About Us

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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.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

First no water, then too much!

Tuesday 5th

Well, well, well, arriving at Barrowford locks before 8am, a C&RT person already on duty and helping a boat through the first lock. Ian raced ahead to see if we could join them only to be told by C&RT that they would go up the next lock alone, for us to wait in the bottom lock until given the nod and only then could we pair up . Reason???? No water in the first pound! Okay okay.... slight exaggeration 'cos there was a small amount of water, enough for the first boat to make the next lock but for us.... without running more water down, we hadn't a hope. This is an ongoing problem between bottom lock 51 and 50, a leak somewhere not yet found so one of the C&RT guys arrive early every morning to get the pound filled. We joined the waiting boat and turned out it was first time hirers on their way back to Silsden so had a bit of experience under their belt. I was still asked by C&RT to allow them to go first though. So FS again was tested as I frequently had to put her in reverse.

The low pound

But plenty of water at the top!

Top of the gates submerged.

Just to late for the 9.30am green light at Foulridge tunnel so it was a wait for the next passage at 10.30am. All alone now, as the hirers had stopped for water after the top lock and never made it to the tunnel in time. Boy was it wet in there! Gave up dodging the drips,  resigned ourselves to getting wet.. 17 minutes later (Ian timed us) we were out and back in the dry.

Foulridge tunnel

Made Greenberfield locks and Ian started limping. Something to do with his knee and he said it hurt like hell. So I did them....all three...just to prove that now my problems with hip and back are behind me I'm quite capable! Did make me realise just how unfit I was.

Not often Ian is on the helm

Look like a tourist don't I!!!

Trying to find a mooring (a) that we could get into the side and (b) towpath wide enough for a BBQ was impossible. No grass cutting along this section and no dredging either. We tried several times giving up as a bad job as FS tipped and that horrible grating sound was heard. Eventually found a suitable mooring by bridge 161. So now BBQ lit, meat prepared, potatoes cooking and salad made. Making my mouth water just thinking about it. 

And seen on route

Deer a considerable distance away.
It's a wonder it still floats!!! Unique living accommodation.

A steam narrowboat
And the wildlife, quite unexpected sighting as well.

A Dipper Chick normally seen in rivers not canals!

Mum or dad Dipper

Feeding time

Unfortunately these are a bit blurred.

And another Curlew

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