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.

Thursday 11 March 2010


 After leaving Zouch we headed down the Soar towards Trent Lock finally turning of the river and onto the Erewash by mid afternoon. We arrived back at our mooring by Sandiacre Lock and as I still had some bait left from my last bout of fishing I threw out a handful of maggots, took out my rod , baited the hook and sat waiting for something to happen. Well I waited and waited and waited some more and still the float didn't go under. After 3 hours I decided enough was enough and was just about to pack away when the float shot off, disappearing that fast I hadn't even had time to strike. Well I don't remember the last time I moved so fast, but needless to say I lifted the rod and low and behold |I had caught a lovely Chub.  It was all worth while after all! 

Wednesday 10 March 2010

Dredging at Zouch

Dredging had started early in the morning. That was okay by us as any dredging work was beneficial to all who used the canals. What wasn't acceptable was the amount of movement we had on the boat. It felt like we were in a force 10 gale with waves crashing over the tow path and soaking all and sundry. When we stuck our heads out of the boat we found the dredger using his large bucket to propel himself along the canal. Everyone was moaning about this and I think BW realized that we were pretty mad about being tossed around so much, so they finally sent a tug along to tow him instead.

Tuesday 9 March 2010

Sunset at Zouch

As we didn't particularly want to go up the Erewash canal until Wednesday Zouch seemed a great place to stop. Ian decided to rub down and paint the gunwales and I tried my hand at fishing again. Well for two days I sat with rod and maggot and not a single fish or even a nibble was forthcoming. On the third day I gave up as a bad job and played with the computer instead.

Sunday 7 March 2010

Early morning near Loughborough

Here we are again. Iced over with winter still very much in the fore front. When will spring arrive!!

Has spring arrived at last!

We have seen snowdrops in their dozen but these small crocus's were clinging on to life in the middle of the towpath. I wonder how long before someone or even a dog accidentally treads on them.

Saturday 6 March 2010

And another decent fish

This time a chub. We had moored near to Loughborough on a good mooring site. As we had arrived before lunch, I decided to get the rod out again and see what I could catch. Well I persisted for over three hours without a single bite. I had just thought enough is enough, when the float went under and out came this chub. So I stayed for another hour in the hopes that there would be more to follow. But no. This was the only fish of the day.

Going nowhere

We left our moorings at Kilby Bridge bright and early hoping to be through Leicester before the schools came out at 3pm. Everyone said "Do not stop in Leicester". All the locks were against us but despite the hold ups we got through by 1.30pm. The Soar was down and the going good until we got to Thurmaston Lock.
These pictures show a partly open gate and you may well ask why did I take a photo of that. Welllll! This is as far as they would shut. Ian tried flushing water through, swinging the gate backward and forward but all of no avail. In the end we had to phone BW and ask for some assistance. Time was getting on now and the lady at the office said that someone would phone back. This they did at 4.30pm and said it would be a good hour before anyone would arrive. No problem for us as the mooring seemed okay even if it was on the lock landing. BW finally arrived at 6.15pm after having to come all the way from Fazely and promptly got lost. Well they tried in the dark to shift what ever was stopping the gate from closing and even when Ian went back to the boat for a torch so they could see what they were doing, didn't manage to shift it. " Someone will be back first thing in the morning" says the nice BW man, and sure enough at 8.30am they were there.

BW doing a grand job in removing whatever was causing the problem

Thurmaston Lock functional again

If you look by the steps you will see just what they pulled out from under the gate. Apparently it was a chair. BW reckons that it was sucked through when the gate paddle was open and somehow rapped itself under the cill stopping the gate from shutting.

Thurmaston Lock

I could think of worse places to be delayed. The dogs had a wonderful time going round the wetlands.

Friday 5 March 2010

Finally a decent fish

I had given up on the idea of fishing these last couple of months. Well you would wouldn't you when the maggots stayed on top of the water. Ice wouldn't let them sink you see. Anyway I had managed to get some bait in Wigston so on the first decent day, out came the rod and in went the bait and voila out came this perch. Ian is extremly pleased. Gets me out of his hair and stops me moaning about things for him to do round the boat now that I'm fishing again.

Thursday 4 March 2010

Yet another kingfisher

As usual I had to find my camara quick. (I really must keep it with me). By the time I took this picture we had travelled past it, but I still managed to take this. On the original photo all you could see was a flash of blue. Amazing what Picasa can do for a photo!

Tuesday 2 March 2010

Lock wall

It such a shame that locks start to deteriorate through lack of maintenance. This was taken at Pywells Lock no 21.

Same debris at Kibworth Top

This is now a week or so later and BW still haven't done anything about sorting out the weed problem!! The pile has certainly grown. There is even a smaller pile toward the bottom gates.

Monday 1 March 2010

The Ent!!!

Don't ask! All I know is that Ian suddenly got quite excited and pointed to the tree." Its an Ent" he exclaimed." What on earth is an Ent" says I. Well apparently you have had to have read or seen the film of The Lord of the Rings to know what it is all about. So now you know as much as me!!!
There is a bit more to this story. When Ian first pointed "The Ent" out to me, I didn't have my camera. As we were on our way to Market Harborough I said we would take a picture of it on the way back. Well imagine Ian's surprise when we couldn't find it at all. This convinced him even more that it was an Ent because these trees apparently move! It wasn't until we went back to Harborough a few weeks later that we found it again.

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