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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, 23 October 2014

No weir dramas today.

Talk about a peaceful night here in Birstall. No cars, trains, ducks quacking, geese calling, owls hooting or any other sound. I cant remember when last we had that. Stands to reason then that we both slept in! Our body clocks are beginning to adjust to not having to get up for Jade, although I would give anything to have to get up for her again. After a leisurely breakfast I went for  walk while Ian had a go at shifting the wood on the roof to make the boat more stable. It did rock more then usual on the way to Birstall but that was mainly because most of the logs were on one side. It must have been nearer 9.45am when we eventually untied ropes and got under way.

Birstall weir

This river is a delight to cruise on. Loads to see and plenty of wildlife.  Mind you, get a bit of rain and the water rises very quickly, but equally levels drop to normal just as quick. No rain was forecast for today so no worry's there. At Cossington Lock Ian found more cut logs in the hedgerow. Below him were two fisherman fishing the weir stream and I don't think they appreciated some of the smaller branches raining down on them as Ian rummaged through the cut branches.

I happened to see them and apologised about disturbing their fishing but they laughed it off saying we obviously felt the need to gather more firewood.The next photo was of the weir stream.

Luckily these locals were friendly but not so sure about the statues or bullocks below the lock!

One lock I was dreading was Sileby Lock. A few years ago I had a bad experience when the weir was in full flow. I came out of the lock, got pushed toward the lock landing at speed and when I tried to compensate, overshot the landing completely leaving Ian wondering how he was going to get back on. Putting FS in reverse I managed to get back to the end of the concrete where Ian literally had to leap back on. I was very relieved that today the conditions were a lot calmer and managed to get Ian back on board with very little effort.

Sileby weirs
We stopped at Mountsorrel so I could get some bait and on leaving managed to persuade a day boat to allow us to come in the lock with them. They were very unsure because they were complete novices and didn't want to damage our boat. Day boat size about 30foot! Us 57ft I assured the chap that nothing would happen to our boat.

Spectacular Mountsorrel weir

And not long after the weir came these fabulous European style houses with own private marina.

Barrow Deep

Pilings stop lock. and last lock of the day

Very rural moorings

Fishing was excellent.
And now for the wildlife today.

6 Kingfishers flew past us today and this was the only one I managed to get.

Dab chick

Top knot duck


Tufted duck

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