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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, 30 May 2016

Blasted lock...wont budge. Now how are we going to get out.

Sunday 29th

Last nights sunset, very encouraging for the day to come.

Gosh that sun had some warmth in it. We woke to the sound of FS's hull banging and creaking   expanding in the heat. Tea in bed before we got up to do a very important job. Give the starboard side of FS a good wash. We had been targeted by the local bird population and poo splatter seemed to be everywhere. So armed with bucket and sponge I went to open the back hatch. Couldn't understand why it wouldn't open. We have a hasp type lock which is opened with a key but the hasp wouldn't release. I called for Ian who also tried prying it open. No chance as it was well and truly jammed in place. Hmmm, How to get out! We deduced that it had to be the heat in the steel expanding which held the hasp in a vice like grip and it was only by Ian going into his man cupboard to find a suitable tool to prise it open that we got out. Took a good few minutes though. Never has this happened before. We have had the door stick in the heat but a good push had always freed it. Now the summer has finally arrived we will see if it happens again.

By 10.30ish we were on our way. Only the one swing bridge which had been opened by a crew member of the boat in front. She waited for us to arrive and as we thanked her she said that her hubby was turning the boat at the junction to come back through.

The boat winding while we waited to turn right onto Rufford Arm
 It was at this junction that we needed to turn right. Onto the Leeds and Liverpool Rufford arm and the 7 locks to Tarleton. To our surprise C&RT volunteers were on duty and they helped us down the first 3 locks.

Top lock

Taking on water. No elsan or rubbish here

Lock 4 and could this be the shortest lock landing on the canals?

This was left by the owner over the winter and then sunk by vandals. C&RT have been unable to find the owner and their hands are tied as they cant remove it without the owners permission. Ludicrous!!!! (Told to me by one of the volunteers)
 The forth was down to us but that's about as far as we got because a lovely mooring with cladding showed itself and with the fiasco of trying to have a BBQ yesterday, we decided to stop and try again tonight.

And the wildlife seen today

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