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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, 11 July 2016

Who's that moored by FS?

Sunday 9th

Lots of staircase locks today as well as loads of swing bridges. The first of the staircase we had help in the shape of hirers. We hadn't even set off or untied but they noticed our tiller being put on and assumed quite rightly that we were about to leave.

Dowley Gap locks (staircase 2)

Those leaky gates are still a problem and backing up into the flow worries the life out of me. Shutting the back doors and standing inside is the only way to keep my feet and inside the engine room dry

We were warned by the hirers that the pound to the next lock was very low. A party boat had gone through late last  night and left the paddles open. A good 8" down and, even in the middle, FS's bottom got a scrape or two!

Some strange sights seen at Saltaire. Why an Octopus and is that a snail I see?

Saltaire shouldnt be by-passed. The walk round the Victorian Village, which was built by Sir Titus Salt for his workers in the Alpaca Wool industry, is a delight and also, if your so inclined, a micro brewery to visit for all you beer lovers. One thing to take note of, no overnight mooring allowed but you do get a good 8 hours, plenty of time for sightseeing.

Saltaire moorings.

More staircase locks in this part of the L&L then most people see in a cruising season. What with the Bingley 5 and Bingley 3, Dowley Gap 2 we also did the Field locks 3 and then the two at Dobson locks.

Field locks

Dobson 2

That chap in the dinghy was rummaging for wood at the bottom of the locks. He overtook FS whilst waiting for the swing bridge. At one point I thought he was going to shimmy underneath!

Waiting for the swing bridge.
We reached Apperley early afternoon and then had a FB message from Doug and James (Chance) to say they were a couple of hours away having not long left Leeds. Knowing this pair for their hospitality we thought we should reciprocate and ask them in to FS. First though it was a trip to Asda to stock up the drinks cabinet.

We had only been gone about an hour and crossing the bridge, a familiar boat. They made it in record time and, having offered coffee which was very quickly poo poo'd by Doug, cracked open the wine for some serious drinking. Booked a table for the evening. Just hope I'm not at the staggering stage by then.

 And wildlife seen today in the clear waters around Dowley Gap locks. The terrapin above the Bingley 3.

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