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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, 17 June 2013

Erewash mob explorer cruise

Or should I say boaters pub crawl! After the men had helped to clear the site to celebrate a cracking weekend, the chairs, beer and wine came out. Scones and other nibbles were produced and even though it was a tad chilly we had a great time. The midges became a real issue as the sun set and one of us (me) resorted to drastic measures to stop being eaten alive.

New fashion in boaters wear!

The Erewash mob. Heather looking out of our cratch. Then there was Dave, Michael, Marleen, Malc, Jackie, John, Gillian, Margaret, Dennis, Ian, me and finally Carole.
Michael, who had arranged our explorer cruise and was the fountain of all knowledge as far as canal side real ale pubs were concerned, decided that 9am was a good time to leave. By 9.25am there wasn't even any movement from their boat Electra. By 9.30am Electra's back doors opened, tiller on, engine started and cries of 'lets be off' was heard.

Talk about everyone rushing to undo the ropes. As Electra was on the outside she had to be away first.

Looking back. Lots of boats setting off. Luckily for us, all heading back toward the Wolverhampton 21

First part of the cruise was up the Anglesey Branch to the Chasewater Reservoir. First stop before we reached the junction, and one that was very necessary after being without water and elsan since last Wednesday, was the facility stop and Tesco shop at Brownhills.

Brownhills facility block

 With us being last boat in the convoy we happened to be the first boat away and reached the dam of the reservoir first. My only criticism to a lovely spot is the lack of moorings. 3 boats can moor, 2 easily and one next to the bank. Any others have to take pot luck if they can get into the side.

Two good moorings with rings on the hard standing. We got in behind the cruiser.

Chasewater reservoir feeds all of the BCN


No moorings to be had round the outside.

All our mob arrived.

We had already walked up to the reservoir before the other boats arrived, and Dave on Bracken had second thoughts about walking up to the top, he winded and headed out, then Aroma with John followed and we made up the rear. This left Elecrtra and Icing to take our place to have a wander up to the reservoir.

This sign is opposite Catshill Junction onto the Daw End Branch of the Curly Wurly

 Our journey continued along the curly wurly and Michael had left instructions to moor by the Manor pub on the Daw End branch of the Wyrley and Essington. I can see why not many boaters venture along this section. It is greatly in need of dredging. Hard going is the only way I can explain the trip to the pub. No point in trying to go any faster then 1000rpm because we were scraping bottom nearly all the way. I did notice loads of purple orchids growing along the towpath. Probably able to survive because not many walkers or cyclist were present.

Ian spent a good 15 minutes removing this hessian sack from the prop.

A bit of tree pruning at the Manor moorings

Moored at The Manor Pub. Icing, Free Spirit, Bracken, Aroma and Electra.

And finally:-

Morehen Chick having a wash and brush up

Blue Tit by the Fingerpost Bridge at Pelsall. Its nest was in a mortar crack.

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