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.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Good grief that was expensive!

Thursday 14th 

A very nice BBQ was had last night although the wind did blow ash all over our sausages! All adds to the flavour though, and yummy they were too.

It was a latish getaway this morning as first we walked to Lidl for supplies. Then we headed off to make Stanley Ferry where we hoped to stop. Diesel was urgently needed and with the marina at Castleford not selling any, we had to reach Stanley. All the locks were DIY and huge and luckily all with us until we reached Woodnock lock and the first on the river Calder. From here we started our ascent. But first we had to find the turn onto the Calder. At Castleford junction you can go left towards York through the flood lock. We knew going straight on would lead to the weir but could see no evidence of a right turn. Then almost opposite the flood lock a gap in the trees and there was the river Calder. Ian nearly missed it and had to put FS into a sharp turn, only just missing the bank.

Approaching Castleford

At this point we had no idea where the right turn was. I have marked it on the photo and it's nearly opposite the flood lock.

And looking back towards the flood lock
 Then Woodnock lock was a sharp left off the Calder. This lock had to be turned round as was every lock until we reached Stanley Ferry.

Woodnock lock

A rise of 13' 6"
 Unfortunately the weather turned wet as we left Woodnock lock. Rain set in big time but with only a couple of miles to go we carried on. Into Stanley Ferry and Ian spotted the diesel pump. Having to breast up to reach the pump I was left hanging on for dear life to a plastic cruiser at the front, not just to keep FS from drifting back into the middle, but also to keep our steel hull from crushing the plastics hull. With 100 litres taken I asked Ian if we could have taken any more. Yes was his reply but at 95p a Litre he decided against filling her right up! One would expect to pay that amount down South but here in the North????? So another warning. If you want diesel get it before arriving on the Calder as this is the only place that sells it along the river. Just before the facilities we found a mooring spot. No sooner had we secured FS, dived into the boat to remove our sodden coats, the rain stopped. Blooming typical!!!

Birkwood lock before Stanley Ferry.
Coming into Stanley Ferry

Getting diesel

The plastic cruiser I was fending off

And seen on route,

Fairies Hill Lock into the boat club moorings only. No river access.

Red Kite

A flock of Comorants


Tufted duck

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