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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.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Waxing Gibbous phase.

Wonderfully clear, the sky last night. Even saw a fair number of stars, although nothing compared to the skies of Australia and New Zealand. But the moon showed up in all it's glory even though it was a half moon in its waxing Gibbous phase, more than 50% illuminated but not yet a full moon. 

Again didn't travel too far today, just as far as Berkhampsted. Leaving this lovely rural mooring on the Wendover (one to remember in future as an excellent place to paint the roof) all to soon we were at the junction of the GU at Bulbourne. 

Several lock free miles was then cruised before finding ourselves behind a very slow boat, Life of Riley. The captain waved us passed but... oh dear...as I had all but drawn level, I realised there was a long line of moored boats. The captain had all but stopped so I had to continue but a little faster than I would have liked. Sorry to those moored as it wasn't tick-over that's for sure. At 1000 rpm felt it was a tad fast.

At Cowroast lock a grand sight of a water point. The one at Bulbourne had a queue so we decided not to wait. But the water point was on the lock landing, not the best place to take on water. We managed to stop far enough back to keep the bollards free. Then NB Life of Riley turned up. It was our turn to wave them past as another boat was just leaving the lock so we told them not to wait. 

But it was not the end of our sightings of Life of Riley. Took us 15 minutes to fill the water tank (lovely strong water pressure) and then a further 5 minutes to refill the lock. Another two locks were done,  the Dudswell pair,  with the first having sustained some damage to the top gate. Looked fairly recent too. 

Both locks were empty and needed filling so when we suddenly spied them in the distance in Northchurch Lock we thought, goodness their slow pace had continued. The bottom paddles had been lifted when the chap realised we were approaching. He did no more then jump off the boat, close the bottom paddles and lift the top for us to come in. What lovely considerate boaters but then a problem arose. For some reason the water wouldnt equalise and in the end, I had to set Ian off onto the bank to help open the gates. The amount of leakage through the bottom gates, well.....it's never a wonder they had trouble!

We did the remaining three locks with them before both of us mooring between Gas Lock 2 and Berkhampsted Lock.

Shopping at Tesco and then to Waitrose for beer (only a Tesco express so limited stock) before getting back to FS to dangle a maggot again. Not much in the way of bait left so now on the lookout for another tackle shop.

And seen on route,

Wendover Arm in the distance

Cruelty to stuffed animals????

This Tern followed FS on the way back to the junction. Could it be the same one that followed us to the end of the Arm? Lucky enough to get this shot as it caught a fish.

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