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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.

Monday, 17 August 2015

First a high and then a low.

I forgot to mention the diesel price paid at Reading Better Boating Company yesterday (Chandlers/pumpout/gas sales etc) The price on the pump was for 85p. Now although not brilliant not bad either. It says self declare but the proprietor said we had to have at least 10% split. Okay not a problem and then he mentioned the advert in Augusts Towpath Talk. Apparently if you show him the advert the diesel price is reduced to 80p Ltr. Now that's what I call a bargain .

So back to today. We left Sonning around 9ish and within 5 minutes arrived at Sonning lock. The lock keeper was zooming back and forth on a motorised scooter. Made me chuckle until I found out he had had a spinal operation a while back and could no longer walk for any distance.The scooter meant he could continue doing the job he loved so good on him, and it does make for interesting conversation.

Sonning lock

 Rubbish needed to be got rid off, no need for loo emptying or water and we were dead impressed with the rubbish bins situated on a work pan. Without even having to stop FS I could get off at the bow, throw the bags into the bin and then get back on at the stern. Liked that idea, liked it a lot.

Bins situated above Shiplake lock

Shiplake lock ready and waiting.

Not really envious

Plenty of water over the weirs.

Henley in Arden

What a surprise for someone on their return!

Now in the picture above there was this lady walker at Hambleden Lock. Didn't really have time for a chat but noticed the sign pinned to her chest. It said something about a 185 mile walk. As we were looking for a mooring below the lock we happened to see her again and asked what the walk was for. Apparently it's a charity walk to raise funds for Polio and the Guide dogs and her aim was to walk from the source of the Thames right down to London. We were that impressed that we asked for her web address and I have enclosed a link Sylvia's 185 Mile Thames walk 

So now this is where we hit the low point. Whilst getting the email address from Sylvia we happened to drift bow first toward the bank. Ian tried to back off and what we hadn't realised until to late, was a huge dead branch sticking out from the side. There was a horrible cracking and scraping noise as the branch broke off in bits. Hoping that it was just the gunwale that had been scraped we were mortified after mooring to see this.

Ian has spent the last hour trying to remove it. First with T Cut then with a cutting in compound and fianlly with very fine wet and dry. There is some improvement but I fear FS will be scarred for life.

 We did find a mooring on a field full of sheep. All moorings from Henley onward, it seems, have mooring fee payable to land owners. This one is for £6 in any 24hours, better then the £10 asked at Henley though! 

These are good neighbours. They don't try eating the mooring ropes.

Another BBQ tonight. Hope the sheep wont mind the lamb cutlets cooking. Might see them disappearing in the distance.

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