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, 9 July 2016

Oh dear, not sure I should be wedged across the canal.

Friday 8th

Through the woods we walked, taking the long way round to the castle. The morning was dry for a change so waterproofs stuffed in the ruck sack just in case. Having set off a little after 9am a notice along the way mentioned the opening times of Skipton Castle 10am to 4pm so we were a tad early. The path followed the Spring Branch route into the gloom and we had the choice of several paths to take. We opted for the shorter route wanting to get to the castle around opening time.

Another white throated Dipper seen by the stream.
 The cost to get into the castle was £6.80 each for concessions. We could have had a guide but wanted to do the tour ourselves and an information sheet was provided. For a 900 year old building it's in remarkably good shape. No furniture displayed only boards telling the history of the all the rooms.

Conduit courtyard so called because it was the termination of the spring water supply piped to the castle

Withdrawing room and the view up the huge fireplace.

My favourite place The winery!

Down toward the dungeon. Coat of arms may have been etched by a prisoner.

The kitchen Note the new range of the 1840's heated by coal. Previous to that date charcoal was heated in stone ovens.

700 year old St Johns the evangelist chapel with it's ancient font.
After the visit another quick shop at Tesco and then pull pins and head to Kildwick. Had several interesting encounters on route. A day boat swerving across the canal looking most unstable with all those bodies on the top. Hire boats leaving the base full of excited and terrified crews shouting instructions to the helmsman, left, no right, no left! especially when rounding a bend and coming face to face with us. But two of the most interesting moments were (1) when we approached Snaygill swing bridge, a Snaygill hire boat had got there first and one of his crew had already started swinging the bridge open.  I had dropped Ian off earlier so his hand gestures warned me of the oncoming boat.Then, as he came through the bridge and onto the landing, the wind got hold of his bow and swung the boat right into my path. A quick reverse on my part saved the imminent collision. But his crew member was still on the bridge holding it open for me but no way could I get beyond the hire boat to come through. So only thing to do was for her to close the bridge, get back to the boat and for Ian to reopen for me. And then (2) This time roles were reversed 'cos at Hamblethorpe swing bridge I was on my way through and was nearly on the bridge landing when another hire boat came steaming up in the opposite direction and put even more power on to make the open bridge. My bow swung out as he came past, the wind blowing through a gap pushed it further towards the opposite bank, I tried to correct the swing by putting the power on only to find the rudder well and truly stuck on a small ledge on the bank. So there I was, bow in the opposite bushes, stern hard up against the concrete edge and only one way to get out of this, Ian had to close the bridge quick, race back to me and pole the front off while I dealt with trying to work the stern loose from the edge.

Near miss. Bridge closing and Ian waiting to take over.

Across the canal after Hamblethorpe swing bridge
With no more incidents we eventually arrived at Kildwick and stopped before the next road bridge. With the rain due tomorrow again (will summer ever arrive I ask myself) we may stop here until it blows over.


And seen on route,

In memory of the Polish airforce.

It's Friday rush hour and the traffic at standstill.

Leaving Skipton. Love those chimneys on the terraced houses

And wild life

Gathering wood to make it's paper nest.


Sandra Walsh said...

Hi Ian and Irene - just to say I haven't forgotten about emailing you the info for your NZ trip. It's coming soon ... ;-)

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Thanks Sandra. We leave for NZ in January 2017 so any info is most welcome. xx

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