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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, 18 November 2015

6th day of the move and our worse fears realised!!!

 Well, we had a right barney last night!! No, no, not between us but storm Barney. Not had winds like that for a long time and was quite glad we moored where we did away from trees!. No telly or phone but did have internet so managed to get BBC iplayer to watch Master Chef. The rope fenders Ian made creaked and groaned and was almost as bad as the hull banging against the side. Dare not put the life ring out because it would have been ruined by the constant rubbing on the concrete edge. By morning it had all blown through and got going before sun up to do the rest of the Hatton flight.

 We got lucky with the majority of the locks as only 5 needed emptying and yes Jennie we did come up on only one paddle. Seemed idiotic to do twice the work, when lifting one would do equally as well taking only a bit longer and anyway it gave Ian time to walk and set the next lock.

Loads of locks still to do

Fabulous sight though if not daunting.

It was the final three that caused us most problems. Wind picked up and I ended crabbing into the locks. Then there was the tree and leaf debris behind the gates which stopped them from being opened. Ian had to resort to using the boat hook to clear most away.

Such a relief to get to the top. 15 locks in a tad over 2 hours averaging about 8 minutes a lock wasnt bad. Ian was knackered though, and looking forward to a rest. A good few miles to do before arriving at Kingswood junction and he was looking forward to putting his feet up. I went through Shrewley tunnel and got soaked! Water was cascading from the roof and sides and just in time we shut the rear hatch before the bedroom got soaked.

 Ian took the helm once we emerged back into the light and then, just past bridge 62, we saw what we had been dreading. A tree down!!! A big one at that, right across the canal. No way to get by so pulled up, gave C&RT a bell to report it and then reversed back through the bridge ole and onto the embankment. Too dangerous to stay in the cutting what with the trees swaying alarmingly and the thought of one down on us didn't bear thinking about. We settled down for a long wait but within an hour C&RT arrived armed with wheelbarrow, rope and a keb. Not sure what they thought they were going to achieve with those implements. Anyway C&RT bods said we were not the first to report a tree down. In fact a boat moored at the bottom of Knowle had the weight of a conifer on top of it and luckily was still floating. So now we wait. This job is to big for C&RT so it's going out to contractors. Our immediate concerns is have we enough water in the tank. We both had showers last night thinking we were going to water up at Lapworth. With the [possibility of being here for a couple of days, we may have to resort to staying dirty!! More high winds are forecast so I expect more fallen trees will be reported. Just hope it's not on the Stratford canal!

Ian on the phone to C&RT and, see the bridge in the distance? Well that's where we reversed back to.

The break

Ian starts the reverse

Lovely job he made of it too.

C&RT arrive

Wheelbarrow and Keb. Think they may need something a bit more substantial. 

Our mooring for a few days.
With supplies running a bit low and a small grocery store found in Shrewley Village, I expect we will wander back tomorrow and hopefully through Shrewley horse tunnel. Will take the torch just in case we can.

4.5 miles and 15 locks 3 and a bit hours.


Marilyn McDonald said...

Well done on that reversing, Ian - what a star!
Irene, what is a keb?
Don't worry about not showering for a few days - if you aren't exerting yourselves you won't be getting too smelly. Now's the time for what my mum used to call 'top and tailing'...
It's a shame that Les Biggs isn't closer with his chainsaw - I am sure between him and Ian they would have made short work of that tree and been delighted to do so.
Cheers, Marilyn

Tom and Jan said...

The horse tunnel isn't very long so you shouldn't require a tunnel unless wandering back from the pub after dusk. :-)

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Keb is a long rake type implement with 4 prongs on the end. C&RT use it a lot on cleaning out culverts and bywashes.

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