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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.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Ah..looks like this will have to do for tonight.

Tuesday 26th Sept

Great game UNO  and last nights game with Dave and Heather didn't disappoint. For two hours we had much hilarity and enjoyed every moment. It was late when we finally made it to bed, not because of the card game which finished by 10.30pm but because getting back to FS and we sat up to watch the Invictus games recorded earlier.

So a lie in this morning until 8.15am. Good job we got up when we did because, just having started breakfast, a toot from a boat horn was heard right by FS followed soon after by my name being called. Rushed out to see a couple on a hire boat. For a moment I was baffled as to who they were until Stafford boat club rally and Pelsall was mentioned. Then the penny clicked as it was none other than Graham and Margaret. Graham is a brilliant photographer and we met whilst I was walking the towpath on the Staffs and Worcs trying to capture birds in flight. His wisdom and knowledge helped me immensely and am very grateful for the advice given. Unbeknown to us they had been moored further back, what a shame we didn't know as I would have picked Graham's brains about getting the lighting right. Our paths will probably cross again (they do eventually with this boating malarkey) and next time I will hopefully get the advice I need!

Dave and Heather left soon after 9.30am heading for Llangollen and after giving FS a quick wash we set off for Rugeley. Colwich lock was again busy but this time we happened to pass two boats just getting ready to set off so not forth this time but second in line.

Reaching the diesel boat at bridge 69 we pulled in for a top up. At 63p litre it was well worth the trouble in trying to get alongside. The boat was moored by a small holding with free range chickens and pigs. The piglets were adorable and couldn't resist taking a photo of the one heading towards us.

How cute is that!!
Eventually made it to Rugeley and gosh Rugeley was busy. If a space hadn't been available before bridge 66 well, shopping would have had to abandoned.

Got to Armitage and the nasty sharp left hand bend after the bridge. Sods law played it's part again by us meeting another boat. Into reverse with clouds of smoke as the throttle was pushed back and then we waited and waited but that boat didn't come through. Instead we watched it head straight for the opposite bank. Finally and after having to try and keep FS from deciding to do her own thing by drifting toward the centre of the canal, the boat eventually came through. Turns out he got stuck on something under the bridge. Oh help....would that happen to us? Asking what his draught was, 3 foot was the reply. Think maybe we would be okay at 2 ft 5" but we did creep as we went through just in case

Armitage narrows
Wanted to get to Fradley but by now the afternoon had almost gone. A BBQ was planned for tonight, the weather had been perfect all day, so we pulled in on a mooring about 2 miles from Fradley. No pilings so pins would have to be banged in. Bow got in but the stern struggled sending up clouds of glutinous mud. In fact too much power and we managed to get ourselves stuck!!! Oh well, not going to move now so this will have to be sorted out tomorrow.

Wildlife today.

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