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 31 January 2013

Saturday 26 January 2013

The last snow dump of this cold spell

For once the weather forecasters were spot on. Snow started falling around 5 pm and by the time we went to bed at least 2" had accumulated on top of the boat. Then this morning, when Ian went to take Jade out, he struggled to open the back doors. Even sliding back the hatch cover was a momentous effort on his part. As this picture shows we must have had at least 4-5" and with the temperatures plummeting to -3 we had ice to contend with as well.

The main road through Langley Mill was covered in snow and black ice. No wonder there was hardly any traffic noise. All the cars were traveling exceptionally slowly for once. Shame it cant be like that every morning. Although this is a good mooring, the noise is the only downside to our stay here.

Strangely quiet

I've taken a few more pictures of this morning picturesque scene.The canal was beginning to thaw out yesterday but the falling temperature over night caused a refreeze. This could be the last snow of the winter so I thought I would make the most of it.

 On exiting Langley Bridge, there right in front of me and playing around in the only bit of unfrozen canal, was those ducks I asked to be identified a week or so ago. I noticed yesterday morning one Mergancer male on the water. ( black and white ) Seems like he has been joined by another 3 males and 2 females.

Trudging through the snow was heavy going and even Jade kept sinking to her chest but we persevered and got some more photos of wildlife, some of which I will post as my daily pictures. I did get a lovely photo of some blackheaded gulls chilling out on the snow and their attemps to land without slipping.

Through the wood

Shame that the freeze has had to end. I loved the fact that the boat stayed clean. No muddy paws from Jade to contend with and how pretty everywhere looked. Downside is the struggle for our wildlife and the fact that I have slipped and fallen more times then I care to think about. One fall resulting in a rather painful right knee. So it's back to dull, dismal and wet conditions again. Roll on spring!

Looking a bit cold

Thursday 24 January 2013

Will she? Wont she? The wooing Robin

Starting his display

She seems interested

Or maybe not

She gives him another look

Still not sure

Okay I'm convinced

Wednesday 23 January 2013

Moorers in the sh....t

Since last Sunday we had been unable to use loo and elsan in the facility block. As a member of the ECP&DA, and as we are moored on one of their moorings for the foreseeable future, I felt that it was only fair that I should take over bog cleaning duties. C&RT are responsible for the block but it is the volunteers that do the cleaning. So once a week and usually on a Sunday I trundle over, rubber gloves in hand and plenty of disinfectant and clean both the loo and the elsan. Ian needed to empty our cassette so he came over with me on Sunday. Then, as I was cleaning the loo, he emptied the contents of our cassette down the elsan and suddenly the liquid in the toilet bowl started to rise. I shouted at Ian to stop and not to flush but unfortunately he had already pulled the chain. I looked on in horror as the contents of our loo now started filling the toilet bowl. Expecting the worse I leapt away from the bowl but thankfully it stopped about 1/4" from the rim. On going outside we noticed blue loo bubbling over the top of the manhole cover. Ian did no more then phone C&RT emergency number and eventually got through to a very nice man who said he would pass the message on. Ian made it very plain that this was a health hazard and he was once again reassured that someone would come and deal with it. Not 5 minutes later Ian gets another phone call to say that no one was available and could we put an 'out of order' sign on both the elsan and toilet doors. He assured us that someone would be there first thing on Monday morning. Okay, so we put the sign on the doors and that's when the trouble started. Langley Mill has a number of residential boats moored further up the Cromford canal. It seemed that they all wanted to empty their cassettes on that Sunday. In fact we know that some ignored the sign and emptied them anyway. ( I expect they had no choice ) More effluent rose above the manhole cover causing a bit of a stink I can tell you. Other boaters grumbled but had spare cassettes that they could use and waiting until the next day didn't seem so bad. Well...... Monday came and no sign of C&RT. By 4pm Ian phoned again. 'Oh sorry no one will be available until Tuesday' says the very nice man. So once again us and boaters alike had to cross our legs and hope that C&RT would turn up when they said. Finally by mid morning one C&RT guy and two men from Micro rod arrived. They lifted the manhole cover, got out a stick and poked at the contents. They then stood around for a while, made a phone call and poked the contents some more. From this point on I have no idea what happened as I was distracted by a Skype call but needless to say by the time my call had finished and Ian had gone over to see what was happening, the blockage was cleared and the loo and elsan restored to full working order again ( much to the relieve of one and all ). Ian did find out that the blockage was caused by people putting the blue paper hand towels down the loo. Me thinks I will have to put some sort of note telling people not to use the paper towels as loo rolls and in no circumstances to flush them down the loo!

Micro rod arrive with C&RT

Bit ripe

Lets prod it a bit with this SMALL rod

Best make a phone call

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