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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.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Funny, challenging and memorable

Had to curtail the drinking last night as a text message came in from Carl to say could we be ready to leave by 9am. Mad dash to pack everything up as we no longer had the luxury of doing it all in the morning. That said we were awake early anyway and after the final bits to pack up (toiletries etc) we sat twiddling thumbs until Carl arrived.

From leaving Great Hayward to arriving back to Bunbury to get the car, it took about 1 3/4 hours. Foggy conditions slowed the traffic of which I was very pleased. These days anything moving faster then 4 mph puts me in a state of panic.

So that's it, we are back on FS  Another boat move completed without mishap. May have another one to do later this month but Carl will let us know. We have both really enjoyed the few days away, breaks up the monotony of staying on home moorings. Some funny, challenging and memorable moments have occurred on this Merlin move.

Funny moment at Wheaton Aston when I had just untied Merlin early am. (Ian was below) A man walking a Lurcher came past wearing a short top and flowery leggings. His girlfriend had asked him to walk the dog and, not fully awake, grabbed the first thing that came to hand. Just happened to be his girlfriends Pyjamas! Not a lot was left to the imagination, I can tell you, as his girlfriend must have been quite slight in build. Rather tight and revealing comes to mind! He did apologise for his attire but I told him he had made my day.

 Then the challenging moments came in several forms. Leaves round the prop making the going slow with reverse being used as much as forward. The windy conditions making for 'crabbing' along the long straight stretches of the Shroppie. Especially challenging when trying to pass at tickover by moored boats. I must admit there were the odd occasion when I did travel faster then I aught. It was when the wind pushed Merlin toward them that I did the unthinkable. Then there was the torrential rain drenching us down to our undies. With limited clothes on board we ended up staying a tad soggy, at least until it dried up in the afternoons. And lastly the fog. My last post says and shows it all.

And the memorable moments...... Being told I was one sexy lady and had a kiss blown toward me by a 15 year old at Tyrley locks. Hmmmm.... told him to get his eyes tested! Told I was looking young and sprightly from a middle aged man at Penkridge. This one needed to change his glasses! And best of all the meeting of three bloggers, James and Debbie, Living the Dream, Sue and Vic, No Problem and Maffi and Molly dog, Milly M.

One more observation I must talk about. A small minority of private boaters attitudes to those on a hire boat. We have had boats pull out right in front of us, 'quick must get away before we get behind a hire boat' attitude. Being told we don't know what we were doing at locks (I had difficultly in exiting the locks because of the leaves and had those waiting at the lock tutting at me and getting really annoyed) and some boats not slowing down going past us when we were moored. When we asked them to cut the revs we were told 'your just a hirer so what do you know'!!!!  It only takes one or two boaters with attitudes like that to put off people from hiring again.I hope that we will also now be more tolerant as we have been in a hirer shoes.

In summery, the move took 4.5 days doing a total of 65 miles and 43 locks We have it all to do again at Christmas when we take Merlin back to Bunbury. This time with nice new and shinny paintwork. Best not to scratch her then! Oh happy days.

And one photo taken today on my bird feeder


Sue said...

Yes in disguise as a hireboater...

I'd love to do that. Mind you my comments to private boaters would not be as kind as you! ;)

I have all the time in the world for hireboaters. When I meet them I take my time, slow down and offer advice if I see they are stuggling. After all they are on holiday and 95% of them take just a day to come off of motorway mode.

Yeah OK there are the one or two lager boats chucking cans in the cut as they go, but then I will probably take a net and pick 'em up as I go by..

Am I a softy?

Anonymous said...

I have very much enjoyed reading about your escapades.
The tight flowery trousers too, ha, ha!
Your wildlife photos are absolutely spectacular and inspire me to do better.
Ann nb oakfield

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