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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, 26 April 2017

The move back to our mooring.

Cold??? And here was I thinking we were arriving back in the UK to similar conditions as the Aussie Autumn. How wrong can one be? Yesterday we had snow. The day before I was that cold I made Ian light the fire. Seems like we are in for a few more cold days according to the met office.

One of the things that we needed to do when we arrived back on board FS was to purchase a  coupling to replace the old worn one. As mentioned in last years post, the drive plate and coupling were on the way out. We replaced the drive plate before we left but the price quoted last year at over £400 for the coupling seemed very steep so we decided to wait. While in Hong Kong Ian had an email from Midland Chandlers say Freaky Friday was coming up. So he did no more than to check up on this year's price and to his delight found it was considerably cheaper than last year. What with the discount of freaky Friday, he only paid a little over £300. On our return, we took a detour to Mercia Marina and the very next day Ian (with a little help from me) realigned the engine and replaced the old coupling. We had every thing crossed as we fired up the engine and bingo, no more knocking or grating sounds just the sweet sound of an engine working well.

 So we made the move from the Great Northern Basin to our moorings at the swing bridge. Getting out was fun. Two boats moored opposite, and hemmed in by boats either side, we had no room to swing the boat. Times like these one wishes for a bendy boat! Anyway, after a phone call to the mooring officer Norman (who also happens to be the chairman of ECP&DA) the two breasted boats on our starboard side was pulled out of the way giving me just enough room to sidle out without hitting Electra opposite. My biggest worry was hitting the windows with the bow button.

Thankfully all went well and I never even nudged the boat. My only problem was on the reverse to the swing bridge. Forgetting the tyre attached to the rear button as an extra fender was still there, it had slipped down over the rudder and stopped me from swinging the tiller.  Drifting gentle to to the side Ian was able to pull it off without much difficulty.

Once back at the mooring we set about washing the roof and polishing both sides. Took two days as 6 months of dust and dirt from the car traffic on road above the basin had stained the roof badly and green algae had formed on the gunnel's. Still FS now looks clean and shinny and all ready for her outing to Sandiacre. That wont be for a few more weeks as we have plenty of family and friends visits still to do.

Amazed at how clear the canal is at the moment. Went for a walk several days ago and even managed to get a photo of a Perch. Saw the first ducklings which I expect was a late brood. No doubt many of you have already seen them in early Spring.

We really must remove that tyre!

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