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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.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

1 rescue and a disappointment

Really loved last nights mooring. Not a sound other then the birdsong greeting the dawn. We may have stayed longer but I still hankered for going to Pendeford Mill nature reserve and Ian had spotted a possible mooring by bridge 4. So setting of just before 10am we made for the first winding hole. Now there are places on the Shroppie which are very narrow and sods law stated that we should meet not one, not two, but three boats coming towards us through the cutting. Luckily there was a lay by where we could wait but it seemed to take an age before all three had passed by and after each one I had to correct the forward movement of FS's bow swinging out.

Extremely narrow

The only passing place. Photo taken on our way back after winding.
  Got to the winding hole and did an almost text book turn. Was I chuffed or what! I'm usually useless at winding the boat. Anyway coming back toward bridge 7 I spies through the bridge 'ole what appears to be a boat winding. It wasn't until we got through the 'ole that it became very clear that a boat was stuck firmly on the mud. Three boats were in attendance so we didn't really think we would be needed to help. Then one of the boats upped and cleared off leaving the stricken boat still hard onto the mud. Thats when we stepped in. Needless to say the photos show what happened but I will say it took the best part of an hour to free him and at one point I didn't think he was ever going to get free.

Blue and yellow boat gave up on him

Stricken ship Nb About Time (you could say that (-: )

Please mister can you help?

And so to the rescue

Started top L by boat unknown. Followed by Top R  nb Tamerisk

Top R reversing (no boat name) Bottom L Tamerisk reverses and boat no name pulling to try and bring him off sideways. We join Tamerisk by breasting up with him. 


Top L Both 'Free Spirit' and 'Tamerisk' pulling...... Top R, Bottom L&R  'About time' comes off the mud

Free at last... Bottom R  Boats starting to sort themselves out and go on their way.

Finally waving a cheery goodbye we joined the convoy towards our destination. Having managed to moor up by a 48hour mooring at bridge 4 in spite of the concrete shelve (front end in but arse hanging out), I had a quick look on the internet to see about opening times of the reserve. Thats where my disappointment came in. The reserve only opened by prior arrangement. Something to do with the delicate environment and not disturbing the wildlife, so no doubt Jade wouldn't have been allowed in anyway. After a discussion on what to do we had a bite of lunch and at Autherley Junction turned R back onto the Staffs and Worc. We are now moored by Compton Lock, another nice mooring and the added bonus.......no knee high undergrowth!

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