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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.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Wasn't just Blackberry picking I got involved with.

Had fun and games this morning while Blackberry picking, but no photos I'm afraid as didn't have my camera. A Wyvern hire boat was entering lock 3 and descending the Stoke Bruerne flight, and a private boat in lock 4 was ascending. Unfortunately the middle pound was very low. The a private boat owner managed to exit the lock and move over to his right and got well and truly stuck!. Now the hirer dropped a lockful of water into the pound and watched to see if the other boat moved. It didn't. The mud still held him in its grip and he failed to move an inch. Hirer came out of his lock and got to the towpath side. Not the hirer nor the private boat owner had the sense to run water down to get the boat floating. So yours truly sort of took over. After running down another lockful of water the stuck boat finally came free and maneuvered into lock 3. Then who should appear from around the bend, but a volunteer lockie. After explaining what had gone on, I relinquished the reins over to him and continued with my quest of picking Blackberries.
By the time we arrived with FS the pound was about full. Malcolm the lockie was still busy running water down so with his help got us down the flight in record time and then it was onward to Gifford Park to water up.

 First we had to get to Cosgrove. The section between Yardley Gobion and Cosgrove is notoriously shallow, with mud and silt having built up over the years on the off side. So as not to create a wash we could only travel at just over tickover. Seemed to take forever and was very relieved when Cosgrove lock came into sight.

C&RT bod doing a survey on the bridge.
Cosgrove Lock

Looking back at the lock.
 Views crossing the Iron Trunk Aqueduct.

Iron Trunk

Novel bow fender.
Well in the end we didn't water up at Gifford Park. Two boats were already at the facilities, one was taking on water while the other boater was twiddling his thumbs and told us he had already been waiting for over 20 minutes. So we joined the queue and waited......and waited.........and waited! Over an hour later we gave up, the first still watering! and decided to make a special journey to MK marina next week and fill up there.

We finally arrived at Campbell Park at 4 pm. With a space available on the 48 hour mooring on the park side, we pulled in and then walked round to Newlands to see if any spaces were free. As we need to be here for at least 2 weeks, we were dismayed to see wall to wall boats as far as the eye could see. Quite what we are going to do when the 48 hours are up on Friday we haven't a clue. Sort of hoping a boat will move on but judging by the amount of the moorers stuff on the towpath, these boats have been there for a very long time!

So now for the wildlife,

Its the Lock Ness Monster.

Spooked by something

Got us a stampede.

Next few photos are by the pond in the park

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