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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.

Friday, 29 April 2016

A Halo round the sun and a surprise meeting

Amazing who one meets when not expecting it. Having set off fairly early (before 9am) it was only a 40 minute cruise back to Chester. Once again we stopped at the facilities and as Ian walked back to FS, empty cassette in hand, I heard him shout "Wally"? "Never" thought I "Cant be Wally and Sue from our part of the world, the Erewash Canal"! It was though. How uncanny to meet in Chester and neither of us knew the other was coming. Sue and Wally used to hold the most amazing New Year Eve parties and with their house right by the canal, mooring ours and other ECP&DA members boats was never a problem. Meant we could all have a decent drink and see the New Year in style. So we were both surprised and delighted to see them both in Chester, not having any idea that they were going cruising this year. We moved off the water point to breast up with Nb Midnight Special and then tea and biscuits appeared and a good 'ole chin-wag followed. Strange how one meets up with friends when one least expects it.

Once on our way we followed 2 boats going up the staircase locks. This actually was a benefit to us because it meant Ian didn't have to fill the middle and top chambers before I could ascend. With them now being full and with the help of a lock keeper it only took half the time for FS to rise up instead of the hour coming down. It also rained again so once more both of us got soaked.

Two boats in the middle chamber and me waiting in the bottom chamber.

One more to go
Before the heavens opened the sun made an appearance. A spectacular halo surrounded the sun  a sure sign of ice crystals around the thin cirrus clouds drifting 20,000 feet or more above our heads.(found this out on the web)

Not long after we stopped in Chester the rain became torrential. Ian was sorting out the aerial when a lady rushed up to him and asked if we were a trip boat. She was most disappointed when we he said no. Think she was hoping for a bit of shelter and I cant say I blame her. Even the ducks stopped chasing one another and bobbed up and down looking miserable.

Once the rain stopped we went for a short walk. Didn't get far because down came that rain again and we high tailed it back to the boat. Managed this photo before it started and shows us moored just below the wall. I must just say that we have spent 3 days in Chester, two days near the centre and one by the wall. Every night has been quiet and even though we had 4 youths sitting on the bench by FS last night until well after 10.30pm, never once did we feel uneasy.  For a city this is a great place to stop and visit.

Sitting on a branch by the wall 5 feet away from me.

And this Moorhen making the most of a bird feeder.

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