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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, 29 May 2015

Opps I think they were trying to drain the river!

Loved yesterdays mooring. The sun stayed out all afternoon and gave us a fantastic sunset. The wind dropped, fishes rose, teasing me as they surfaced to catch the flies and the bunnies came out to play in the hay of a mown field. Drinking a glass of sherry and soaking up the sun was just magical and very much a 'how lucky are we' moment.

 A far cry from last night, this morning we awoke to rain. Drizzle at first but soon experiencing high winds and hail. We stayed put until the afternoon to let it blow over and set off when the weather improved. Then sods law states that as soon as one sets off the heavens open. That is exactly what happened and we made a dash for Harvington lock. Luckily it blew over fairly quickly so we were able to get into the lock in the dry.

There was a memorial bridge over the lock to Robert Aikman, he battled long and hard to save the inland waterways from those that wanted their demise. Robert and Tom Rolt formed the IWA which still goes on to this day. We have a lot to thank this man for, without him a lot of the canal network would have been gone.

The run in to the lock. Very shallow at the point so keeping left is a must.

With the skies looking ominous once more we decided to stop. With only another eleven miles to do and 4 days in which to do it in, it didnt seem any point in rushing. So we moved all of half a mile, and 1 lock.   

Had almost moored when we were in for another soaking.
 The weir is directly in front of us and every time I look out from the bow, makes me do a double take. So used to see open water in front! When we leave tomorrow we may have to back up a bit first to make the turn. The river levels are still very low, even after all this rain, so shouldn't be too much of a problem.

After an hour of waiting for the rain to stop, it was time for me to go exploring. As I stood up and looked out of the window, I saw two youngsters on the bottom gates. They were busily lifting the paddle without realising the top gates were open!. Ian rushed to the stern and shouting for them to stop. They couldn't have heard because they continued to lift the paddle and then stood around waiting for the lock to empty. It fell on Ian to rush to the lockside and explain the situation. Turns out it was a family on a day boat and with all the lock gates open in their favour until this one, hadn't given closing the top gates a thought! I certainly felt the judder when the gates closed with a bang. FS crashed against the side and I feared for our paintwork. All was well though, as earlier Ian had put the balloon fenders down, thank goodness.

Had a quick nosy round the lock with Ian and found Harvington Mill (derelict ) This watermill building is listed Grade 11 and looks as if it would fall down any minute. It's in terrible condition but parts of the inside look to be in good order especially the gears. After a good look round Ian departed for FS as he didn't fancy going bug hunting with me. I was in my element, macro lens on camera and me peering into the bushes. Good job no one appeared, they would probably think I was mad!

 The bugs seen on my walk today

Common Scorpianflies, Panorpa Communis

Weevil Polydrusus Sericeus

Soldier beetle, Cantharis Pellucida

Mayfly (Burrowing different from Stream Mayflies)

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