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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, 31 July 2016

Hey ho....such is life.

Saturday 30th

Oh what a joy to have a lie in, an extra hour and time for tea and toast whilst still in my pit. Ian of course was already up, well he had to be to make me the tea and toast! Anyway we still got going before 9am which turned out to be a bad move. Arriving at the Black Prince yard at Longport Wharf, literally a stones throw from Westport Lake, the returning hire boaters took over the canal. Now in my book it's courtesy to wait for an oncoming boat to pass before a reverse or winding manoeuvrer is performed into the marina. Obviously those Black Prince workers just wanted to get the fleet back into the base as quick as possible because there was no regard to us at all. And behind us another Black Prince reversing fast towards us ready to go onto the Marina.  Quiet where he thought he would go is anyone's guess. So a good 5 minutes sitting mid channel before the first boat got into the base. Bit annoying really as reaching Etruria  a boat was just coming out of the junction and into the first of the Stoke locks flight. Hey ho, as they say, such is life!

At first we thought he was winding. You can see where he was moored, by the light grey/blue boat. Took off right in front of us.

But no he was reversing into the marina

And the one reversing behind us.

Etruria junction with first of Stoke locks on the right and the boat that just beat us.
 Deciding against stopping in Barlaston for shopping as getting to Stone seemed the better option. Morrison instead of a Premier would give us better selection and possibly cheaper products. It does mean though that we are well ahead of schedule now. Baby sitting duties have been requested for 5 days during the school holiday in August as the child minder will be on holiday so we need to head toward Burton.

Stopping above Limekilm lock and holding the centre rope, a loud splash was heard. Quick look round to see a spaniel swimming toward a load of ducks. No chance of catching any but the dog was thoroughly enjoying itself anyway. What was not so enjoyable for the owner was retrieving the dog from the canal. A good soaking was the result.

 Should make Great Hayward tomorrow and, as NT members, hope to spend several hours looking round Shugborough Hall.

And on route,

I think this was once a cruiser

Bit tight at Meaford locks

Bank collapse at the bottom of Stoke locks
 And wildlife seen today,

Red Admiral

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