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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.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Fun and games at Kilkwick

Saturday 9th

Had a red sunset last night. Wasn't expecting that after the forecast from the Beeb for this area.

 With rain supposedly coming in for the morning, we decided not to move. I managed to give FS a good wash and brush up, and still we waited for the rain to arrive. By 10pm a few spots on the windows and then a few more. Only lasted about an hour and not heavy rain either so we could have left earlier. But the bonus of staying here was watching those day boats and hire boats trying to work the mechanised swing bridge. I felt very sorry for the queue of cars waiting for the bridge to close. Unfortunately the first of the day boats arriving must have done something wrong because the barriers wouldn't lift. They tried opening the bridge and then closing it again but nothing happened. Quite a few cars got fed up of waiting and did a three point turn but one got out to see if he could help. After a good 6 or 7 minutes, with numerous attempts of opening and closing the bridge, they managed to get those barriers lifted.

The next pair of day boats arrived with only one going through the bridge. The other stayed on the bridge landing and had lunch!

Day boat causing no end of problems for the other boats trying to get through.

Not tied on properly so bow banged into the boat going through.

trying to secure.and still they stayed on the landing.
 The rain didn't really materialize so after lunch we pulled pins and headed through the bridge with 2 more day boats. Another 4 swing bridges to do which we did taking it in turns to open but at Silsden they all winded to head back to Skipton.

Another 10 swing bridges on our own before we arrived at Bingley.  One thing we didn't envisage was going down Bingley 5  or Bingley 3. Although we tried several times we couldn't get into the side to moor up. Hoping that moorings would become available nearer the locks it was a disappointment then, when everyone seemed to have had the same idea. Moor at the top and wait till the morn.With nothing available it was head down the locks with a hire boat that also had problems finding a mooring. 2 lock keepers were on and very near to going off duty. But they saw us down all 8 locks. At 57ft, more often then not, I had to reverse into the water pouring through the top gates and at one point a huge water spout coming from the lock chamber side sent a torrent of water into the well deck and all over my drying laundry! I was not best pleased!!!!

Top on Bingley 5 staircase locks

Got away from this one as soon as possible!

No longer a good view of the staircase 5. Someone cut those tree branches down!!!

Bingley 3 staircase.

At the bottom in Bingley.
Reaching the bottom by 17.35pm 15 minutes later saw us moored by The Fisherman's Inn. Here we had the most excellent meal, one we highly recommend. Slightly more pricey then the average pub meal, my Sea Bass and Ian's game Pie came to nearly £20.

Well ahead of scheduled so a lovely lie in tomorrow morning. Will try to make Apperley.

And wildlife,

Angel wing? Only one wing affected.

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