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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, 12 October 2015

Peppered by pigeon poo in Wolverton

Groan... not used to early starts so came as a bit of a shock leaving by 8ish. It is by far the nicest time to travel though, no boat movement, calm waters, reflections and wildlife to admire. Now that we are well into October we needed hats, scarfs and gloves this morning but once the sun appeared the day warmed up nicely and we could get rid of the outer wear. 

Coming under the railway bridge at Wolverton we had a job to dodge the pigeon poo. So many birds roosting on the beams and that smell of guano .... talk about strong. We got our mugs of tea covered pretty quick 'just in case' a missile landed in the liquid. Didn't fancy extra flavouring thank you very much! Then after the bridge came the sculptures of which I'm sure I have already posted pictures a few years ago. Never hurts to take another couple though.

Holding a train

And this one with cyclists
Cosgrove looked lovely on the approach to the lock, with the trees in their autumn colours and the reflections in the still waters. We had hoped to stop on the services but both taps were in use (below and above the lock) so we decided to push on to Stoke Bruerne bottom lock and do loos, rubbish and water there.

Cosgrove lock in the distance with the Iron Trunk Aquaduct still to cross
So we ascended the lock and headed toward the famous Grade 11 listed bridge (click here to read more about it) Here we encountered C&RT doing a bit of dredging and right in the middle too. This should  make life much easier for deep drafted boats. Once through the bridge it was plain to us that the dredging was serving a purpose. Back filling a newly piled edge. Think this was needed judging by the erosion on parts of the towpath. Having gone past we had 5 or so miles to do to get to Stoke Bruerne bottom lock. Always seem to take an age especially with our draft at 2'4-5. If we don't slow down to about 1000rpm we start to create a wash. To much bank erosion is happening these days and the last thing we want to do is add to it. So it was quite slow going until we reached Yardley Wharf near Yardley Gobion. From there we could speed up a bit and reached the services at Stoke Bruerne around lunch time.

Having filled the water tank we then ascended up 5 locks to moor in the long pound. Very nearly had a locking buddy for the passage up the flight but they too pulled in for water and said for us not to wait. All the locks for a change were in our favour so we managed to get moored by 2ish. First thing was to wash off the pigeon poo. Leave it to long and the paintwork gets marked. We found that to our cost when moored in Sandiacre! I then went off for a walk round the nature reserve hoping no bullocks were loose. None to be seen thank goodness but plenty of cowpats to accidentally step in! What with Pigeon poo and cowpats it's been a mucky sort of day.

Taken at lock 16 Stoke Bruerne flight

And this by lock 15

Saw this and wanted to say something witty about it. I'm not very good with captions so will have to leave this to your imagination.

On route and in the reserve.

Loving the apples

The Cosgrove Geese

Pheasant on the towpath


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