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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, 8 September 2017

Cripes... is that another boat entering the tunnel?

Yesterday's internet, almost non-existent especially after 3.30pm. I have a theory about that. Kids arrive home from school, get on the computer for face book messaging, twitter, game playing and maybe a spot of homework and with the high usage, bang goes the signal. So now for a catch-up.

  Thursday 7th Sept

Gosh, Ellesmere was busy. Boat after boat turned up last night mostly hire boats. So glad we got moored when we did. Had a visit from old friends Alan and Judith and members of the ECP&DA Boating had been their passion for years but the time had come to sell the boat and with few items surplus to requirements, they donated to the society the keys for the Middle levels,  EA and Anglian water, plus the windlass needed for the lock operation.  Lovely to catch up with the news and remembering tales of when we were all in Lancaster together. It's a motor home for them now so we may well see them at our Festival next year.

Because of the amount of hire boats arriving last night, we set off early for the facilities. Good job too as several boats turned up and with three hoses all attached to three different taps filling the tanks, the pressure dropped and the fill took forever. In fact, we gave up, deciding to fill at New Marton locks instead.

Again we met boats at bridge 'oles. One ended in a collision as the hirer reversed and then put on the power. The result, a side on thwack. Just one of those things that we have to accept. All part of the fun of boating.

The boat that hit us.

You would think that now the school holidays were over there would be less traffic on the canals. Not so as the locks were extremely busy.  Apart from us, Icing and one other private boat it was all hirers waiting.

The upper part of the canal to Trevor has those very narrow concrete channels that are a pain. Not only did we struggle to move against the flow but with moored boats leaving only enough room for a boat width, the only way to allow boat passage was to pull over and wait.

A bit of a bottle neck

I walked Chirk aqueduct, the tunnel and Whitehouse tunnel. Not because of the mishap I had yesterday but wanted to take photos. Those tunnels are dark and at times, even with the headlights of the boat, I struggled to see the hand rail. At Whitehouse tunnel, I honestly thought a boat had tried to enter from the far end (two boats can not pass in these tunnels) and had a moment of panic and all ready to tell Ian to stop but then sudden realisation. It was a chap pushing a bike with the bike's headlight on coming toward me. No room either for people to pass so I had to reverse turn around and go back to the entrance.

Upper left and lower right. The small dot of light I thought was another boat but was a cyclist..

Eventually made it to the embankment before the Pontcysyllte aqueduct. Found a mooring for both boats and looking forward to doing the Aqueduct tomorrow morning.

And seen on route,

Lion Key moorings

And I never knew that. May well use the pontoons now we know it's free.

Chirk aqueduct tunnel end.

 And wildlife.


Linda Chandler said...

I'm so envious of your kingfisher shots, I'm always too slow to catch more than a blur. Lovely to meet a fellow blogger - hope to see you again somewhere along the way
Best wishes
Linda, Carl and Tricky
Lady Aberlour

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Lovely to meet with you too especially your adorable Tricky. Next time we must stop for tea or maybe a glass of beer?wine? or two. Xx

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