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.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Crickey.. how much smoke!

Sunday 31st

 7.30am We had been up for only 5 minutes when I heard the sound of paddle gear being worked. Someone even earlier then us ascending the top lock of the Stone flight. Leaving Ian to grab some breakfast I untied and headed for the lock. One lock with us, would all the rest be the same? Answer was yes but only because we met another three boats also heading up the flight. Gosh they must be even earlier risers then us.

7.40am. Top of the flight

Last lock leaving Stone, time 8.50am
 Stopping for water and loo emptying after the 2nd lock 30 minutes later we descended the last of the two locks in the flight and thought we were making good time to reach Great Hayward for a little after lunch. We didn’t reckon on meeting a boat going at tick over speed. Although the boat didn’t look like a hire boat, I think the person on the helm must have been relatively new to this boating lark as he almost came to a stop at every bridge with tiller going in all directions. We did ask if we could get past but every time we thought we could go, another oncoming boat appeared, or worse still,  a bridge 'ole. Finally after sitting behind him for nearly 3/4 hour, he misjudged coming through a bridge and couldn't get the bow away from the side because of a long curved bend. This gave us the opportunity to pass once he waved us on and that was the last we saw of him for the rest of the day.

Look at that oncoming boat. It's a wonder he could see where he was going. Looks like we are right on the boats stern but he stopped and we had to do a quick reverse.

Couldnt get the bow off the bend. With us going past it pulled his front out.
 Another near miss at bridge 90A with another hire boat. Ian on the helm and hard into reverse. Chap on the hire boat did likewise but forgot to turn the tiller and by heck he hit the bank hard. We stopped to help him but with a friendly wave said he could manage. I wonder how much crockery got broken on contact.

Look at this. A queue at Weston Lock. First time in ages that we had to wait! Almost forgotten what it was like.

At Great Hayward the gongoozlers were out in force by the lock. Better not mess up and lucky for us a boat was just coming out of the lock. In we sailed without mishap, much to our relief.  

Moored beyond the bridge with the Hall in sight, we set off for a wander round the gardens. With rain forecast for tomorrow our idea was to do the house and servants quarters then. Whether we move on after our visit will depend on the rainfall.

Essex Bridge

Shugborough Hall

FS on the left.
And on route,

Yet another shrine of sorts along the canal. Still undecided whether this is the done thing or not.

Wow, fabulous.

Yes thats me in the blue. Got to get in the blog somehow
 And wildlife,

This crow was tapping the window. Was it used to being fed by the householder?


Adam said...

The slow grey boat looks like a Norbury Wharf hire boat to me.

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Thanks Adam. There was no sign to say it was a hire boat but makes sense now that you mentioned it.

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