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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, 11 September 2017

How many inches in one foot?????

Sunday 10th September,

 Could not believe what we saw when we arrived back from the train trip last night. Stretched right across the path and tied to railings, a rope from the bow of Anglo Welsh hire boat. Talk about a trip hazard. It was dark and the only light we had was from Ian's phone. Got back to FS and Ian did no more than to walk back, untied the rope and threw it back on their bow.

So this morning.....the lady in the cottage whose rail was being used as a bollard, phones Anglo Welsh saying they were moored illegally and the rope was tied across the path. Yep, they had only gone and secured the boat after returning from the pub. A person from Anglo Welsh yard arrives and tells them to shift. Mooring officer walks by and told Ian they hadn't paid the mooring fee and says he is in half a mind to send a £60 fine to Anglo Welsh! Gosh, it was all happening this morning. Before we set off, Ian gets an email from C&RT confirming our booking down the Montgomery. A sudden burst of laughter as he now believes FS to be resized. We are no longer 57 foot. Oh no... FS is now 56 foot and 12 inches! 

By 9 am we were ready to leave and followed a hire boat with the idea of not having to get off and walk the narrows. Hmmm, bad move as the bends really took it out of them.  But at the lift bridge they allowed us to pass and what took three hours to get up to the Llangollen from Trevor only took 2 hours on the way back going with the flow.

The narrows again.

Another typical moment occurred at the junction. Having not seen a boat travelling in our direction we meet one coming through the bridge and from then on it seemed all the boats were on the move.

Railway Viaduct seen from the Pontcyscllte Aqueduct.

Pontcysyltte seen from the embankment.

If we had thought the journey up to Llangollen was bad, well going back down was even worse. So many boats on this popular canal, mostly hire boats, and bang went my theory of the end of school holidays and less traffic. Is there a right time to do the Llangollen? Winter maybe? Anyway, it's one that certainly keeps you on your toes especially as we did meet boats at nearly every bridge 'ole.

Over the two aqueducts again,

Through the two tunnels, Whitehouse we went straight in but had a long wait at Chirk.



 Was serenaded through Chirk tunnel by the three tenors.  Singing Jerusalem they were, with their wonderful Welsh voices. What a treat.

At New Marton Locks, by 'eck it was busy. Initially, we thought the boats waiting were all using the water point. The lock landing was through the bridge so stood to reason those waiting before the bridge wanted water. Boy was we wrong. Hands waving at us to go back and join the queue and with dismay realised there were at least 5 boats in front. Now, wouldn't you think that by going up to help it would hurry things along? As normal it was Margaret and Ian that did all the locking helped eventually by the boat's crew that was next in the line. Not one from any of the other boats came to lend a hand, happy to leave Ian and Margaret to do all the work.

Thankful to arrive at Jack Myton and booked a table for tonight. Tomorrow it's onto the Montgomery joining the 7 other boats all with the same idea.

And a few more photos of our time in Llangollen

And wildlife today,


Jennifer said...

Fabulous pictures, I've got serious camera envy!

I don't know why people don't help each at locks. Locks are a great place for sharing experiences and info.

Thanks refreshing my memory.

Jen x

stevefree said...

Missed you, I think you were in the Monty queue when we passed yesterday.
We have cancelled our trip up the Montgomery as Angela hurt her back on Friday jumping off the boat and it's still bad. Intending to do it on the way back instead. Only New Morton locks for me to single hand in the next week, so she can give her back a good rest.
Nb Tumbleweed

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Shame we missed you, Steve. Hope Angela starts to improve soon as there is nothing worse and frustrating than being unable to do anything. Send her our best wishes. Xxx

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