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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.

Friday, 16 October 2015

I couldn't leave it to drown.....although it is classed as vermin.

  • An earlier start this morning and we knew there was no catching Sue and Vic. A comment left by Sue last night said they hadn't stopped until they reached Hawksbury Junction. Quite a few miles more (8 to be precise) and I hope they didn't get toooooo wet in that brief shower mid afternoon!  We had to wait at Rose boats swing footbridge (Stretton stop) while an oncoming boat was traveling past the long line of hire boats but once through, got as far as Nettle Hill bridge before we encountered what we thought was a loose boat. Turns out a chap was down the weed hatch untangling black plastic bags and clothing from the prop and had nowhere to secure the boat. Parts of the Oxford is like that. Curved sides made up of stone instead of straight edging and even pins get pulled too easily. So we crept past as he pulled the boat back in on his center rope and, with his prop still not completely clear, he decided to get underway and hope for the best. He needed to get Rose boats to pick up his wife who had set off with the dog before he was ready to leave the moorings. We had met her at Stretton stop and funnily enough she just happened to mention that we might meet an oncoming boat and 'could we tell him she would be waiting at Rose boats'. That was a good 30 minutes earlier and over 2 miles away!!! Guess she had a long wait!

Rose Hire boats line the route to Stretton stop

Thought she was loose.

But chap on the center rope bringing her to heel.
Arriving at Hawkesbury junction we found No Problem moored above the lock. Another catch up chat with Sue and Vic before they left to meet Gary (no Della today)on boat Nb Muleless for a pub lunch at The Greyhound. Gary must have been already supping a pint because we didn't see him walking up as we swung FS right at the junction. Thats another blogger meet and greet opportunity missed. Still, our fault as Sue did ask if we had of had time to stop and have lunch as well.

Sutton Stop (Hawkesbury Junction)

No Problem on the right.

Gary and Della's boat
Approaching Nuneaton and Charity Dock, the fantastic mannequins were displayed in all their glory decked in Halloween attire and it seems every time we cruise past from one year to the next something else seems to catch the eye. Long may it continue as it is very much the highlight as we enter the outskirts of Nuneaton. 

The eye is drawn first to the this

Then to this

 Going under bridge 22 (Vernons lane bridge) Ian happened to mention there was a dead pigeon in the water. Nothing remarkable about that I hear you say but then.... hang on a minute....it's head was held high and so appeared to be very much alive. No frantic flapping of wings, just floating as if in a daze. Well I had to stop and save it's life. I know it's only a pigeon and I know these darned birds pooped all over FS a few days ago but I was not going to cruise away and not try to do something. So grabbed the fishing net, jumped off FS while it was still several feet from the bank and scooped it out of the canal. The bird felt very cold and maybe it wont survive but a nice lady with her Staffie said she would take it home and see what she could do to warm it up.

Okay it wasn't just the pigeon that was cold. Furry head wear was a must today.
We made excellent progress today stopping near bridge 24. Hoping to meet up with son in law Kev's mum and dad at the Kings Head in Atherstone tomorrow lunchtime and with only a few miles to go to Atherstone top, time is now on our side.

Dr Who must be on a mission in Nuneaton!!!
 And seen on route,

Time for a stretch

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