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.

Monday 22 June 2015

Oh, how the river meanders.

Tried my hand at fishing last night. Out came my ledger rod and sat for ages waiting for something to happen. It did eventually but wasn't quite what I was expecting. Reeling the line in with what felt like a dead weight on the hook, I thought I might have caught a snag. Wasn't so, as first the pincers came out followed by the crayfish. So glad I had a pair of fishing forceps in which to unhook it. Now this was a signal crayfish one of the invasive species so I should by rights have killed it. Unfortunately I'm to squeamish to do the deed so just so let it go instead. Bit reluctant to continue fishing just in case I caught another one  but I persevered and was awarded by a decent Perch.

 Such a wonderfully peaceful night until, that is, the torrential rain woke us at some silly hour of the morning. Nearly decided to put the kettle on, but thankfully it stopped as quick as it had begun so normal sleep was soon resumed.
This morning a towpath chat with Dave and it was all go for Eynsham lock. Within 40 minutes we had arrived only to be confronted by a self service sign. That was weird as the time was well after 9am.(The lock keepers starting time. Then standing by the pumpout facilities was Paul, a relief lock keeper. He told us of a lovely job he had to do today and the self service sign would be in place for quite a while. It was to clear the blocked waste tank!  I happened to mention the fact that we wouldn't need a licence then as we were to do the lock ourselves. That changed matters and before we knew it Paul had the lock set, taken my rope, filled the lock and relieved us of £61 for a weeks licence. Fancy being the relief lock keeper on today of all days. Bet that wasn't on his jobs description list, getting down and dirty amongst the poo. No doubt we will find out how he got on when we  return later this week 

Eynsham lock

Getting the licence

At Pinkhill lock we met Paul again. Quite a surprise till we were told he had to fetch the strimmer so he could remove all the undergrowth from around the overflowing tank at the Eynsham pumpout. So he stayed to help us through that lock. I'm sure he was playing for time and trying to put off the evil deed for as long as possible. Cant say I blame him for that.

Paul in the white T shirt.
Then not far from the lock we met Sue and Vic No Problem. They apparently have toilet problems too and are waiting for a new one. Hope your good at crossing your legs guys or have a good shovel!!! That porta potti fills up before you know it! A very brief chat ensued and with us going to be on the Thames after our trip along the K&A we hope to meet up for a much longer catch up.

Sue with one of the 'girls'. Vic was inside but we did get a wave.

After Northmoor lock and as it was getting very near to lunch time, we started looking for somewhere to stop. I had forgotten how difficult the upper part was to find moorings due to very high banks. At one place Ian managed to get off but the top of the bank was up to the roof level and it wasn't really suitable. So we continued all the way to Shifford lock looking in vain to find somewhere. Off course by the time we arrived at the lock the Self service sign was up but a volunteer was on so did the lock for us. Thank you Mr volunteer, such a nice man.

Bank as high as the cabin top.
That Lock keeper told us of a mooring about half a mile away so finally by 2pm we stopped for our lunch.
Space for one only so we had to breast up.
 Giving ourselves an hour for lunch we got underway by 3ish. The river was full of twists and turns and the channel narrowed quite considerably. We had to be on high alert for other boat traffic coming toward us with the flow. Especially the cruisers. They certainly motor on and I do think it's a good job there more maneuverable then us. 

Twists and turns and that's Vixen coming round the bend.

  One more lock done, Rushy lock,and then a lovely meadow mooring for the night.

Rushy lock

The meadow mooring.

And seen on route,

Red Kite


Greylag geese


I think they are reed warblers in flight. Not Swallows as I first thought.

Reed warbler


nb Chuffed said...

Hi Irene and Ian,
just a note to say I put a link to your Standedge blog on my last post - we didn't have a flash on either camera when we went through so our photos are pretty useless whereas yours are pretty good! Hope that's ok - if you prefer I'll remove the link, just let me know
best wishes

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hi Debby, I'm honoured that you think my photos are good enough and am more than happy for you to include my link. Did you love it as much as I did? An experience not to be missed, in my book. Xxx

Blog Archive