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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.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Do I really have to go into that torrent?

Wednesday 6th

Went down a treat did the BBQ last night. Shame it was overcast and a tad cold, and that wind was a bit of a nuisance so no eating outside. I do love a BBQ as Ian gets to do the cooking giving me a day off, but I then have to clean the grill afterwards. Cant have it both ways I suppose.

We wanted to get to Gargrave, 4 miles and 9 locks, so we had a lazy start. But not setting off early allowed a wide beam to come past minutes before we wanted to leave. No point in rushing now as the locks would have to be turned round so we pootled to the lock to allow it to get ahead. Going dead slow we got to admire the views on the upper part of the L&L, and those tight bends....more like hairpins but good fun.
See those moored boats? Yep we go past them when we round a very steep right hand bend.
 There is rather a lot of me in the blog today! I did all of the Bank Newton flight, all six and enjoyed every minute. Don't get me wrong, I love steering the boat but I do feel a bit isolated when in a lock and miss out on all the chat. I made the most of it today chatting to the lockie volunteer and all those lovely hirers wanting to know all about our life style. Maybe Ian will be doing a lot more steering through the locks in the future.

Notice the paint pot on the side. It's ready for the volunteer to paint the bollards when he gets time.

I did let Ian do the last three locks into Gargrave. Saw a convenient C&RT workboat near the first lock just right to get Ian onto the bank. Quite glad in a way it was him doing these 'cos that ground paddle on the first lock looked like heavy going. Even Ian struggled with that one.

I mentioned a few days ago about the lengths of these locks and today I wished FS was slightly shorter. To open the bottom gates FS had to be reversed into a torrent of water cascading through the cill and sides. It was exactly this problem that Heather  (NB Bracken) had back in 2008 with water pouring through the boat soaking carpets and could have put their little dog Oliver in jeopardy. To read what happened click here. All I could do was stand in the engine room and close the back doors rather rapidly.

Got to Gargrave before lunch so made quite good time especially with that lockie on duty. Might get a spot of fishing in if the rain holds off. It's gone very overcast with dark clouds on the horizon. Oh well, saves having to water the plants

 And on route,

And the wildlife,

Meadow Pipit

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