after 8pm and all looking for a mooring! The only way they could get moored up was to breast up with other boats. This two of them did by pulling alongside nb The Cats Whiskers, not Rogers and Pats boat, without permission. The chap on nb The Cats Whiskers admitted to me this morning that he was a bit peeved that these boats had just assumed they could do it. He had been in town at the time only returning after 10.30pm after the deed was done!  We were also concerned about being blocked in by the pair. Our plans were to leave early the next morning so as to avoid the Gongoozlers at Camden Town, and it would have been impossible for us to reverse out with those boats there. When Ian went to have a word with them they agreed for us to give them a knock once we were ready to leave no matter how early. The other two boats managed to breast up with other boats but at least they had the decency to ask if they could first.
Hemmed in

C&RT volunteer taking license numbers at 7.15am

The boat blocking us on the move after Ian hailed them just after 7am.

I like flowers on the roof but how on earth would the helmsman be able to see over the top of this boat when moving.

Rubbish removed from prop from Diesel boat Baron. He came by yesterday afternoon and filled our tank at 91p a ltr

Working boat Baron.

Heading along the Regents canal.

London Zoo is next door to the canal. I only got a couple of photos of the these birds.

All to soon we made it to Camden Town and the first lock of the day Hampstead Road locks. This has two double locks and both were in our favour. We choose the left hand side but on hindsight we should have taken the R. The balance beam on the left are designed for dwarfs and really hard to close. You almost have to get on your knees to close them. The R side has proper height beams.

Next lock, Hawley lock in Camden Town, confused the hell out of me.  My mind started playing tricks when I could see the lock ahead with the gate open but next to it appeared to be another way through. The view from the boat as well as the low sun in my eyes gave me a false sense of being able to bypass the lock completely as these pictures show.

Me in the lock waiting to go down. Next to it looks as if one could go straight through without bothering with the locks!

Looking back.
I was shocked at the amount of rubbish in Regents canal. The work had been done on the surrounding architecture to make the area look really nice, obviously for the Olympics, but the water was a disgrace! This Coot made good use of the debris. Building its nest with it!! Love the polystyrene food box balanced precariously on top

View taken on the exit portal of Islington Tunnel
And now for my post heading. I'll set the scene first. We had arrived at City Road locks to discover a boat, Lady Elanor, leaving at the bottom. The gate was left open on its departure although we felt sure he must have seen us coming. Anyway, after refilling the lock and my eventual departure we were very surprised to see the other boat still in Sturt lock. Having to travel at least half a mile we would have thought him long gone by the time we reached them. I had to drop Ian off well before the lock because an inconsiderate boater with his widebeam had gone shopping and left the boat tied to the bollards. He returned while I was holding the rope and although I glared at him he just opened the rear doors and went inside without even apologising for stopping on the landing! As Ian had caught up with the lady on the boat in the lock he asked very nicely if they would wait for us at the next lock. This they did but waited below Sturt lock instead. Then, from a mooring on the offside below this lock, a Tug winded and set off in front of them and us. Once I had left Sturt Lock I sailed past the Lady Elanor and tucked in behind the tug. Now at every bridge 'ole he virtually came to a stop. After I had almost, but not quite, put our boat on his rear deck several times, he waved me past. This meant that the Lady Elanor was now stuck behind the tug, we were first for the lock and all we could hope was for the tug owners to allow Lady Elanor to pass as well. This they eventually did but before that happened and at the next bridge 'ole the tug got stuck! If you look at the height of his cabin top you can see why!

No way was he going to make it through in one piece.

To get free they had to push hard on the bridge roof, move as far to the towpath side as possible and inch forward bit by bit. Lady Elanor stuck behind.

Free at last to be confronted by a load of canoeist.
We did get ourselves and Lady Elanor in Actons Lock and was all for pushing on to get on the Hertford Union Canal but with a space right next to Victoria Park it was to good an opportunity to miss by not grabbing it. It's probably a good job we did because our engine over heating problems have resurfaced again. After several phone calls to various company's, Ian eventually managed to get some sort of answer from Marine Engine Services. They suggested the pump was at fault and to check the impellers for wear and tear. So now, while I go off exploring Victoria Park, Ian has his head stuck down the engine hole trying to remove the pump. We may well be here for a few days!

Moored by Victoria Park.

And finally:-

Billy no mates!


Anonymous said...

Hi Folks

Thank you for breakfast the other day!.

There is a good mechanic called Sid that looks after the boats in Limehouse. Sadly I can't give you his telephone number as my phone is refusing to charge but if you ring Limehouse (Tel: 0207 308 9930) I am sure that they will be happy to give you his number


Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hello Richard,

I should thank you for breakfast! I only dished it up!! I don't think we will be needing Sid's services at the moment as we have decided to continue on our journey and top the water up as required. Good to know of a good mechanic though so thank you for that info.

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