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.

Friday 19 February 2010


Not a lot of room on a boat for babies. We managed, just!. How they coped on the working boats all those years ago I wll never know.

White out

After getting to Debdale Marina and filling up with diesel, we winded and headed back toward Newton Harcourt again. We needed to go back to Kilby Bridge to move our car back to Sandiacre and also to look after our grandson Joshua while Christine went to work for a few hours. Again we set of in almost perfect conditions weather wise. We had just locked down 4 flights and only had one to go when the snow came again. As there was nowhere to moor we had to keep going. Well to say I was steering blind is an understatement. More by luck then judgement did I manage to keep the boat in the middle of the cut rather then on the bank!!! We did find moorings eventually, but not until we were back to where we had set of this morning. Every part of me and Ian was wet through. So thankful the boat was warm inside.

Still dredging

It must easily be over two weeks since we saw the dredging by Saddington Tunnel. I couldn't believe that they were still at it. What a grand job they are doing.

Debris at Kibworth Top Lock

At Kibworth top lock we came up against all this dead weed and reeds. Before we attempted to leave the lock Ian had to clear all this debris from behind the gate.

Mitchalin Man

Leaving Newton Harcourt

Just before we left our moorings the dogs had a mini nut spell enjoying the snow.
Our first lock was quite daunting. Talk about slippery! I was very relieved when Ian decided not to walk agross the gate to open the paddle on the other side.

18th Feb and more snow

We left Kilby Bridge on 18Th Feb heading toward Foxton again. We needed diesel and so cruised down to Debdale Marina. The day started so well with light winds and clear sky's. We did all seven locks and 3 miles up to Newton Harcourt in 2 1/2 hours. As Ian wanted to use the chainsaw to cut up all the wood we had scavenged along the way, we decided to moor up for a few hours and then set of once the wood had been chopped up. I am so glad we decided to stop when we did because the snow started and came down in the biggest flakes we had seen for some time.

After an hour of heavy snow!!!

Sunday 14 February 2010

Not more snow!!

We left Market Harborough on Wednesday 3rd February. We had some fabulous news from Ian's consultant. The MRI scan done on the previous Thursday showed that the tumours on his back were shrinking and the one under his arm remained static. We are now no longer tied to the Hospital having to have chemo every week. We are free to go where ever we want to with no time restrictions to slow our progress. Its fantastic not to have to worry where we will be so Ian can get public transport to the hospital. What will we do with ourselves now?
On arriving at Kilby Bridge we met up with our good friends Pat and Keith. As the place was so good we decided to make use of the 14 day moorings and make the most of touching up the paintwork that had been damaged by the ice in January. Imagine our surprise when we woke up to see the white stuff had returned. As the weather had also turned so much colder painting the outside of the boat was a no go, so we will now have to wait for another week or so before getting it done.

How wonderful DREDGERS

What a grand sight. We had only been saying that the Grand Union needs dredging and low and behold there they were.

Duck lookouts

On our travels Ian found the yellow duck sitting on a lock gate. We decided to make him our mascot and glued him on top of our omni aerial. A week or so later Ian again found another duck. As he was so much smaller we made him our "baby Mascot" Now we are on the look out for more so we can extend our duck family!!

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