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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, 22 October 2014

Sudden stop in bandit country!

Not the best start this morning as no sooner had we pulled onto the facilities then C&RT turned up and left for Kilby lock with the loaded pan!  And there were we thinking every lock would be with us because of our friends turning up yesterday! We even got up early to try and be through Leicester before the youths got out of bed. So it was very slow progress following C&RT for the next two locks, then they stopped to do something to the towpath at Ervins lock and waved us through.

 At Bush lock too much water made it difficult to equalize the water levels and open the gates and then it went from one extreme to another when at  Dunns lock,we ran out of water and scrapped bottom until reaching Whetstone lane lock!

As soon as we got onto the river section we started to make good time. Most of the river locks were with us so I didnt have to worry to much about holding the boat midstream.

Freemans lock

The only boat to be seen through Leicester was ours. No one ever stops other then on Castle Park mooring. It's supposed to be secure but I noticed that the BW padlock was missing from the gate.
The Leicester straight. No one ever moors to the bollards.

Pigeons and swans seem to like the place though.
 Now I wonder if anyone else see's this as a mirage. First time we came along the Soar I honestly thought I had to go under the bridge. It was only at the last second that I realized the river went off to the right!
Looks as if one goes straight on.

Head right not straight on!!!
Once through Limekiln lock we noticed a tree cutter crew by the park. No sign of anyone but the small butty housing the shredder was full of good sized logs. Being very cheeky we pulled alongside and took some of the decent sized wood. As we were about to set off, the tiller started acting strange and we only got about 100 yds when we came to a grinding halt! Talk about our sins will find us out! Anyway Ian tried for nearly 45 minutes to free whatever was wrapped round the prop. We were in a notorious area as youths always congregate at Limekiln lock and today was no exception. There was  nowhere to tie up to so I held the rope while keeping a lookout for trouble. Then it started raining!!! Good news in a way 'cause the youths never came to the boat but one can get very wet in 45 minutes! Ian had to give up as no amount of hacking and cutting was going to remove the obstruction. We tried the boat in drive and sure enough we were able to move forward so we made it to Belgrave lock, locked down, and managed to do the 2 mile on the river section making it to Birstall lock. Here we called it a night and Ian had another go at removing what was well and truly wrapped round the prop.

Looked like some wort of fabric.

Moored at Birstall.
After Ian struggled for another 30 minutes the crowbar came out and with a bit of brute force and ignorance finally pulled the thing free.

 At least now we will be okay to do the rest of the Soar. It did worry me traveling on that 2 mile section knowing the engine could stall at any time. Thankfully the flow was minimal so if the worse had happened we would still have been able to get to the side. Still.......we don't need to worry now that the crowbar did the business..

Wildlife on route.


Marilyn McDonald said...

Your photos are beautiful!
Cheers, Marilyn from nb Waka Huia (now back in NZ for the UK winter)

Sue said...

Good grief no wonder it took Ian so long to cut through that lot! The worst we have ever had was a double sprung mattress and that took over an hour.

I must admit we have done much the same when we came across a pan full of ready cut logs...

Well it was extremely early one morning... Who ME gov? Teehee!

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