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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, 21 July 2017

This could have had consequences.

Fully expecting to be woken by the first of the planes to leave Heathrow this morning, imagine how surprised to find we had slept in! The wind had picked up today and was coming from a different direction so instead of the planes taking off, they were now landing, so much quieter.



So didn't rush to get away this morning but, in saying that, for nearly 4 miles we were the only boat on the move until we got to Old Windsor lock. And today all the locks were manned. Good-oh.. or so we thought! To fill Romney lock the water flows in from the sides. This means that holding the rope against the swirling water you need muscles like Hercules! One other lock had a side fill and that was at Bell Weir yesterday. As that was self-service Ian brought FS up very slowly and so had no difficulty in hanging on and keeping into the side. But the lock keeper at Romney opened all the paddles, side and gate! Trying as hard as I could I couldn't stop FS's bow from swinging out. Every muscle in my arms was screaming 'stop stop' and my nails made grooves in the palm of my hands with the effort of gripping the rope. If a plastic cruiser had been next to me well....God help them!. So this lock keeper is not getting the thumbs up from me, in fact, felt a dangerous situation could have arisen if I had let go. FS's bow would have swung across with such force, hitting the other side and possibly catapulting me out of the boat!

Nursing my sore arms we continued along the Windsor Park stretch. This is a glorious bit to cruise and one also gets the occasional glimpse of Windsor Castle.





Coat of Arms on Victoria Bridge.
 As we neared Boveney lock I could see a chap in a small dinghy trying frantically to start his outboard engine. Ian slowed right down and a good job too as coming round the corner a huge cruiser. Us heading toward him upstream and the cruiser downstream. Now I could see the urgency of his actions.  Thank goodness he had an oar. It's the only thing that saved the day.



Boveney Lock
Stopped on an EA mooring above Boveney Lock. Only just got onto bollards as the 'not sharing rings' seems to be the norm around here.  Our arse-end sat proud of the mooring by several feet. Never mind at least we found a space, not like those coming along later all wanting to use the same mooring. (It's leaving those spaces again you see) We were about to go for a walk when a lady came up to me and said she read the blog. Not a blogger but one who loves the narrowboat life having hired in the past. Lovely to meet you Ann and your gorgeous dog Linda.  Thank you for saying such lovely things and it's nice to know I have at least one reader.


 Took advantage of being near Dorney Lake rowing course (site of the rowing in the 2012 Olympics) and decided to walk all the way round. 4 km, roughly 2.5 miles in a howling gale. How the rowers manage to row a race in those conditions is beyond me.




Looking toward the finish line in the distance.

And from t'other end, the starting line


We also found a lovely chapel, St Mary Magdelane.



And on route,

Windsor

Oh dear.

Freeloaders again! Snail yesterday, these today....what will be next!
And wildlife at Dorney Lake

















4 comments:

Graham said...

Irene,

I'm pleased to confirm that you have two blog readers

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Ooo..Thanks Graham. Xxx

KevinTOO said...

Irene,
I'm upset that I have to remind you that I'm your third reader... LOL

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Oh Kevin, How could I have forgotten. (: Xxxx

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