About Us

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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.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Oh dear. Looks like there is a bug on board and a big disappointment in store.

Day 12 (yesterday)

Transit through the Suez

Fully expecting to be woken by us leaving the dockside this morning couldn't quite make out why we were still moored. Then at 7.30am an announcement from the captain 'Due to the 40 vessels taking longer to make the passage coming from the North our estimated departure time will be 10am.' A it was a glorious start to the day this didn't seem to matter other then the worry that we may not make Safaga in time for the Valley of the Kings excursion scheduled for tomorrow. (Friday 16th). Still this ship can put on a turn of speed when needed so didn't really worry. Then at 10am another announcement. 'This is your Captain speaking. I regret to tell you that departure will not happen now until Midday and we will be number 12 in the queue. Passage along the Suez canal will take approx 11 hours therefore arrival at Safaga wont be until Friday 11am.' WHAT!!!! Passengers flocked to reception for more information but the poor girl couldn't tell us anything new. So we sat in Port Said and soaked up the sun waiting for further news. At 12.30pm lunch was announced, a BBQ hog roast on stern deck 7.

 It was during the lunch that we felt movement and Balmoral finally slipped out of her berth.

 Eventually the announcement was made that we wouldn't make Safaga before midday on Friday. No other news was forthcoming and speculation ran riot. Then, during the Emma Hamilton lecture late afternoon, a further message came from Anthony the cruise director. The Valley of the Kings tour was canceled but the tours to Luxor would go ahead with a light show and dinner in the evening instead of the scheduled lunch on the Nile. Disembarkation would commence at 1pm and return to ship by 11pm. Ian and I were gutted. No chance on joining that tour as it was already full. The only up side was the refund of monies paid for our tour. Oh well, nothing for it but to book another cruise next year but this time on the River Nile. Going to start looking on the internet on our return.

The transit through the Suez canal reminded me a bit on parts of the Shroppie. Dead straight and boring. Mostly views of the highway on one side and sand on the other. There were some bits to photograph though. Work has started on the canal to widen it so it will eventually take two way traffic, speeding the process up. Time to completion, hopefully, by the end of this year.

Looking ahead at the start of the Suez.

The larger ships joined us from the deeper channel

Part of wing of the Swing bridge

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Wild dogs roaming the dunes

Pilot vessel doing a shift change

Lovely sunset

Pilot vessel leaving

Show in the evening was a comedian. Some funny moments but generally a bit of a flop. Did the late evening quiz (still haven't won anything although twice now we have had to do a tie breaker and got it wrong) and then stayed drinking at chatting with our table companions until 1am.

Day 13 (Today Friday)

We have some sort of virus on board. It started with a few people coughing several days ago and now has developed into half the passengers going down with flu like symptoms. So far both of us thought we had got away with it but this morning I started with a bit of a headache and a general feeling of un-wellness. Sort of hoping it's the amount of wine I drunk last night is the reason.

So not much to do today. Docked in Safaga by 11am and for once got to watch the docking.


Preparing the mooring lines

Checking us out??

First attempt

Opps failed!

Second attempt
Got it

Hand signals to tension the rope
The rest of the day was  lazing around and enjoying the sun. Still a bit concerned that my throat feels sore. Tomorrow we go snorkeling so want to be okay for that! Balmoral sails tonight at Midnight......hopefully!

1 comment:

Nev Wells said...

Shame you missed the valley of the Kings tour.... We did it on a Nile cruise a few years ago so i would recommend returning and just doing the Nile.

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