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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.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

A staircase lock thats not.

We crept past Tacet a little after 8am, not wanting to rock the boat and wake Clinton and Sharon but as we drew level Clinton appeared at the window followed soon after by Eddy himself. Waving farewell we continued on our way struggling somewhat with the low water levels. We thankfully sailed past the bottom lock of the Wolverhampton 21. So glad we were heading straight on as this particular flight isn't one of my favourites.

Early morning sunlight made for a hazy picture
Tickover was about all we could do without creating a wash so it took quite a while before we reached our first lock of the day, Compton Lock. I have fond memories of walking Jade around the meadows by this lock. For me stopping early as we did yesterday was a blessing. Ian had planned to stop here last night so I'm quite relieved that we didn't.  I would only have got upset remembering the good times with our Woofit.

Reaching Bratch Lock a volunteer lockie was there to help us through.

This is not technically a staircase lock because of the unique double gated locks with a short pound in between. The water from one lock flows to a side pound via the blue ground paddle (opened first)  before opening the blue gate paddle. Once the water has equalised bottom gates are opened, you enter the next lock via the small pound and the top gate of that lock is then closed. ( Must just say we were descending so it will be different if you ascend)

Bottom gate is being closed and top gate of next lock (with blue paddles) already shut.
Trust me, it may sounds difficult but if treated like a staircase one should have no problem.

Last of Bratch locks

Looking from the bottom
Having done 12 locks and 8 miles in warm (sometimes hot) conditions we  moored between Swindon lock and Hinksford lock. Pretty well full up when we arrived with only a couple of spaces left. A very popular spot, not sure why though and I'm beginning to think we are now picking up the Droitwich traffic on their way to the rally. Maybe an early start is on the cards for tomorrow!

Some more amusing photos for you to peruse.

Playing with a bottle
Blimey, how long has he been stuck in the hedge!

Someone has had fun with flower pots


Looks a bit unkempt. Going in and out of nest boxes can play havoc with the plumage.

Bath time

I will break this reed

Maybe this one is better

And it's all for her.

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