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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.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Should bow thrusters be used in a tunnel?

Considering I went to bed with the ankle throbbing, sleep came remarkably quickly and I woke this morning without any pain. But when I put weight on that foot boy did I know it! I must say though, that the cold compress, ankle support and Ibuprofen did the trick and so the decision was made to pull pins.  By 8.10am we were away.

In Chirk tunnel we had a boat coming toward us and I don't think he was very happy when we nudged his gunnel when passing. He had stopped but made use of his bow thruster as we pulled level which consequently pushed us into the side, we bounced off the wall and into him!





At Watford locks, we followed a boat down the flight. Behind us, two C&RT work boats also waiting to go down. Lock keeper gave us all the thumbs up so one by one we descended until suddenly we met a boat coming up. Good job the long pound was between us and it but although we could get passed, not sure how the work boats would fare. We left them trying to sort it all out.


Pete our volunteer lockie





On the Buckby flight we had company. A young couple on Canal Time hire boat asked if they could join us down the flight. More than happy to oblige until we were told the lady was 16 weeks pregnant. She wouldn't helm the boat so with her struggling to open and close the gates, Ian ended up doing twice the amount of work. But saying that a nicer couple one would wish to meet. We got on famously and even lent them our sea magnet when they dropped their mooring pin in the cut!

We eventually found another lovely rural mooring and with the sun shining it was perfect for a BBQ




And seen on route,

So I wonder if this will eventually be joined to...

this hull.
And wildlife today,

She looks to have only three but....



Woe betide anyone wanting to walk this bit of towpath.



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