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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, 29 October 2014

Close encounters with a cyclist.

Talk about a narrow escape! I cant believe how close I came to being knocked down this morning. Coming back to FS from my shopping expedition to Lidl, walking down the towpath fully loaded with shopping bags, I was minding my own business when this female cyclist appeared going like the clappers. Now I didn't see her coming because of the slight bend by the bridge so she certainly wouldn't have seen me. Then to top it all she was looking toward the far bank and not where she was going! My shout of 'watch where your going' and a quick side step into the bushes was the only thing that stopped me from being hit head on. She then panicked, wobbled and nearly fell into the canal. Without a word of sorry or are you alright, she peddled off without a backward glance leaving me very shook up I can tell you! How this situation of speeding cyclist will be addressed is beyond me. All good intentions of C&RT wanting to make cyclist aware and possible introducing speed restrictions are not going to work. What we need is to bring back a license for the cyclist to use the towpath and leave the towpath in it's natural state rather then resurfacing and stop making it easier for them to treat it like a highway!

I walked back with my camera to show where the incident happened.
 Earlier this morning we woke to a listing boat.A submerged ledge runs along this mooring and when water levels drop we tend to become stuck on it. So first thing to do was try and push FS off. Took quite a bit of effort but managed it in the end and now the boat is well away from the side. I have to be brave to get back on board as the gap is at least 3ft (didn't bother with the plank) and with the levels dropping even more we are now sat on the silt. Ian inspected the lock in case a paddle had been left up. All seemed okay and both gates were shut. We heard on the news yesterday that a mini earthquake had occurred in the Nottingham area with the epicenter being in Hucknall. Hope this hasn't caused any structural damage to the canal bed causing the water levels to drop. Makes one wonder doesn't it?

One very big step across.

A dry by-wash
 Had another bit of excitement this afternoon when we had Police cars racing along the roads by the housing estate, sirens blaring, and a helicopter hovering overhead by the lock and over our bungalow. They were there for ages but eventually the helicopter left, hopefully with their man (or women) in custody.

Seems the Derby Arm rats are still very much in evidence. They have been running along the same route opposite this mooring for as long as we have been at the bungalow, at least 8 years.  I remember fishing the point where the Derby meets the Erewash and watching them scurrying along the stonework. This one is not as big as Ratty the one that took up residence in our bow locker in the winter of 2010 so maybe it's a juvenile. Picture quality is terrible so apologies for my poor photography.

Plan for tomorrow is make our way up the Erewash and to our mooring in Langley Mill. Good plan methinks if only the water levels return to normal and we can get off the mud!

Took these photos in the bungalow garden yesterday. With it being so warm we were inundated by bees, bugs and flies.

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