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.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

There is no excuse for abusive language

Trying not to wake the crew on Tentatrice and Cleddau we snuck away by 6.45am, after Dave had set the lock. Ahead was the challenging Old Woolhampton Lock and swing bridge. This is a notorious fast flowing S section of river with lock at one end and swing bridge at the other. Warning signs explaining how to proceed was in evidence and with some trepidation Heather and I crept out of the bottom lock and sat behind the gates waiting for a call from Ian to say the bridge had been swung. Heather was lucky that Dave took over the helm, so sending them first to see how they coped with the flow,  I watched as Dave did a perfect maneuver cutting through the incoming flow and then dodging the swing bridge walls. So with throttle in 1200rpm I set off. It wasn't as bad as I had thought even managing a few photos on the way and the rush of water didn't cause any problems. My biggest worry was stopping past the swing bridge to pick Ian up. Hard into reverse, nose pointing to the landing, into forward, screw round and back hard into reverse. Almost text book maneuver and another boater walking his dog said how impressed he was on my helms women ability. Felt quite proud of myself.

Weird sunset last night

Leaving the moorings and the sleeping crew of Tentatrice and Cleddau.

Strong flow from the right

sharp bend through the swing bridge
We were lucky as we approached Aldermaster lock as a C&RT work barge and butty was about to set off. We managed to get past with cries of 'they are stealing our lock' ringing in our ears. It was all in good fun though, and we had the bonus of being helped through by another C&RT guy. Time was now 8.50am and we were reminded  that we couldnt operate the lift bridge before 9 am. (All about rush hour traffic) By the time we had descended it was 1 minute before 9am, so with great pleasure and the feeling of power, Dave and Ian stopped the traffic.

Hmmm. Which button to press.

 At Sulhamstead lock we arrived to find Vixen across the canal obscuring the gates.  Blaming the wind we laughed and said ' Are you sure  it wasn't because you got the angle wrong'!! To be fair the wind didn't help, nor did the fact the gates wouldn't open fully. Still, good helms women that she is, she soon had it sussed.

Stuck across the entrance

Both gates wouldn't go back

Nor would the bottom ones!!!

Strong bywash on the exit
 At Tyle Mill lock the swing bridge at the bottom had to be swung before we could come out. Directly past the bridge was the facilities, and now then, here lies a tale.

Our hose was out filling the tank and I was doing bits and bobs in FS when suddenly the front of an oncoming boat nudges our bow button fender, a chap appears, having had to run the length of his boat and jumps straight onto our bow locker. I shot out and the first words he said was bloody boaters stopping on the bridge landings!! I was flabbergasted and pointing out the hose. He went on and on about how I shouldn't be there and that we are a law unto ourselves. What??? I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I asked him exactly how I was to water up and not moor at these bollards??? and then I asked if he could read! Showed him the sign that stated mooring for services only!! He then begrudgingly apologised in one breath and then continued to rant at me in the next. Got my back right up I can tell you. I called him ignorant and it was boaters like him that shouldn't be allowed on the canals. He then stuck a finger up, pulled up toVixen and asked Dave for permission to moor alongside. Why couldn't he have done that to me!No one jumps on another boat without permission in my book. I reckon he was sexist as I'm obviously just a women who deserves no respect. Well he's messing with the wrong women here 'cause I'm naming and shaming you mate!!

The facility moorings

So we have now come full circle (okay a there and back) moored near The Cunning Man, our first stop from entering the K&A all those weeks ago. Thames tomorrow and Beale Park...... Yippee

the moorings near the Cunning Man
 And this distressing sight seen yesterday at Newbury. I have no idea if the cygnet got away.


nb Chance said...

Think you mean Woolhampton lock Irene, Wolverhampton is in the midlands! Enjoy the thames x

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Yep quite right. Thats me trying to hurry the post. Anyway thanks for putting me right. Have amended the post. Xxx

Blog Archive