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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.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Strange what can be seen on the cut.

It's been a long journey today, 19 miles and 7 locks, epic for us who usually call it quits after 4 hours travelling. So for 10 hours we been on the go although we did have a 30-minute break for lunch in between the locks. Wish we had stayed 'cos in this heat we would have been far better mooring under a tree at lunchtime and saying 'enough is enough'.

Anyway, we set off around 7 am and I must say we saw some very strange sights. A wide beam full of ukulele players serenading all within earshot, a very very small tug like boat (size of a small garden shed) and a shipping container welded onto a hull. Only managed to take a photo of the container and could kick myself that I missed photographing the other two.

Today was also the day I dreaded. The Blisworth tunnel had to be driven through. Many will have read my post some years ago about the scary experience I had whilst going through alone. If you want to have another look click here  and also the search for the side shaft and finally side shaft found  I'm not one to believe in the supernatural but this still is totally unexplained. There is a website about the hauntings so yet another link for you to look at. Anyway, how it happened I don't know but somehow I still had hold of the tiller as we entered the tunnel so it was left to me to motor through. As it happened two boats had also entered from the Stoke Bruerne portal and almost at the half way point I met the first one going hell for leather. I was almost at a standstill with heart in mouth expecting to be hit pretty hard but this chap knew what he was doing (I expect this is a regular journey for him) and kept hard against his side of the wall. In fact, I was mightily impressed because trying to see past the headlight shining in your eyes is almost impossible. I know we struggle to see through other boaters lights when we draw level.

 Lovely to be back in the sunlight again after the gloom of the tunnel and before long we arrived at the top of Stoke Bruerne flight. These were the only 7 locks to do today. Very busy on the flight what with it being a Saturday and the usual gongoozlers were just waiting at the lock side to see me make a hash of things.

Willow curtain right across the bridge on the exit of the lock

Makes it difficult to get in as well.

This was one of three breasted pairs we met on the flight.
 That journey to Gosgrove from the bottom of the flight takes forever and to find a space on arrival was a relief.  Part in the shade from an offside tree, it made staying inside the boat bearable. Tomorrow we make for Milton Keynes to see son Colin, daughter-in-law Iwona and the two grandkids, Oscar and Oliver.

And because we got away early we saw,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well worth the long day for getting more of your lovely wildlife shots.
It always gives me a boost reading your wonderful blogs, especially with your fab pics.
Ann x

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