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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, 25 March 2016

The day did start well....honest!

Too nice a day to stay in bed and as the birdies woke us at some silly hour, we made ready and set off before 8am. For once I walked to Junction lock with windlass in hand and left Ian to take FS. Took photos of a virtually empty Fradley, just the two boats moored, one of which was Lillyanne (yellow).

Leaving Fradley

Left onto the Coventry
 I hummed a tune Fields of Gold as Ian cruised FS past a near golden field of Rape and thought the day couldn't get better than this. We were the only boat on the move until we reached Bridge 86, then 4 came past us heading for Fradley. I said to one of the boaters how busy it had become and he replied " You think it's busy now you wait until you catch up with the 15 boats in front of you!" "Oh 'eck" thought I, that will throw our timings out. 
Rape field on the left

We did catch up with three boats, but luckily two pulled in to moor and left us following one. Unfortunately this one had the slowest helmsman in charge and it seemed to take forever to reach Fazeley. It was at this Junction we turned right onto the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. Our plan was to reach Kingsbury water park and then go to the Dog and Doublet for a birthday meal. (birthday not until Sunday) So we started our ascent up the Curdworth flight. Above lock ten two boats were heading our way so Ian left the gate open and walked ahead. I then gets it in the neck from a cruiser owner moored on the private moorings right by the lock about leaving gates open. Well I was incredulous and pointed to the two boats heading toward us. He scowled and said too many boaters leave gates open to which I replied, not this boat owner!! Anyway the first boat to pass us was none other than James and Debbie Nb Lois-Jane. Having said a quick hello I then had to contend with the second boat who refused to move over and consequently proceeded to push me ever nearer to the moored boats. I ended up in a right pickle, unfortunately scrapping along the side of a cruiser (which luckily had those massive balloon fenders) and then getting stuck because the pound was that low and was unable to pull back into the channel. Talk about miffed! I had words and said he hadn't tried hard enough to get me to crash into the boats. All I got was a silly grin and a shrug of the shoulders. The photo shows the moored boats, the cruiser with the blue fenders and the idiot on the lock landing.

Having to go up lock 9 because trying to moor only got me stuck again, another almost deserted mooring outside the pub saw us pull in and moor up. Of course the rings were in the wrong place for our length of boat and Ian had to resort to get the cladding pin in the piling under the water line. Hope the levels dont come up to much. Not sure then how he will remove it when we leave! With us not arriving until late afternoon the water park will have to wait until tomorrow. Weather doesn't look promising though!

And wildlife on route,

Never seen this before.


ditchcrawler said...

The duck has what's know as "Angle Wing" http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/feeding-white-bread-to-wild-birds-is-killing-them/

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

There was a female duck with one wing sticking up as well. It's been on the news about not feeding any bread, I wish people would listen and take heed.

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