About Us

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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.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Sun Dance move day 3 and ain't that wind a bu++er!!!!

That wind last night......the hull kept banging on the cladding (no fenders), something was clattering right above the bed (thought it was the boat pole rattling in the antlers) and a cold draught whistled in through gaps in the back doors! Needless to say very little sleep was had until the early hours when Ian went to the smallest room in the boat and discovered the clattering was actually the bathroom blind being blown about by the wind! As soon as he shut the window, peace (and sleep) was restored!

Sunrise at some silly o clock this morning
So this morning I didn't have the luxury of staying in bed as the first lock of the day, Kings Sutton, was roughly a mile away. Wind was still a very big issue with lots of sideways crabbing  I am ashamed to say that I got shouted at to slow down at one point and I did apologise profusely saying I had to keep the revs up because of the wind. All I got was a stony stare and a shake of his head.

Reaching Banbury it was a stop for water. A boat was already moored on the water point but left as we pulled in. This meant our luck had changed from every lock being with us to now being against. Shame really as trying to hover mid stream waiting for the lock to empty and gates to open became a real challenge. Pulling over and holding the center rope was equally challenging, 'cause that wind kept the boat hard against the edge and it was a devils own job to get away.


Banbury lift bridge

Were they made of wire or wicker. Not sure as I didn't really get to have a good look at them
 See C&RT are making repairs to the towpath and installing a lovely length of cladding.

I felt sorry for this guy. Met him at the top of Bourton lock heading away from us and rounding a bend saw him capsized in the canal. Ian was steering and had to stop pretty quick. He got to the bank and waved us past thanking Ian for his quick reactions . He said that wind was a right bu++er and had pushed him clean over!!

At Claydon locks not only did we see Epiphany moored (no sign of anyone on board), but I had a hail from a couple in Duxllanding (think that's how it was spelt) saying how they read my blog. Lovely to meet you both if only briefly. Maye next time we can stop for a chat.

We moored at a very remote location between Claydon Top and Napton. We needed to be away from other boats because the engine has to stay on until well past 9pm. The alternator caned the batteries last night and Ian reckons there must be a duff cell on one of the batteries. it was when the lights dimmed and the fridge went off that we realised. 12 hours the engine had been run yesterday so something was not quite right.

13 .1 miles, 15 locks, 1 lift bridge, 7 hours 20 min 

 And now for my on route photos

This duck stayed behind the boat surfing in the wash. It made a beeline for us as we went past and I'm sure it's something it enjoys.

Apologies for the poor photos of the Kestrel. Had the wrong setting on the camera.

A Great Spotted Woodpecker

And a Green Woodpecker


nb Chuffed said...

If you need to turn the fridge off all day you can keep stuff fresh by wrapping in wet newspaper - we had to do it on our last trip
best wishes and good luck with this wind!

A Heron's View said...

B'rrr that water looks very cold, glad I'm not a duck or canoeist.

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Thanks for that tip Debby, now where's the nearest Newsagent. Xxx

Nb Duxllandyn said...

And there we were - reading your blog and wondering where you might be when a boat went past. In such windy weather we wondered who on earth..... When a second boat went past we couldn't help ourselves - we just had to check them out AND IT WAS YOU!! Brave souls in such filthy weather!
Maybe we'll catch up with you over the next few days. ( We enjoy your blog :-) and
Spelling was nearly right :-)). )
Marian & Mike

Alf said...

When it's that windy, put the forend into the mouth of the lock if there is no one coming the other way, save's a lot of hassle !

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Thanks Alf, good tip and one to try out once we are back on single locks. Doubles now as we are back on the GU.

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hello Marion and Mike,
Nice to put a name to a face. I have a feeling we have met once before but for the life of me cant remember where. Not sure if we will meet up as we are now on the GU and moored by Stockton Locks. It's another early start for us tomorrow, all ready to tackle the 8 locks.

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