About Us

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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.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

What with canoes and loose boats....

So, okay, now what was I saying about an incident free day yesterday? Settling down to watch the Great British Menu and FS started rocking. Not violently, quite gently really but this continued for some time. Of course, we had to investigate and going past us at a rate of knots were canoeists, lots of them and boy do they make that water move. Then as we were watching, one of them just rolled out of his canoe and right behind FS too. Getting out was a struggle and we rushed to the stern to see if we could help. But he had it in hand and after a few attempts got back into the canoe and paddled off. So we missed a lot of the TV program but I must say for us this was more entertaining. Not so for the poor man in the canoe, soaked from going into the canal and with the relentless rain, must have made for a miserable return journey.

This morning another mishap, not for us but for the boat moored behind. A motor and butty came past reasonably slowly but clean pulled the centre mooring line and pin into the water. Why he hadn't secured the boat with the bow rope is beyond me 'cos that was always going to happen. Anyway, Ian had at that moment stepped onto the back deck and realised the moored boat was now adrift. A hail to the owner brought no answer so assuming he was still in bed (dogs barked but still he didn't stir) Ian rushed to get our boat hook and returned just in time to grab the centre rope (with the pin still attached) and pull the boat back to the bank. All he could do was push the pin in as far as possible but with it only just holding, I expect the next boat to go past will do the same thing.

Not long after this incident we set off fully expecting the motor and butty to be at the next lock. Luckily for us they had pulled over so we sidled past and kept fingers crossed that all the locks would be with us. Nope, we were unlucky as the next 4 locks had to be turned.

The slight drizzle had turned heavier and the wind picked up which had a decidedly chilly feel with it. Also, the stretch between Slapton Lock and Horton lock was hard going. More mud than water as FS's bottom stirred up lots of glutinous mud. Then our worst fears as we met this!

We got stuck as we had to move hard over onto the towpath side giving them more of a centre line. Had to reverse off the mud before we could get underway again.

 By the time we reached Horton Lock I was feeling very cold and wet, doing all the steering didn't help matters and as it was nearing lunch time, ascended the lock, found a suitable piled edge and pulled in for a warm bowl of broccoli and stilton soup.

We did set off again once the rain stopped, more because a boat had descended and we knew the next lock (as was the final 4) would be with us. Stopped before the bottom of the Seabrook three and if no more boats go past us tonight, that lock will be with us in the morning.

And seen at Grove lock, unique hanging basket brackets.

And todays wildlife,

Reminded us of Alfred Hitchcock's film, The Birds.

Tiller feeding station


Tom and Jan said...

Well that boat and lifeboat haven't moved far as they were moored between Leighton Buzzard and Grove Lock when we went south whilst you were in Oz!

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Now, why doesn't that surprise me!

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