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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, 1 June 2017

At long last!!

Our long awaited great 'get-away' went a bit awry when the NHS scuppered our plans once again. More appointments arrived via letters (which ended up with our tenants rather than at our daughter's house), meaning missed dates and times. Lots of phone calls, rearranged appointments and all came good in the end. During the wait we took a trip down the River Trent and the sailing boats were out in force filling me with dread every time they headed toward me. Trying to give way to sail is all well and good but trying to stop a 14 tonne steel narrow boat as a head long collision seems imminent takes some doing even when travelling upstream and why do they have to tack right in front of me!!!!

So today we untied FS and headed off up the Soar. By Cranfleet Cut  I was amazed to see police helmet colours on the tunnel band and a severed foot dangling from the stern!

We were trying to work out just when was the last time we did the Soar.  Looking back on the blog (there is something to be said for keeping a record) it was 2014. Then we had all sorts of problems with rubbish round the prop. Hope this wont be the case this time!

We were lucky to join another boat by Ratcliff lock. Life gets so much easier with two boats in these broad locks and, as I was the one doing all the work today (normally I'm helmswomen and have an easier time of it), the fact that I only had to lift two paddles rather than four was a bonus.

Kegworth New lock

Kegworth old lock. New lock was built as part of flood prevention works which changed normal navigation water levels. Old lock is a listed structure and filled in but judging by the amount of undergrowth around it I would not be surprised if it disappeares from sight completly eventually.

After 5 hours off fantastic cruising weather we made it to Loughborough. Got the rod out for the first time in over 7 months and managed to catch a few tiddlers. Had hoped for some biggies but not to be. Story of my life that!!!

And on route,

Redhill Flood lock

This Coot saw off all that dared to come into his terrotory including Swans with Cygnets! One very brave and determined bird.

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