About Us

My photo
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.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Oh dear. Definitely a senior moment or two!

Bank Holiday Monday 30th

Yipee we had our first BBQ of this year last night and with chicken breasts and venison sausages, very nice it was too. Got a bit chilly later in the evening though, and the shorts came off for jeans and a jumper was quickly found and put on. Ian is made of sterner stuff not ever feeling the cold.

Such a glorious morning to cruise although that wind was a bit cool. Three more locks to do and another four swing bridges before arriving at Tarleton. Two boats had turned up late last night and moored in front of us so we knew the first lock would be with us. The second lock by bridge 4 had a lone lady boater just coming out so she left the gate open for me to go right in. It was at this lock where we had a couple of senior moments. 

So Ian wound up the paddle on both bottom gates and I started to descend. Got to a certain point and didn't descend any more. Coming from the side wall, water bubbling and swirling suggesting some sort of leakage. Calling to Ian he walked back to the top gate paddle on the off side to see if it was fully down and sure enough it was. So we ummed and ahed and thought should we bring FS back up again and phone C&RT. I decided to see if I could add my weight to Ian's to try and open the gate first. Now I'm not the most agile person and must have looked very awkward as I tried to get off my knees and according to Ian I gave a chap walking his dog quite an eyeful!  Not a pretty sight me I can assure you! Anyway absolutely no chance of shifting the gate. I started to worry that we would drain the pound and then Ian suddenly thought....(his senior moment) had he checked the towpath side top paddle to see if that was down, the same side as the lone boater came out from. And there it was staring him in the face, an open paddle! She must have forgotten to lower it in her haste to leave because I was coming. So finally the water levels equalised and we could open the gate. So then for my senior moment. Having taken the centre rope when I climbed off of FS, I now dropped it back on board before climbing down the ladder. And what should happen???? FS gently starts to make a break from the side and now I had no means of stopping her. Ian as quick as you like almost pushed me out of the way, descended the ladder and with his long legs managed to get onto the gunwale before she settled in the middle. Gosh wouldn't that have been embarrassing and to think we very nearly phoned C&RT to come sort the problem out!!

Water bubbling and gushing in

Centre rope tied to the bollard. I remembered to do that.
Thinking not much more could go wrong I dropped Ian off to open Marsh Meadow swing bridge. Waiting for Ian to open the bridge the engine note changed. In fact it made this horrible rumble sound and nearly stalled. In the past the centre rope, as well as the stern rope, has stalled the engine by trailing in the water and wrapping round the prop, (both times my fault) so my first thought was check the ropes. Both were still in place thank goodness so the prop must have picked up something  from below. I got through the bridge, just, and pulled over. Ian had the task of going down the weed hatch and unearthed nothing more than some plastic. Thankfully when the engine was started again the grumbling noise stopped and all we could think was whatever it had been had dropped off while we were stationary.

Marsh Meadow

Cant just have been this that caused the problem
In Tarleton we found an almost empty length of mooring. The first boats to leave for Lancaster are not until Wednesday as the tides are wrong at the moment so we almost had the place to ourselves. Deciding to walk to the lock we were also on the lookout for a winding hole. And not one was to be seen! Oh eck!! Did that mean we would have a several  miles to reverse back to the winding hole at Rufford Hall. We asked a chap working on his boat where we could wind. No winding hole is shown in our old Nicholson's but he assured us there was one but it was not readily obvious. There are a couple of signs along the water coarse which sort of showed where. I say sort off because the banks were so overgrown that without some knowledge you would have no clue., So for anyone coming down the Rufford arm here are my photos to show you where.

Before you get to the residential moorings there is a bungalow with a fence. A fishing peg with a gap in the foliage is the only clue to where it is.

3 foot clearance at the stern on our 57ft boat.

Tarleton Mooring.
Tide is out. No chance of anyone leaving for Lancaster yet.
River Douglas

I do feel for all of you down south. What is it your experiencing? Wind, rain, thunder storms!!!


And what do we have in the West. Glorious unbroken sunshine.

Happy in the sun

Rotten of me I know but couldn't help myself.

And the wildlife today,

Top knot ducks


Richard said...

Thoroughly enjoyed the first part of this post. How many times have I had such senior moments!!

However did not enjoy last part as I am in the the cold wet windy Midlands!

Love the photos!

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Sorry Richard. I do like rubbing it in!!!

Blog Archive