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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.

Monday, 30 September 2013

The fickle Jameisons strikes again!

 We had planned for a day cruise down the river today but looking out of the bedroom window early this morning and seeing a red sky, as well as listening to the Countryfile weatherman last night forecasting rain for this afternoon, we decided to tackle the 17 locks and go back to Blisworth instead.

Beginnings of a red sky in the morning. Possible Shepard's warning?
So after a last minute early shop at Morrisons I returned to the boat just in time to see another boat leaving before us. Drat, drat and double drat! Late last night a boat arrived from the Northampton Arm and moored up behind us. We knew that all the locks would be in our favour if we left early enough but it seems we weren't the only ones with the same idea. Oh well there was no need to rush then! 10 minutes later we untied Free Spirit and fully expected the first boat to be long gone. It wasn't!! It was still in the first lock and had only just started opening the top gate. More groans from us but we followed them up slowly and at the third lock we spied a pile of logs hidden in the hedge. So leaving them to slowly ascend we stopped to gather as much as we could. This took at least 30 minutes and we now were pretty convinced they would be long gone. At the start of the Rothersthorp flight I was dismayed at seeing that the boat had only just entered the second lock. Good grieve how slow can they go!!! As we caught them up they suddenly decided to get a move on. Soon he was closing top gates after exiting and she started setting the next lock. Result! Then they started lifting paddles for us which was much appreciated as it saved me racing up to set the next lock and racing all the way down again. Then another boat turned up so it was only fair that I lift a paddle for them. From thinking it was going to take forever to ascend the flight, it actually only took a little over 4 hours and we even had low pounds to contend with. A fast improvement from when we came down a couple of days ago. Then it took over 5 hours. Now moored up roughly where we stopped a few days ago and very peeved that the BBC got it wrong again! The rain never materialised!!!!

Into the reeds to allow another boat to come past

It looks wide enough for two but the sides are very shallow.

Loads of loose reeds which kept clogging up our prop!

Would have trouble passing in this channel!

Doing a bit of work for a change!

Very low pounds

And having to run water down.

 And finally:- High wire Black headed gull.

And a buzzard being mobbed by grows.

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