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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.

Monday, 4 July 2016

I got it....finally!

Sunday 3rd July

For weeks I have been seeking, looked at umpteen different shops and superstores, had almost giving up hope, searched on line and took heed of comments in an earlier post (Thank you Caroline and Martin for pointing me in the right direction) What was it???? Why a round washing up bowl that's what! Our destination then for today was to find The Range at Whitebirk.

From leaving the mooring between bridge 83-84 to arriving at Whitebirk took about 5 hours. We did have Blackburn flight of 6 locks to do and this time no other boat to join us. We met two boats descending so most of the locks were in our favour but it still took 90 minutes to complete. These are short locks (60ft) and our 57ft made the usual lock operation a pain. Got thrown about even with Ian lifting the ground paddle boat side first (this normally holds the boat onto the side). All Ian could do was bring me up slowly. Why not rope up I hear you ask. Well, with centre rope around a bollard and back to me at the stern, it does nothing to stop the bow from taking off it it wants too and I hate the idea of Ian tying FS to a bollard in case for some inexplicable reason he either forgets he has secured the boat or something untoward happens like he falls in! 

Bottom lock

Loads of water in the pound above

Began to overflow the coping stones.
Different gate operation. Need to wind the handle to open the gate.
 Got to where we thought the Range was by bridge 103. It was impossible to get into the side so I dropped Ian off through the bridge 'ole and said I would pootle very slowly and hopefully meet him at the next bridge.
Ian on his way back having discovered he was at the wrong bridge. 

No chance in getting into the side.
Best laid plans and all that! After 10 minutes Ian returned just as I arrived at the bridge. Yes I really was going that slow! But no bowl.....turns out it was the wrong bridge and asking a local told him it was a good mile away by bridge 104. You may be a bit confused at this as I had already made it to the next bridge. Well this bridge was 103aa and then there was 103a and 103b. Confusing isn't it but we did find the Range and having set Ian off I held FS under the bridge preying nothing would arrive, Ian returned within minutes with a lovely new round bowl.

Carrying on to find a mooring for the night we found what we were looking for before bridge 106. Thought we would try to make Barrowford tomorrow. 4 swing bridges and 21 miles. Might be an start for us again.

Super rural mooring.

And seen on route,

Old telephone box
And wildlife,

What an odd bunch

Swan Geese with two chicks Wonder where they escaped from.

All alone on the  bywash

Not been able to identify this moth.

soldier beetle

1 comment:

Caroline and Martin said...

Yay, well done, glad the mission was a success. We just need the boat to go with our bowl now :-)

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