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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, 20 November 2015

Move day 8 and for goodness sake not another tree in our way!

The rest of the flight this morning was a doddle. Only 2 locks against so the 9 locks up to lock 6 took a little under an hour. Mind you the last 4 locks took equally as long as they had to be emptied and we struggles with low water, leaves and branches.

Early start this morning.

Lapworth flight

 Then before the first lift bridge....there it was. Another small tree across the canal. This time we kept hard over on to the cladding and with a lot of crunching and grinding from the prop managed to squeeze past.

That lift bridge about did Ian in!!! It was heavy and needed a quite a few turns to raise, as well as lower, and back on board he was puffing like a good un. Told him have a sit down to recover but he is a stubborn old cus and would have none of it.

Lift bridge 28
And then.........another young tree in our way. Most of the trunk was under water so coasting over the top seemed the best idea. It worked and apart from a slight roll as the hull went over we were at least still be moving. Both of these hazzards were phoned through to C&RT and Ian was told that there was still numerous reports of trees down along the system.

The last lift bridge of this journey was at Shirley and needed a BW key to operate the barriers. Amazing how much traffic use this bridge but Ian got lucky that he managed to get the barrier shut before the next lot of cars arrived.

The weather has been very fickle today. First thing this morning and we were still only needing jumpers. By late morning the coats, hats and gloves had gone on. The wind picked up causing a real chill and a shock to the system. Blue skies were with us until we reached Lady Jane Wharf. Then we had rain, hail and high winds. Blooming 'eck it got cold!! I think maybe a cold spell is coming so quite glad this is the last day of the move.

Look at that, sun shinning, blue sky in the distance and a hail storm to contend with.
Through the Guillotine lock and towards Kings Norton Junction where a left turn took us onto the Worc and Birmingham.

Still a massive amount of branch debris lying about and thankfully this tree was only across part of the canal.

Wast Hill tunnel came into view, a length of 2,726 yards, about 1.5 miles and a good half of it had  water dripping from the roof.  With no other boat in sight Ian powered through making it a quick passage through.

Wast Hill tunnel

I got rather wet taking this photo

So we are now nearly back at Anglo Welsh base. Arrived at visitor mooring in Alvechurch to spend our last night and do a bit of a clean up. We do like returning the boat looking decent. Tomorrow one more tunnel to do before arriving at the yard. Packing is all done, just the boots to put into a plastic bag tomorrow. They did get very muddy and will need a darn good scrubbing when we get home.!

18 mile 14 locks 3 lift bridges 2 tunnels

On route,


Marilyn McDonald said...

Your photos are wonderful, Irene.

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Thank you Marilyn. Xxx

Halfie said...

Yes - classic Christmas card robin!

Pip and Mick said...

You should try that lift bridge with six inches of snow on it! We had to sweep it, but a tractor had got there before us and compacted it. Blooming hard work!
Glad you have reached your destination and bet you'll be glad to get back to proper fenders.

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