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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.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

And the wind it did blow.

Its certainly been a week of meeting other bloggers. Leaving our quiet mooring before 8am to get to the landing at Foxton in time to be first boat through, we were almost at bridge 60 when I noticed a boat I thought I recognized. Sure enough it was Happy Daze first seen on the Rochdale and whom we spent several days traveling together. As it was so early we thought Lindsay and Paul might still be in bed and yes they were still warm and cosy in their pit but like all boaters one glances out of the window as a boat goes past and they realised it was us. So with Paul having got dressed and lindsay still in her pj's they rushed out to greet us like long lost buddies. Of course the kettle went on (thankyou Lindsay) and we piled into Happy Daze and spent a pleasant hour catching up on each other travels.

Didnt take a photo today so included this one taken on the Rochdale. The lovely spaniel is Jack
 So it wasn't until 9.30ish that we arrived at the top lock and, with us being the only boat there, was soon into the first lock. Having volunteer lockies Richard and Brenda seeing us down, made short work of the flight. Richard didnt talk quite as much as John (Watford Lockie) but both Brenda and I despaired when gates were forgotten and paddles ignored as the men continued to talk.

Windy conditions at Foxton top lock

Ian and Brenda

Richard and Ian doing all the talking while Brenda does all the work!

Early morning exercise.

Now now, whats going on!!! It's okay. They are married (to each other)
Saddington Tunnel was a welcome sight. The day was glorious but by Jove it was windy. The tunnel gave us a brief respite from being buffeted. We noticed a boat exiting from the end and hoped they would wait for us at the Kibworth Top lock. We were happy to see that they were already in the lock with both gates open but I don't think he had realised a boat was behind him 'cause he shut first one gate then the second! I gave him a toot and he obligingly opened up for us. We then shared the next 4 locks and in a way we were glad he was around. By Pywells lock the views were glorious but with it being so open the wind was blowing right across the cut and trying to get away from the side was nie on impossible. Combined efforts of everyone got me into the lock and then it was the turn of Nb Resolute. Slightly more of a problem 'cause he came in on an angle and even though I had pulled FS as far forward as possible, it still looked as if he was trying to get in sideways. Hey ho. The joys of boating!

Nb Resolute in the tunnel
 Having coped with the wind all day the thought of going through any more locks today to Kilby was not an option. We pulled in at Newton Harcourt, again a very open aspect but we have battened down the hatches and now wait to see if the strong winds will continue throughout the night. The sun was setting and gave me a good excuse to grab the camera again.

Wildlife today

Happily sunbathing

This older lamb was very insistent on getting some more milk

Head butting it's mum

She was telling it off here

So he did no more then try and mount her!
 Having traveled in these appalling windy conditions and battled with the locks we called it a day by 13.30pm. Hoping to reach Kilby Bridge tomorrow to sit out the remnants of hurricane Gonzalo. 

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