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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.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

More surprise meetings.

Seems those on Icing were up well before those on Saphire and us on FS but we all came together for a towpath natter around 9ish. Icing was the first boat away when another boater heading in their direction came past. At least now they had a locking partner for the last of the two broad locks.

We were next away jumping at the chance of a locking buddy as Nb Jay came past but Paul, not quite ready to leave with Saphire, missed out because next boat going in his direction was a wide beam!

Yesterday Margaret told us of all sorts of problems they had had after leaving Shardlow. One was a tree down by bridge 7. Queues formed and no end to the delays in sight but, after several hours of wondering if it would ever be cleared, a branch was removed allowing the boaters to continue. It was as we got to the fallen tree that we saw just how little had been removed. In fact not sure if this is more of a hazard now with just a window to cruise through.. Cant see ahead for oncoming boats.

Nb Jay nearly through

Got chatting to our locking companions John and Yvonne, (as one does at locks) and John told me he reads my blog. John knew all about our Jade having passed away and having two Labs themselves, a chocolate and black made me miss our Woofits even more.. Yvonne happened to mention that the chocolate Lab got itself hit by a car a few weeks ago and luckily got away with only an injured paw. "Just let her off the lead, a sudden change in direction toward the duel carriageway, 'after some bread',  (typical Labrador thinks with it's stomach) and the deed was done."

At Aston lock an ascending boat seemed to take forever to come up. It was once in the lock next to  Jay that I noticed both ground paddles taped up. Hmmm.. not the best paddles to be out of action. It only takes a novice to lift the gate paddles to quickly and all sorts of problems could arise.

Western lock
 Once the bottom gates opened we were greeted by a widebeam on the lock landing. Behind him another narrow boat and coming along to join them, yet another. . Very glad we were descending as yet more boats arrived as we exited to join that queue.

We shared Shardlow lock and fully expected to do Derwent Mouth lock with them as well but as we came under the bridge in Shardlow we spied another boater we knew well. Norman (ECP&DA Chairmen) and his good lady Shirley on Nb Amelia Alan. Mentioning to Norman that John and Yvonne was heading up the Erewash he grabbed a leaflet from his boat (which showed moorings, pubs, shops etc) and raced back to John  to hand it to him. 

Norman in his boiler suit on his way back. We hope to see John and Yvonne at Sandiacre when they return from Langley Mill.
Finally arrived at Sawley and moored by 1.30ish right behind John and Yvonne. It was a lunch stop for them and they left to head up the Erewash but for us we are staying to meet up with friends Alan and Carol for a meal at the Plank and Leggit tonight.

And the wildlife seen today,

One very sleepy duck. This mid yawn!

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