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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, 29 June 2017

So I was wrong

Quick to judge before knowing the facts, that's me. But when a boat entering a bottom lock and the chap at the lock looks straight at you knowing we were ascending the previous lock and still blatantly closes the gate without waiting for us, well what would you have thought. And to top it all the ascending boat was a C&RT work boat! Well I was not best pleased and with Ian and myself muttering about C&RT's asking boaters to share locks if possible and NOT to waste water, we were understandably miffed. It wasn't until we got to Marsworth Junction that we saw C&RT's work boat moored by their workshops. No one around so stopping at the facilities to do loo and rubbish, we headed off for the lock.

Our plan was to stop between that lock and the next and stay for several days. All good in theory but again it was a lack of water that was the problem. Only a few boats moored and the long length on the offside looked like a reasonable place to stop. But could we get anywhere near to the side? Not a hope as the pound was almost a foot down. So managing to push off we tried the towpath side. First attempt failed with FS stuck once again. Lots of heaving by both of us managed to get her free. We then tried by the reservoir and managed to get near enough to at least get off and put pins in (no cladding on this stretch). Having thought we now had a suitable place, well blow me down if more water was drawn off and now our rudder was wedged on, what we assumed, was a ledge. Ian got in a bit of a tizz as the last thing we wanted was a damaged rudder so when another descending boat put water back into the pound, we hastily untied and pulled her forward. With the rudder free and away from the ledge, we tied once more hoping that this time we would be okay.

Not long after who should come walking along the towpath but the two C&RT guys off the work boat. After saying hello I asked the question, "Why didn't you wait for us at Marsworth lock 37 when you knew we were behind you at 38?" At this they looked surprised as neither had seen us coming. "But the chap doing the paddles looked directly at me" I said "And still he closed the gate" That's when the penny dropped as the chap helping them was, in fact, another boater waiting to come down. So it was him and not C&RT that closed the gate and it was this man that was at fault. In fact, the two C&RT guys were very apologetic and said they would most definitely have waited if they had known we were coming up. So you see,  I was wrong and I should have known better so my apologies to C&RT.

Tring Reservoir and Marsworth, must be in my top 10 fab places to moor. Canal on one side and the reservoirs on the other. Wonderful for bird spotting. The towpath though, was very busy for a Thursday with families (surprising for early afternoon as I would have thought the children to be still at school) and plenty of dog walkers.

Looks like our notice in the window about the rally is being read.

And time for a photo!
 Also loads of runners and walkers all with numbers strapped to their shorts. Took a bit of finding out what it was all about on the web but I think it is the 250 mile Thames ring challenge. Good luck to them as they need to complete the challenge in 4 days 4 hours and have very little sleep. That's some challenge

And on our journey,

Shutting the top gates on exit.  Wide open when we arrived so twice the work at this lock and sorry but there is no excuse not to close them!

The GU certainly have a variety of craft.

First swing bridge I have done in years. Ian normally does them

Love these canal side properties.
And here at Marsworth,

In attack mode


Mike Todd said...

Did you look back after closing the gates? A lot of those locks have 'self opening' gates! Too many times we have dutifully closed, especially top, gates only to see them open again before we are even out of sight. . .

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hello Mike, Yes we did, and no they didn't open but your right, some gates do open on their on.
But we have followed boaters up (and down) locks who have not even attempted to close the gates. They are the ones I'm getting at.

Steve and Angela said...

Have you been to Tring Museum? Former collection of the Rothschilds now part of the British Museum. Full of stuffed animals and birds. Not very PC these days but fascinating. Look out for the fleas in Mexican clothing - amazing !

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hi Steve and Angela, Thanks for the info. May well go and have a look as it sounds fascinating but tomorrow I hope to walk to the Nature reserve which will probably take all day. Depends if we decide to stay a few more days.

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