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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, 17 October 2015

A very quick descent.

The last time we did Atherstone flight it took forever and having arranged with Gunda and Kev (little Kev's parents) to meet at midday we got up earlier then we really wanted to and got going by 8.20am. Took an hour to get to Atherstone top lock and, as Ian was about to get off by the bridge, the top gate swung open. The lockie volunteers had seen us coming and set the lock. How good was that. It meant we had help down the first 5 locks, only stopping once we reached the Kings Head and on a mooring right outside the pub to boot. Couldn't be more perfect and it only took 30 minutes to do the 5 locks. I don't think we have ever done 5 locks that quick before. A big thanks goes to the three volunteers who had every lock ready, gates shut behind FS and paddles lifted for me to descend in double quick time. Then there was Gary. He stops to chat to everyone on and off the boat and is full of fun. I think he is slightly Autistic and one of the lockies told me he has an excellent memory, remembering boat names from years past. Gary kept me entertained with his observations and his laughter was infectious. By the time we moored at the Kings Head my stomach hurt from laughing so much. He is one great character and I hope everyone who meets him will give him the time of day.

Atherstone top lock and the volunteers waiting for us.

Autumnal view down the flight

Only met the one boat

Ian making haste back to FS before we descended to far. The Kings Head was below this bridge and on the left. (non towpath side)

Kings Head mooring
Midday, exactly the time Gunda and Kev said they would be with us and a knock on the cabin top alerted us to their arrival. After 15 minutes of hilarity inside FS we walked the few yards to the pub entrance. Kev was nursing a bit of a bump to the head after exiting FS saying he was sure we hadn't opened the hatch properly. No sympathy Kev 'cause it was fully open. Bumped Head

Four hours later, after a scrumptious meal and plenty of booze, we finally waved them goodbye. I reckon the landlady was probably glad to see the back of us. The men were getting a tad noisy, well after 3 pints each it was never a wonder!

Thought we had got back in time for the Rugby but Wales and South Africa had already kicked off. Luckily the telly was tuned in on the omni rather then the large aerial. It would have meant getting it out of the top box, putting it together and then finding which direction to point it in. That would have eaten in Ian's Rugby time, not something he had wanted to do. (especially after the 3 pints) As for me, I'm watching Strictly tonight but am relegated to the bedroom and our tiny 12" TV. Dont mind at all as Ian has promised to keep me supplied with wine and the bed is a comfy viewing seat. And best of all, if I get cold I can snuggle under the duvet.

Seen on route, colours of the cut in Autumn as well as the wildlife.

High wire act

What a lovely acorn

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