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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.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Merry Christmas everyone. Well it was in the T&T calander

Today (2nd Dec and Christmas day) was a free day. No excursions planned as it was the coach driver Dave's day off and we took the opportunity to take a boat trip up the river Exe. Trip wasn't until 11am so a walk to the marina in glorious warm (yes warm) sunshine took place first.

The contrast between the choppy open water and calm estuary was very noticeable.

Exmouth marina

A price had been negotiated by the hotel for this river trip and instead of paying £12.60 a head we only paid a fiver each. Not a bad deal as we felt it was value for money, the boat owners had at least 40 passengers which they wouldn't otherwise have had, so it was win win situations all round. Talk about wind swept though, that wind was enough to sweep everyone off their feet. Bottoms stayed firmly on the seats for the duration! After a very pleasant cruise lasting 75 minutes we were deposited back to shore just in time to watch a fishing boat unloading their catch of the day, mussels.

Back row:- Marlene, Carole, Margaret and Dennis  Front row:- Ian. Maurene and Michael.

This, would you believe, is a cafe!!! Used by yachties and body boarders in the summer.

View of the Hotel (sandy coloured) from a very choppy sea

Unloading the mussels

As soon as we docked it was a mad dash back to the hotel to change and get to the dining room for Christmas dinner. We were greeted by Santa, given a present, had a huge plate of turkey with all the trimmings, devoured the Christmas pud and then finished with coffee. Blooming 'eck....talk about feeling stuffed! Starting to feel sorry for the Turkey. Then it was change clothes again and a walk into Exmouth town center.

 As we only found out on the arrival at the hotel Monday, a fancy dress competition was to be held on Boxing day. (3rd December) Hunting high and low Ian found the perfect outfit. A fabulous shop selling just about anything and everything in the way of fancy dress and all at a reasonable price. After the decision was made and purchase of the outfit (will be revealed tomorrow) it was back to the hotel for xmas cake, scones and coffee. 2 hours later we were once again sitting down to another dinner. And I thought cruise ships were bad. Waistline was expanding a bit to quick for my liking! Anyway soon after the huge meal it was off to find yet another real ale pub before departing to bed around midnight.

And today's wildlife from the river trip.

Not Cormorants but Shags

Male merganser.

Oyster catcher

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