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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, 21 December 2015

Merlins return to Bunbury.

Wet and very windy, that's what was in store for us and what a day to start the move! We arrived at Anglo Welsh's yard at Great Hayward mid morning, loaded all our belongings onto the boat and was then treated to an interesting departure. With the yard being like a giant winding hole, all the boats were secured stern onto the bank with only bow ropes tied to each other to stop the front from swinging. Merlin was nestled between two boats, and as Carl released the bow rope the wind took hold of the boat next to Merlin and it shot off across the water. We followed suit but at a more controlled exit, well if you call putting the power on rather rapidly, a controlled exit. Last we saw was Carl wrestling with the wayward boat trying to bring it back under control.

So being very aware that Merlin has nice new shiny cabin sides the last thing we wanted to do was scratch it. Well I'm sorry to say we failed miserably!!! Not the cabin side thank goodness but along the nicely painted gunwale. Ian had to move over when another boat appeared and a low branch  sticking out from a overhanging tree scraped along part of it. Having berated him for not taking care I then went and took more paint off the bow when I touched the brickwork on the lock approach. A particularly strong gust of wind blew Merlin away from the entrance, and there was I going in so nice and straight as well. This being only day one I'm bit worried what the rest of the trip will bring! We need the wind to drop but according to the met office, that's not going to happen any day soon!

Leaving Anglo Welsh at Great Hayward.

Wet and windy Tixall Wide.

Tixall lock

Nice new paintwork
I couldn't believe my eyes. A new born lamb seen in the field by Tixall lock. It's still December for goodness sake.

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