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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.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Shouted at, close shave, so who's steering and what a mooring!

The day started well enough, bit of drizzle first thing but that wasn't going to stop us moving on. It was because of the farm opposite that made us decide to leave and not stay another day. Well before 6am the farm came to life, tractors roaring into life, cattle lowing, shouts from the farm hands giving instructions, all good countryside noises and one we normally love to hear. But did we really want that for another morning and so early? Thats why we pulled pins and sailed into an empty lock. 5 minutes earlier a boat passed us leaving the gates wide open. Not a fan of this practice but today I suppose it was in our favour. Then at the next lock both bottom gates were open. As per usual Ian checks to see if anything is coming. No sign of anyone so closes the gates and fill the lock. Ian opens the gate and I immediately see a boat hovering. We say good morning only to be glared at and told we shouldn't have turned the lock. Apparently he and his mate were moored and had got the lock ready for themselves. Well I'm sorry but if no one is around and no boat on the landing we have to assume the gates had been left open!

By bridge 120 we had a close shave. A boat looked to be winding but disappeared from sight. So we again assumed he had gone up an arm. We kept going and then there he was right in front of us. Engine took a bit of hammering as Ian threw FS into reverse. Probably frightened the life out of the other boater too. Still we didn't hit each other thank goodness.



Stopping near to Wyverns (hire boats) at Leighton Buzzard I left Ian in charge of tuning the TV while I went walkies. Gone for a good 90 minutes and on my return Ian was still trying to get a TV signal. So we ups and moves to a spot after the Globe. Still no signal, so we ups and moves again. This time to before the next bridge. It was here that the owner of the Wyvern hire fleet came past. Now if you have ever seen a narrowboat with no one steering its the most worrying thing to see.   James's boat Ocean Princess has the capability to be helmed from the stern or the bow. Only thing wrong with steering from the front, it's not knowing whats coming up behind. We still had no TV signal so it was us that ended up on his stern, as he decides to wind. And there's us right on his tail!!! Finally he appears at the stern and waves us past. This photo of Ocean Princess taken from his web site crossing Loch Ness. (My name on it because I uploaded it to Picasa first) Notice no one steering from the stern.


 100yds further we try to moor for the 4th time. We could not get the stern anywhere near the bank so is sticking way out. And guess what, still no TV signal!!!! So we had nearly given up as a bad job until Ian had the idea of trying a different aerial lead. After 5 hours of fiddling and 4 moves we finally have 35 channels but no ITV. Thank goodness 'cause we nearly had to resort to talking to each other. I can imagine what would be top of the list....Now what was you saying dear about me dropping your wine????

Not ideal but will have to do for tonight.
 And my bug walk,






1 comment:

Marilyn McDonald said...

Irene, entertain no discussions about dropping of wine - not productive and won't put it back in the bottle.

As I was reading this post I seemed to remember that we had poor TV signal around LB too, then you mentioned a different cable ...

Love your insect pics!

Cheers, Marilyn and David

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