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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, 13 July 2017

Senior moment comes to mind.

OMG, how lucky were we last night!!! The BBQ was lit, Pimms in hand and what do we see flying in the distance? A Barn Owl. Go back to 2015, on the Thames, another mooring on a meadow and my first Barn Owl seen. This one was dubbed the Pinkhill Owl owing to the fact we were by Pinkhill Lock. Sue and Vic 'No Problem' were the ones who blogged about it and I just had to go see. I wasn't disappointed because, just having lit the BBQ and settling down with a drink, the Pinkhill owl appeared and was seen hunting. Funnily enough, I had only recently mentioned to Ian that today would be complete if another Owl appeared and there it was. So this one is now called the Newark Owl. Not as good pictures as the Pinkhill ones but good enough to see it's another Barn Owl.












And the Pinkhill Owl, (click here to see the post and more pictures)


Did a very silly thing this morning. Having moored facing upstream (recommended on a river) and getting ready for the off, Ian pulled the front pin without any problem. I, on the other hand, could not shift the back one. So Ian walked back to me to try and help. With combined efforts, the pin was removed but....having left the bow free FS was making a break for it and was starting to turn downstream... not the way we wanted to go! So we both jumped on, I grabbed for the tiller and.....blooming 'eck I had forgotten to put it on the swan neck. Mad panic as tiller was grabbed from the back cabin, pushed onto the swan neck and tiller pin rammed into place and only just in time. Full throttle, tiller hard over to the right and only just avoided getting stuck in the opposite bank. So thankful no one was around to witness that stupid mistake!

5 locks done today. This one at Papercourt with a strong weir warning. Hardly felt any push against the boat as I charged in. I think the river levels are too low for it cause any problems.


NT Wey Navigation work barges shoring up the bank. Thankfully we passed without any trouble.


 This lock did have a strong bywash. Lock landing is also very short and I struggled to hold onto FS as Ian dropped a lockful of water. Did these men help me? NT volunteers and they stood watching me struggle. Shame on them!


I had forgotten this very sharp right-hand bend with a two-arched bridge beyond at Broad Oak. Only made it through the right arch by the skin of my teeth. Last time in 2013 Ian was steering and went through the left instead. Only later did we find out that was the wrong arch!


 
Further along was Bowers lock. Not visible only an arrow on the bridge showing the way. Lock landing was also before the bridge and it was only because this couple in front had stopped to get the crew off that we realised. Both the lady and I had to sit midstream and wait for the lock to empty. Seemed to take forever.


It was only once we were safely in the lock that the lady told me this was a hire boat and it must be over 20 years since she had done any boating. To say I was impressed by her skills was an understatement. I know I wasn't that good when I first started boating.


After a quick stop at Guildford for a Tesco Express shop, we ascended Millmead Lock and found a lovely mooring at Shelford Meadows. Another BBQ tonight and maybe another owl?? Now, wouldnt that be something.



3 comments:

KevinTOO said...

'So thankful no one was around to witness that stupid mistake!'
As long as you don't tell anyone Irene you'll get away with it... LOL

Sue said...

Sorry, but I had a huge titter and giggle at you pulling pins.... Errrr but haven't we all done that at one time or other.. I remembered the two times this exactly happened to us.. Once you have control of the boat you then look all round you to see if anyone was looking!! LOL!

Fabulous pics of the Newark Owl by the way!

Anonymous said...

Wow lucky yous lovely photos of the Owl, but do take care as water can be very powerful.
Ann Makemson

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