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.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Quackers trying to make a break for it and an idiot in a wide beam.

Saturday 16th

We had a pretty rough night! The banks along the Stanley visitor moorings are angled outwards so we couldn't bring FS flush against the side. Consequently fenders were useless and during the wee hours of the morning the wind picked up and all we could hear was the scrapping of the sole plate on concrete as she moved around. At one point Ian got up to try and tighten the ropes but to no avail. So  an early'ish start was had this morning.


Flood lock and Broadreach lock as we left Stanley Ferry
 You may well remember that we had hoped to return to Langley Mill by way of the river Trent. The plan has changed somewhat after Ian started to be concerned about a peculiar noise coming from the engine, almost like a very loud chuntering sound. It seemed worse inside FS especially in the bedroom. Further investigation didn't reveal much but he is of the opinion the drive plate is on it's way out. The last thing we want to happen is for this to fail travelling along the tidal Trent so instead we will go via the Huddlesfield and through Standege tunnel again.

Today another river, the Calder and Hebble which we joined at Fall Ing lock On this waterway we needed a Hebble hand spike. Ian whittled one from a large branch having left our spike at Langley Mill. The first lock in which to use said spike was Thorne lock and here we met Nb Tapestry on it's way down. The chap was most bemused by the makeshift branch and took pity on us, very kindly giving us his. "Surly you will need it in the future" says I. "Not on your life" said he. "Worse locks on the waterway and will never do them again"!

Thorne lock on the Calder and Hebble

Ian's  home made Hebble handspike.




Ian tried both after they had left and much preferred the one he made. It fitted in the hole better but  kept the other just in case.

It was at Fall Ing lock that we had company...in the shape of three ducklings. Always aware how we could easily crush them Ian tried to get me up as gentle as possible. Mum was above the lock going demented and the three tried desperately to get out as we neared the top. Only by opening the gate did the three unite with mum, swimming off as if nothing had happened.

Fall Ing lock






We made it to Horbury Bridge furthest point away from the railway and moored early afternoon. Not much in the way of boat traffic other then an idiot in a wide beam having a race with a small outboard dinghy. Did they slow down when they past us???? I'll let you decide!!!



And seen on route,

Through Wakefield flood lock

Looking back. Entrance to flood lock on the right

Paddle outlets above the waterline at Broad Cut Low lock.  Keep back as the well deck in danger of flooding if you go to far forward.
Pretty isn't it. But this is diesel on the water all along this length of canalised river.
And wildlife,









1 comment:

Andrew Tidy said...

My handspike is an axe handle but before i got it I simply used the handle of my boat hook!

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