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 30 December 2010

Listing again

We had a very rude awakening at 2 am this morning. There was an almighty bang and the boat shuddered. Ian shot out of bed only to fall back rather heavily. The boat was listing alarmingly so Ian did no more then throw on some clothes and rush round to the lock. As he guessed someone had lifted the ground paddle and as the bottom gates were open, it dropped the water levels in the top pound by nearly 2 ft. Another boater had also arrived just before Ian and he closed the bottom gates and dropped the paddle to conserve what water we had left. Back to bed we went but a worrying night was ahead of us as the boat creaked and groaned continuously because the ice kept cracking. Next morning Ian phoned BW and they eventually ran water from above the last lock but so far we are still listing.

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Damaged fender eye

The chain securing our boat to the bank had so much force on it from the water level dropping that it sheared the fender eye away from the boat. This we assume was the bang we heard at 2 in the morning.Posted by Picasa

Tuesday 28 December 2010

Slow thaw

28th December and a mild night. Could this be the start of the big thaw? Ian broke the ice this morning to judge when we would be able to leave Sandiacre. As you can see it's still about 3" thick so not for sometime yet then!!!
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Wednesday 22 December 2010

Jade and Judy

We only had a bit of snow this morning. About 1/2 ". The dogs loved it though!! I wish the freeze would end. Looks like a white Christmas for us after all.
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Monday 20 December 2010


Today started as any other day. -6 and freezing. Ian decided to take the dogs to the park and Jade fetched her ball to take with her. So that Ian's hand wouldn't get cold picking up the ball, I suggested he took our ball chucker which was in the front locker in the well deck. So I lifted the lid and as I pulled a towel out of the way, a large rat leapt out and frightened me to death!!! I screamed loudly! Ian came running thinking I had fallen through the ice only to find me laughing hysterically shouting "Rat Rat" Unfortunately I have no idea where it went. The cratch cover was open but so were the doors to our lounge. Hopefully he made a bid for freedom outwards and not into the boat. So far there is no sign of it. If we suddenly find bits of food missing and droppings all over the place then we are in a bit of trouble and a rat catcher will have to be purchased.

Photo taken from the internet

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Sunday 19 December 2010

Big Freeze still with us

When will this freeze end!!!!! 6 days to go until Christmas and still stuck fast. At least we haven't had the snow just -8 temperatures. The birds are suffering in the frozen conditions and these young swans are no exception. They come every day for there breakfast. Buying in extra bread just to keep them fed. Somehow I don't think we will be leaving our moorings here at Sandiacre for some time to come. We have to be through Long Eaton before the 4th of January otherwise the stoppage will mean we are stuck on the Erewash for another month. I am getting bored. There is only so much cleaning and walking one can do. Even the dogs look at us pleadingly Its almost as if they are saying " not another walk " "Just leave us to sleep". I have resorted to playing computer games and watching endless telly. PLEASE LET THE FREEZE END!!
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Sunday 5 December 2010


We arrived back from I O W on Friday 3rd December to find we were still iced in! The boat was freezing so we did no more then start up the diesel heater, dump our cases and go shopping. When we got back the boat had started to warm up and after Ian lit the fire we were cosy in no time. I'm a bit concerned that our Christmas with our son at Milton Keynes will be a "no go". Even if the ice melted on the canal we would have problems with the River Soar. Just a hint of rain and the Soar floods so with all the snow melt it could be some time before we get off the Erewash. Ian reckons that we could still make Cosgrove by Christmas if we could get away by Wednesday of next week. Fingers crossed.
The snowy scene at our hotel in Shanklin. Most of my pictures are posted on http://nbfreespirit2.blogspot.com

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