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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, 7 October 2013

Finally...Photos of the side shaft in Blisworth tunnel!

Kingfisher seen at Gifford Park
 Leaving Newlands fairly early this morning we headed back toward Blisworth and that tunnel again. We made quite good time until we reached the top of Cosgrove lock. From then on the 6 mile to Stoke Bruerne seemed to take an age. Part of the route on the offside was so silted up that even at just over tickover we still created a wash! Finally the bottom lock of Stoke Bruerne came in sight. Jules on the diesel and coal boat was fueling up a wide beam and, as we also wanted diesel, we had to wait while their tank was filled. After waiting nearly 10 minutes as they also changed most of their gas bottles, it was finally our turn. Unfortunately while waiting we missed going up with a Canal Time hire boat who was prepared to wait for us. Just our luck that another boat turned up and the couple on the hire boat quite rightly went up with them. Consequently we had to turn every lock and only met the volunteer lockie on the last but one lock when he came down to see us from the top lock. By now it had gone 3pm but we decided to clear the tunnel and moor in Blisworth. With no boats in the tunnel I finally got the photo of the shaft.

Seeing all the mineral limestone on the wall I'm beginning to wonder if what I thought was a candle disappearing into the wall, was maybe the boat light bouncing from the white stalactites

Zooming in to the shaft I was surprised to see a waterfall cascading down at the end.
 Now that I have seen the shaft for myself I feel much happier about traveling through this tunnel. It's amazing what ones imagination can do but as I said in a previous post, I still don't think I can ever take the boat through on my own!

So having exited the tunnel we stopped on the offside to collect some wood that we had spied on the way through last week. There was plenty of depth for our boat to get almost alongside and within 15 minutes we had the roof loaded again. Seeing as how colder conditions are due to arrive by the end of the week I'm glad we have enough wood to see us through for a while.

To finish I have a few more photos of our journey back to Blisworth.

Network Rail inspecting the bridge

Not sure I would like to put my face up there. The smell of pigeon poo when we went under the bridge was bad enough!

And finally:-

Very surprised to see this Kite in Stoke Bruene


Brian and Diana on NB Harnser http://nbharnser.blogspot.com said...

Great photos of the tunnel. I would love to crawl down and see what's at the end.

Maffi said...

If I recall correctly there are a number of shafts cross connecting between the original tunnel and the new one. In one I seem to remember a motorcycle.

Roger and Pat Filler said...

Passed you Sunday morning at Campbell Park, just before encountering the boys on NB Chance.Just climbing the Buckby flight.
Are you going into Birmingham?
Roger & Pat
The Cat's Whiskers

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