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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, 26 June 2017

Not a happy lady

And I don't mean me! The issue was water....or lack of it but more of that later.

This morning we set about trying to arrange a mooring at Rembrandt Gardens in Little Venice. These moorings can be pre-booked for a price and would guarantee a place for up to a week. Unfortunately we were unlucky as no places were available until August. We wanted them for July as we rather fancied going to the World Para Athletics at Wembley. But without a definite mooring it looks like we are to be disappointed. So it was a late getaway and after going up the lock at Fenny and then onto the waterpoint it wasn't until 10. 30 before we got underway.

Fenny Stratford lock with swing bridge across.
The weather was glorious but not sure what is happening in the skies up above. Strange cloud patterns and rainbows in the clouds. Weird.

A pleasant run to Stoke Hammond lock (which was full with top gate open) which didn't bode well for the next 3 locks at Soulbury. Was there a boat in front of us leaving every top gate open?

On the exit we noticed the back pump was running and the pound very low. Staying in the middle was a priority and we hoped we wouldn't meet another oncoming boat. What we did notice was a tree down across the towpath so Ian did no more than phone C&RT to report it.

A good 18 inches down

Just before the Soulbury Three and passing a line of linear moored boats was another narrowboat heading for us. Holding back and keeping as far over as possible without getting grounded was the only option but both of us ended up in the mud. Eventually we sorted ourselves out and continued toward the lock only to see a boat with it's stern stuck half way across the cut. A lady had managed to get off and was heaving for all her might on the centre rope to bring the boat into her mooring while her husband tried in vain to pull the front end in.

The boat nearest to us is almost out of the water.

Nearly high and dry.
 As we passed she asked if we could send water down to try and refloat the boat. I told her we would but then she mentioned the volunteer lock keepers on duty and they had point blank refused to help. I was flabbergasted at this but it wasn't until we got into the bottom lock and asked those volunteers to help the couple below that it was revealed they had phoned C&RT, who told them on no account were they to waste water. They must have had their reasons but I did feel for that couple. In fact while I was in the second lock (only just having scrapped over the cill because of the low pound) the lady came back to plead with them again. She left muttering that her bill to moor below lock was £1400.00 per year and this was a regular occurrence and why should she pay for a mooring that was not fit for purpose. In fact she was justifiably outraged. I'm sure we would have been too.

Bottom of Soulbury Three. You can see how low the pound is.

Every lock ready for us by the volunteers which was fantastic

Second of the locks and I only just scrapped in!

The lady having another word with one of the volunteers.

Last lock and still we have no water.
 It takes two days of back pumping to fill the 1 mile bottom pound sufficiently for the boats to float again so I can see why that lady was so annoyed.

Found a lovely rural mooring but only downside, we are very near to the main rail line. Oh well at least the trains will get us up in the morning.

 And seen today,

Tiny spider about the size of two pin heads. Took this photo as the blessed thing bit my foot!

Neighbours coming home! Hope the kids behave!

1 comment:

Pip and Mick said...

We've just had almost four weeks in and around London. Each time we moved we managed to get moored roughly in the area we wanted to be in and only once had someone breast up to us. During the seven days we spent in Paddington Basin spaces became free most days and it was free.

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