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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.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Diesel boats and dinosaur's.

Much better day then yesterday and looking forward to relatively easy day. 9 locks to do and mostly spaced apart. On route we met diesel boat Hyperion and now with a butty found at Brinklow. It was in such a sorry state to be almost un-salvageable. It had been used in a previous existence as a horse drawn boat on the Great Western canal in the west country.  They did away with the wooden Cabin top replacing it with steel, renewed the gunnels and replaced the rotting planks on the bottom with elm.  Further research on their part revealed the butty was origonally built in 1930 as the butty to go with Hyperion. How bizarre is that? Quite amazing that after all these years the two are now finally together.

 Most of the locks had to be emptied but that gave Ian the opportunity to go foraging. Always on the look out for fallen branches he spied a lovely long branch in the hedge bottom. He just had to have it and would have got more except most were buried and unmovable. Also peering over the hedge, a dinosaur. Bet the kids on school holidays loved seeing that.

Sainsbury in Aspley was to be our first stop. It's just below lock 66, the Aspley flight, and on the offside. No moorings appeared to be available, nothing for it but go up the lock. But then I noticed an end bollard where we could at least get the stern on. Trouble was getting the bow tied. A blooming great branch also stuck out at just the wrong height so, although I took FS in stern first and pulled back as far as I could, the branch still scrapped along the hand rail. Ian shot up front and held it out of the way while I swung the front round and then he shot back again to grab the center rope to heave us in. Nothing to tie the front to other then that branch. Then I saw the sign. Now I know there are more pressing issues for C&RT other then clearing a 24 hour visitor mooring but surely Sainsburys could do more to help keep the area clear. Oh well, we have had to moor in worse places to go shopping. Thames Tesco mooring at Reading being one of them. 

 Shopping done we headed up the lock to look for a suitable place to stop. Nothing in between Aspley locks 66 and 65 but oodles of space above 65. Wondered why until we tried to get in. Very shallow at the edge and Ian had to walk along with the boat pole testing the depth. Eventually found a deep bit before bridge 152. Bit noisy but it will do for tonight.

And while waiting at the lock,

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