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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, 22 September 2017

Opps, should have been more observant.

Before we set off I wanted to have a look at what we had missed by not going through Froghall tunnel. Crossing over the road, along a path and I found myself staring at the south portal entrance, but where was the basin? I expected it to be right on the exit of the tunnel but instead had to walk a short length of the canal to yet another surprise. A lock taking you down to Froghall Wharf. Moored on pontoons were two boats, both with minimal stuff on the roof. They made it okay and such a shame we couldn't make it with FS, especially as we did take FS through Standedge tunnel....twice (although we did have to take the top boxes off) and that was also very tight. If you fancy a look click HERE

South Portal

Froghall Wharf

Getting away before 9am the idea was we may as well get a few hours cruising in before the rain hit big time. Wrong...as we pulled pins so came the drizzle. Oh well, lets get past the river section and then moor. Stopped briefly at the Lime Kilns at Consall Forge. Completly different now to when we were last here. To see how they were back in 2011 click here.

Cruising past the station at Consall before arriving at the Lime Kilns

Lime Kilns

Another of those challenging bridge holes.
Coming off the river at lock 16 I happened to notice these newly planted Cyclamen under one of the trees. Made me wonder what might have been buried here? Or could it be a shrine maybe?? It's a mystery and wouldn't I have just loved to find out more!

By the time we made it to the Cheddleton Locks the rain had turned to mizzle. I had just started FS on her ascent and, smack my hand for not noticing, I suddenly realised the water was disappearing fast from the pound. Cricky...I dropped the paddle quick and Ian clambered up the ladder to have a look. He then took charge, walked to the next lock and opened the paddles, top and bottom, to refill the pound.

I must say the fish was pleased to get the water back. Watched them leaping in relief!

 The rain eased for a while so we continued instead of stopping at the Cheddleton Flint Mill. No sooner had we passed the lovely long length of mooring rings and we could have kicked ourselves for not stopping. It poured down for a good 15 minutes by which time Ian was soaked. I did the dutiful wife thing and went below keeping out of his way!

By the time we reached the Hollybush pub below Hazlehurst Locks, Ian mentioned eating out tonight. Jumped at the chance and the meat which had been taken out of the freezer went into the fridge for tomorrow. The rain stopped and stayed away. Typical as we could have carried on after all.

And still loads of Pheasants about.

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