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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, 18 March 2016

Stoppage finished and we get away.

It's typical....just when we made plans to help on the ECP&DA stand at Sawley, we find out that the stoppage at Shardlow had finished 5 days early! Not complaining mind 'cause it means we can get away much earlier then anticipated, and not have to do long cruising hours to get to Tipton by the 2nd April. We are due to join the BCNS Spring cruise to the Bradley Workshops(where the lock gates are made. So on this very cold day (wasn't yesterday glorious) having got FS ready and finished all those little jobs that needed doing, we pulled pins at midday, said farewell to Sandiacre for another 6 months and got underway

Sandiacre lock
Now the Erewash isn't a well cruised canal but we do get our fair share of over-stayers and unlicensed boats. After Sandiacre lock comes Dolkholme lock. No chance of getting on the landing at this lock 'cause one such boat was hogging it all. Locked up and with no sign of anyone around, I had to sidle up to the gate so Ian could get off. If only they had pulled forward a tad......

Smack bang in the middle of the landing!
 We know that work had been done by C&RT in getting rid of some offside vegetation but they still haven't done anything about this willow. It was a menace when we returned last October and now Spring has arrived I can see it will still be a menace in the foreseeable future. Needs someone to stand on the cabin top with a big pair of hedge shears!

Then we came across the next unlicensed boat. Been on this mooring for well over a month and because of the shallow sides, sticks out into the channel making it very difficult to get past without scratching our cabin sides from the offside branches.

By 1.15pm we arrived at Marlene's, another member of the ECP&DA. She kindly let us use her mooring for the night instead of going down to Trent lock. Going to be peaceful because the TV signal here is non existent but at least the internet is okay. Think we may make a fairly early start tomorrow as we want to be at Sawley for as near to 10am as we can make it.

And on route,

And my first fish since last September. A good sized Perch.

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