About Us

My photo
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.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Blooming eck! That Robin is STILL up that tree! and Ian's got a new best friend ('e dont talk much guv!)

Another peaceful night without internet yesterday. No phone signal either but TV was good (pleased me but not so much Ian. Not a telly fan at all!) so 2 days for the price of 1.

Moorings below Lowsonford
 Friday 5th June
Cant believe we left at 7am. Loads of locks to do so an early start rather than late finish.  Lucky with the first 5 locks out of Stratford as all were with us and we felt sure our luck would hold. Couldn't understand why then, the next three were full and top gates open, as no boats had passed us and there didn't appear to be any moorings where a boat could have set off from. Of course we mumbled to ourselves about inconsiderate boaters leaving gates open, only to discover the gates wouldn't stay shut after we left! We sort of deduced that the locks filled due to gate leakage. This was confirmed by an oncoming boat who had set off from Wooten Wawen and said no other boat had gone past them in hours.

We stopped at Wooten for diesel. At 70p a Ltr it was considerably cheaper then at Lyons boatyard by bridge 3, Warstock. (near the Kings Norton Junction), they quoted us 86p Ltr.!!

Shouldn't complain about the weather but as the morning progressed we got hotter and hotter. Ian wouldn't let me do any of the locks because of my hip and back problems so the poor man did all 23 locks by himself. What with the 10 miles cruised, three of which he walked, it was no wonder he was knackered at the end of it. On route the lovely Stratford lock cottages by the locks to admire as well as that Robin up the tree! It was a bit more yellow in colour back in June 2012, more of a whitish grey now.

This cottage now for sale at a staggering £640,000
 By 2pm we called it a day, moored in a long pound between locks 33 and 32 near Lowsonford . You would have thought Ian would have put his feet up and had a snooze after all that hard work, but no, the new solar panel was duly fitted and wired up to my bait fridge.  I feel a bit guilty in watching him do it as I relax in my chair. Still plenty of coffee came his way, to keep him alert and awake.

June 6th (today)
Another early start. An Anglo Welsh boat had moored behind us last night and, knowing a lot of the boats would be leaving the Wooten base and possibly coming up the flight, we didn't fancy being stuck behind them all. We were soooo lucky with the locks as all but one lock was in our favour until we reached Kingswood junction. We even had an early gongoozler to keep us company by the first lock of the day. (31) Ian tried to engage him in conversation but he was having none of it! Must have been to early for him!!!

At Lock 25, Dicks Lane, we ended up struggling. The top gate refused to open. Ian tried everything to free it and even with my extra weight pushing on the balance beam, we couldn't shift whatever was jamming it. Out came the pole and we think Ian may have dislodged whatever it was underneath 'cause we tried again and this time our combined weight and immense heaving managed to open (to allow FS out) and then close it again as we left. 

That was as far as the gate would open

 We were met by the volunteer lockies by lock 21. A very welcomed sight especially as they asked if we would like help right up the Lapworth flight. Well it would have been rude to say no, wouldn't it. We told them about the problem with lock 25 and they're going to inform C&RT for us.

Fran a dab hand at opening the gates without having to jump across.

  So from entering lock 21 until we finally moored up by lock 5, it took just over one hour thirty. The only hold up, two plastic cruisers we met on the way up. For some reason they thought we had a bendy boat and insisted on stopping on the very short landing. It would have been easier if they had waited for me to exit and pull onto the landing. Then all they would have had to do was skirt round me and into the vacated lock. With the front cruiser blocking most of my exit, I told him he either moved his boat out of the way or sustain considerable damage as I tried to come out!

The two cruisers entering the lock. This shows the angle in which I had to exit.  Both cruisers were on the landing stopping me from leaving the lock
 So, stopped by midday. Total distance traveled 3.9 miles! Total hours 4.5!!! Total locks ascended 26!!! Enough was enough even with the help from the volunteers. A big thank you to Fran our friendly lock volunteer lady who did a sterling job of setting the locks for us. Suns shining, all is well in Ian's world as the new solar panel is working a treat and I'm a happy bunny 'cause my bait stayed nice and cool. BBQ for tonight. The first of the season and hopefully many more to come.

No comments:

Blog Archive