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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, 28 August 2014

We hadnt planned for a long day

What a night! It wasn't the trains that kept us awake, far from it. Not a sound from them after 10pm but a constant dripping woke Ian and he in turn woke me. At first he was convinced we had left a tap turned partially on, Ruling that out he stuck his head in the engine room wondering if we had sprung a leak. That was also ruled out. In the end it turned out to be water dripping from the solar panels and we hadn't even realised it had been raining. Maybe we should have investigated that first! With such a disturbed night it was another early start for us. Not long into our journey we saw this boat across the canal. The front was attached but his stern rope was lying in the water. I got off to see if any one was on board and sitting eating breakfast, totally oblivious to the fact they were adrift sat two people. Anyway the boat was made secure and the chap was convinced it was revelers walking the canal late at night that had untied him. His chain was still hanging from the cladding.

We reached Fazeley and, as we approached the facility block, two heads appear from across the way waving frantically. Couldn't see who it was at first 'cause of the sun but then realization hit. It was James and Debbie Living the Dream. We were invited over for coffee so as soon as we had finished at the facilities, we pushed across and tied next to them. A very pleasent hour was spent drinking their coffee and partaking of chocolate biscuits. Debbie told us that earlier in the morning she had done the ice bucket challenge. James had stood on the roof with the bucket taking great delight in drenching Debbie. I do so wish I had been there to witness it. What a great photo that would have been.  James had already done the challenge the day before so I suppose it was inevitable that Debbie would have been nominated, and..... Oh, before anyone gets any ideas. No I don't want to be nominated to do the challenge! I'll donate a fiver for NOT doing it. We said our farewells to them and no doubt paths will cross again. So off we set towards Atherstone and our planned over night stop.


First two locks at Glascote were the usual busy self and at the top lock (13) was this great ditty written by the Bard of Glascote Locks.

Passing Samuel Barlows (Alvecote Marina) we saw row upon row of working and historic boats. One such boat Hasty a steam tunnel boat.

Tunnel boat Hasty
 Now the plan was to stop at Atherton bottom locks and go up the flight tomorrow. By 3 15pm we arrived and with a boat appearing out of the bottom lock the decision was made to try for the top. So what origonally was going to be a 5 hour day, turned out to be nearly 9 hours. So much for me saying to James and Debbie that long days are not for us!!!. In the end we did 18.6 mile and 13 locks.
Very lucky to find a mooring at the top of the flight and Jade was very happy that we had stopped. Not only could she stretch her legs which had been crossed for the last hour ( her fault as she wouldn't get of at the lock) but dinner would also finally arrive. That was also an hour late!

Just a couple of young 'uns for today

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