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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.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

When a biker injures another biker.

What a beautiful evening. That sun beat down on us making us hotter and hotter. Never has jumping in the river seemed so appealing but walking to meet Carol and Alan, didn't think they would appreciate two dripping people for table companions! So it was a relief to get into the pub and find a cool spot.

The meals were excellent and worth every penny. Ian had a £10 meal voucher given to him by our daughter for fathers day. Yes I know it was back in June but only now has he been able to use it. I could kick myself that I didn't take any photos of the evening. I even had my camera with me but with the conversation and laughter non stop I forgot to take any. The only one I did take was from the bridge showing where FS was moored. Anyway it was a brilliant evening, it always is with that pair.

T'was a lazy start this morning. No rush as our destination was Sandiacre only a few miles and 5 locks away, . In a couple of hours  it would be a reverse into the Derby Arm and put feet up.....well that's what we expected to do anyway!

Sawley Lock taking us onto the river Trent

Trent Lock taking us off it.
All was going swimmingly. Although the locks had to be turned round we still seemed to make good time. Then I had just come up Dolkholme lock when this female cyclist came through the cycle gate cursing and swearing. She threw down her bike and you could immediately see she was in some pain. Clutching her hand blood was dripping onto the ground. "Whatever has happened" I asked. That F-ing bloke on his bike tried to get through the gate as I was approaching and hit my hand with his brake lever. Not an apology or even stopping to see if she was alright, no he just rode raced off without a backward glance.  Ian said he would look after her bike and belongings while I took her inside FS to clean the wound and try to stem the bleeding. A very nasty gash right between her index finger which to me looked as if it needed stitching. She obviously didn't want to make a fuss and asked for a plaster which would do until she got home. Not a lot else I could do so plaster on the wound and with thanks ringing in my ears, she got back on her bike and rode off.
The lady thanking Ian for looking after her gear.

This wasn't the end to our troubles. Arriving below Sandiacre lock a small boat was moored on the lock landing. One of the bottom gates wide open but no sign of this chap going in. We pulled in behind and found out the long top pound (about a mile long) was at least a couple of feet down. C&RT had been informed but we were to wait for water to be run down. This chap had already been there for several hours so I walked up to get the lay of the land. We needed to get into the Derby arm but didn't seem any chance of that.

Crested Lark with quite a list.

Not often we can see the bottom!

Very dry by-wash

Moored below Sandiacre lock
Dave (C&RT ex lock keeper for Sawley) arrived to assess the situation. Water had been let down but because the length of the pound could take all night to rectify. He suggested we both come up, for the little boat to make it's way to Padmore moorings in Sandiacre town centre and for us to go bow first rather then stern first into the arm as far as we could get.

Quite bizarrely as we were nearly up on that lock another boat turned up. By keeping to the middle he had managed to reach Sandiacre. With him on the landing there was no way I could swing FS into the arm so I suggested he come in next to me before I exited the lock. Had to do a few reverses to get the swing into the arm because of the lack of water and trying to get next fully next to Crested Lark was impossible. We managed half way along the boat length before coming to a stop. So here we stay until the water levels return to normal. There's quite a significant pong outside, like rotting vegetation plus that evil smell of stirred up silt where I reversed. To hot to close windows so will just have to put up with it. 

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 And the by-wash below the lock seemed an ideal place for the ducks youngsters to have a nap.

And the Swan with her 8 cygnets (only 5 in the photo) enjoying the last of the sun above the lock.

This Dragonfly flitting above the rising water lilies.

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