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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, 26 September 2013

Fly infestation

Where did they come from? We opened the hatch this morning and the boat was covered. This photo doesn't really show the whole picture but needless to say we weren't the only boat moored within a 200yd stretch that had the same problem. Looking down the embankment there appeared to be a small lake. Could the flies have come up from the stagnant water? The flies finally disappeared as we approached Thrupp Marina although we did find a few had found their way inside the boat! The fly swat came in useful as Jade (who once was a brilliant fly catcher ) never even stirred when they landed on her!

This looks as if there were only a few flies but the boat was covered when I opened the hatch this morning.

Not having to be anywhere fast, I decided to have a walk down to the old bottom lock which once allowed the boats to cross the River Ouze before the Iron Trunk aqueduct was built. Steps down lead you to a cattle tunnel under the Grand Union. Definitely one to have to crouch down to get through. No hard hats issued for this tunnel!

The river was initially crossed on the level, with four temporary locks lowering the canal from the south-east, and five raising it from the river towards the north-west (the top lock of these is still in place). The temporary locks were used as a means of getting the canal open to through traffic by 1800.  However, it was always intended that the river should be crossed by aqueduct, as the locks were wasteful of water, time-consuming and the river in flood in winter could prevent through passage. A brick aqueduct was built, but collapsed in 1808, after which the locks were re-opened. It was replaced by the present Cosgrove Aqueduct built of cast iron, and opened on 22 January 1811.

Jade at the end of the cattle tunnel.

Iron trunk aqueduct repainted in 2011.

We made Stoke Bruerne later in the afternoon, rose up the 5 locks and moored in the long pound for the night. From the bottom lock onwards new signs have appeared stating 2 day stay only with a penalty of £25 overstay per day. Now I hate continues moorers but in all the years we have traveled this route we have never struggled to get a mooring in the long pound. Makes me wonder if C&RT have truly thought about some of the mooring sites that they have put restrictions on!.

And finally:-

Tiny wild flower about a 1cm

Heron being mobbed by crows

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