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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, 29 August 2016

The final leg

 Strange leaving Sandiacre this morning full of excitement knowing that we will now only have a short time left on FS before we leave for Oz. So much to do and so little time to do it in. In under 6 weeks we will be on our way and then wont be back to the UK until the beginning of April 2017.  So the final journey to Langley Mill was one to be savoured.


After a grey start the sun soon made an appearance. We had the first two locks in our favour meeting descending boats on both. From thereon every lock was full with most having gates left open at the top. We encountered a tree down and almost blocking the canal. Managed to get FS past but not before leaving a long shallow scar on her paintwork. Hopefully a good polish will take most on it out.



 Between Barkers and Potters lock the pound was down, so much so that a passing cyclist told of a wide beam stuck by Potters lock. This pound must be a good mile long and Ian decided he would be better off staying on the bank and for me to keep FS going slowly and in the middle.



New fishing pegs put in but why on a bend?




We did see the widebeam but not stuck as we expected. He managed to get into Potters lock after running down some water and we caught up with him at Stenson lock. Ian got chatting and mentioned the fallen tree. We thought our scratch was bad but you should see the side of his boat. Ian reckons it would need a complete repaint on that side. Not sure why he ploughed through it knowing that it would damage the super structure. Oh well he must have had his reasons.




 Reached Eastwood lock and that horrible Azolla weed was present. Spreads like wildfire and can reduce light levels below the dense mats that form. This causes die off of water plants and algae and reduce water oxygenation levels with serious impacts on fish and other fauna. A Weevil had been introduced to control the plant but didn't see any sign of it on this stretch.


Only one more lock to do, Langley Bridge, and then it was reverse FS towards the swing bridge and 
 moor up. We plugged into the electrics then put up the aerial. Cratch cover was then washed and removed in readiness for taking it for repair after ripping it on a tree stump on the Huddersfield narrow at the facilities and finally we went to see Pete about dry docking FS later this week.  So there you have it. Not much in the way of posts to do now that we are static but there may be the odd one now and then, only, that is, if there is anything to blog about.


And seen on route,

No one home. Sorry to have missed you Debby and Dave.










A weird moth




And lunch time





3 comments:

nb Chuffed said...

Hi Irene, it was lovely to meet you yesterday but what a shame to miss you today! We were walking a stretch of the Nottingham Canal route and were only off the Erewash for an hour or so. The widebeam you mention was lunching with Yorkshire Rose as we walked back up the towpath, and later we met them - as you would expect - on a bend, under the railway bridge at Cotmanhay, so a bit of repositioning for both parties before we could pass. We met Yorkshire Rose the other day at Kegworth Deep lock - they moor at Langley Mill and knew you.
Have a great time the other side of the world and maybe see you again next year!
Debby x

Les Biggs said...

Have a safe journey back and look forward to some more wonderful pictures next cruising season.

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Thanks Les but you wont have to wait until cruising season as I will be doing a blog from Oz. Hope your still doing okay. Sending love to you and Jaq. Xxxx

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