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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.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

A miserable cruise

Not one of our brightest ideas to get going before the rest of the boats set off this morning. With Kilby Bridge full to the brim last night, especially as the Leicester Waterways Festival had finished, the thought of queuing at the locks didn't appeal. The winding hole, as well as the facilities mooring, was taken with historic boats and what with the diesel boat arriving as well, I felt very sorry for the late comer, Canal Time, trying to get to the water point. This hirer impressed me no end as he had to manoeuvre between the CRT work pan and slip in between the historics to get to the side. And with it tipping it down and the wind blowing a holey, I was surprised that he did the right thing when he finished and moved on. I wouldn't have blamed him one bit for staying put.

Butty Raymond and motor Nutfield
 So that's why we decided to leave early. But OMG did we get wet! The wind and torrential rain, as well it feeling bl**dy cold, made the trip to Newton Harcourt a miserable one. What with top gates being left open (so twice the work) and gates that refused to stay shut  (Ian reversed to hold them closed), I almost wished we had stayed at Kilby another night. But that would have put us over our mooring time of 48 hours so with reluctance we set off.

After 2.5 long wet and dismal hours, 7 locks and 2.5 miles we arrived at Newton Harcourt. By now every part of us was soaked and I was concerned when Ian started shivering. He normally never feels the cold so getting him a hot drink and making him change into dry clothes was a priority. Then just as we had settled down with a large cup of drinking chocolate, an almighty gust of wind took part of our wooden heavy top box lid and landed it smack bang in the middle of the towpath. God help anyone if they had happened to walk past at that precise moment! Coats and shoes on again and armed with bungees, secured it as best we could.

The rain shows no sign of letting up and according to a weather app Ian has on his phone, we are in for a wet and windy night. Two of the historic boats came past as did Callisto the diesel boat and the only other mad idiots out in this weather.... Canal Time. Oh and we have had to resort to lighting the stove...it's supposed to be summer for goodness sake!

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