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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.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

The moment of truth and the rise of a wreck

It was with some trepidation that we set off a little after 9.30am. The rain had arrived earlier but better weather was forecast so we waited. Then I decided to go blackberry picking ready to make a Blackberry and Apple Crumble and no... it wasn't delaying tactics! Anyway once pins were pulled Ian went and stood at the front armed with boat pole while I gingerly crept forward following his hand signals as to which way to go. More often then not I had to reverse to allow a particular dense patch to be pushed to one side and progress was slow.

 But we did clear the worst of it after the M25 bridge and apart from a few patches by overhanging trees which meant we had to keep well over onto the towpath side, the rest of the journey was stress free. In the crystal clear water we saw loads of patches of blanket weed as well as large amounts of aquatic plants which could foul the prop, especially if one didn't keep to the middle. It was particularly dense by the long line of moored boats.

Overhanging trees meant the channel was reduced

  We did have one incident that frightened the life out of us both when a submerged burnt out boat suddenly rose up from the depths. Not sure if we caught it as we went past or if the water displacement caused it to rise. For anyone going down to the end to wind it's by bridge 8.

A lot more showed itself and I got this as it was submerging.

Got another shock to see a boat coming toward us. Thought we were the only mad ones to make the journey Loads of underwater weed growth on this section

Lovely mural at bridge 11

On reaching the end we were very disappointed. It's just a winding hole with nowhere to get off. The chemical factory smells were also off putting but there were some nice parks to explore if one was so inclined.

The terminus. Winding hole to the left

And winding hole
Yesterday on our walk we spied some boaters gold. Loads of what looked like seasoned wood ready for the taking. So on our way back and just before the start of the Pennywort we stopped, put the nose into the bank,stuck the arse end out 'cause it was to shallow and stopped to collect some of it. In our opinion it was a bit early to start collecting (usually start in October) but when the opportunity arose.......

Having taken a little over 3.5 hours to do there and back we stopped in the same place as yesterday. Just for a late lunch but then Ian decided that, with no one around, the chainsaw could come out of cold storage and be fired back into life. So now all branches neatly cut into usable logs and because the afternoon was now coming to a close, we decided to stay another night.

And on route and on the mooring.

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Adam said...

I did tell you that when you get there, there's no there there!

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

You did Adam, you certainly did. Had to do it though and see for ourselves. Not a bad waterway if it wasn't for the weed. No doubt beginning of the season would be a better time to travel.

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