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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, 30 October 2017

Is it time to give up cruising?

Cold, dark  I just hate it when the clocks go back. By 5 pm its nearly twilight and by the time we set off to meet Pat and Roger it was already dark. Only the glimmer of the first quarter moon phase to light the way to Mercia. Good job Ian had remembered the torch!

Had a great evening chatting about New Zealand and the merits of buying a motorhome. Yep...we have made up our minds...a motorhome it is as soon as we find one we like. FS will still be lived in but our cruising days may be reduced. Both of us hate that the 'old school' ways have all but disappeared. More often than not we have had FS rock because a boater only throttled back at the last minute. Only yesterday we asked very nicely for a boater to slow down, only to have expletives come out of his mouth and rude hand gestures. Probably time we left the canals to those that want to rush. Anyway, we left Pat and Rogers place and stepped into the cold night air. Clear skies so no wonder it felt cold. So glad FS was nice and warm when we got back.

 Brrrr, woke to a cold bedroom this morning. Had the fire gone out? No, we must have closed the fire off to much last night and only a few coals were still alight. Ian did the gentlemanly thing by opening the vent and adding more coal while I stayed huddled underneath the quilt. And there I would have stayed until the first cup of tea had been forthcoming but he happened to mention that we had a frost last night. I was out of bed quicker than you could say Jack Robinson and took these photos. The first frost of the Autumn and a delight to see.

Leaving mid morning we arrived at Stenson lock to find it empty. Such a big and deep lock it takes ages to fill and I was glad when the gates finally opened. I tried to stay in the centre of the canal rather than tie up on the landing. Thankfully no wind and FS stayed where I put her. We also had help at this lock. Not C&RT but a chap who looked after the lock surrounds keeping it clear of debris and helping boaters through when they turned up.

Someone had a sense of humour. Brightens the day no end.

 Another lock that took an age was Swarkstone lock. Had to wait for a boat ascending. They were new boaters having just bought the boat so Ian stepped back and let them do it at there own pace. Cracked a paddle just a quarter and there it stayed for ages.  I was beginning to wonder what was wrong until Ian came over to put me in the picture.

We stopped at Cliffwood almost next to the River Trent and fabulous walks to go on. Took myself off to explore and ended up at the old railway bridge spanning the river. and the stone viaduct over the floodplain.

Viaduct over the floodplain

Old railway bridge

And on the walk



Jennifer said...

NOOOOO .... Please don't think of leaving the canals!

After we passed you week last Sunday near Ansty, we saw that deaf/French/Liverpudlian in his plastic boat. His boat was skipping and sliding all over the canal. Despite us nodding and saying hello to him (as you do) he ignored us. We couldn't understand what his problem was, the weather was windy, and we put it down to that. The boat was completely uncontrollable.

Regarding NB Together Forever, we know them, they are a super lovely couple, and they think the world of their boat. We spent several weeks in a marina with them last winter. Thank you so much for looking after them. Thank goodness you took pictures for evidence.

Thanks again, and best regards, Jen x

Nev Wells said...

A little sad to hear you are throttling back the 3mph stuff only to accelerate up to to 70 (+) MPH.... lots take that path and one we have thought about - especially for the dryer warmer winters somewhere south in Europe - if we are still made welcome which I am sure we will be. Good luck in the van search !

nb Chance said...

You seem to be getting to the same conclusion as we did, lack of maintenence and also its not the same on the canals over the last few years so many speeding, hogging moorings or not moving at all, the fun and friendship seems to be all but gone on the canals these days. Plenty of other things to do in the world and this country as you know, we certainly havent missed it but have great memories from when it was great fun! Lookimg forward to reading of your next adventures

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hello Jen, We do love cruising and would continue if it wasn't for those that think it's their given right to do as they please without any regard to anyone except themselves. That's why we are thinking of reducing our cruising time before we get totally cheesed off and leave altogether. Xx

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Your so right James and Doug, Australia opened our eyes to other delights and going away with a motorhome will open new horizons for us. Watch this space for more updates. Xxxx

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hello Nev, Ireland is one place we on our to-do list and going away for several months visiting the Emerald isles is high on our wish list. New memories to be made and shared. xxx

Marilyn McDonald said...

Hi you two,
The motorhome idea is a good one I think - well, I would, wouldn't I, given ours is swimming to NZ currently ... When I read that piece of news, and that you had been with Roger and Pat I thought 'Yay, they are coming to NZ to do this!' But sadly you are looking at touring in the northern hemisphere, dammit!
I have similar feelings about the selfishness of some boaters and have occasionally noted in my blog my pet hate of people leaving gaps between moorings - if I haven't blogged about it much, I have certainly ranted about it to David and any other person in my orbit at the time ;-) However I still find almost everybody is friendly on the cut, and people are universally helpful there - boaters, passersby, dog walkers. And that is in quite a stark contrast to people we encounter elsewhere in the UK - so don't overlook that! As you know, I am described by Jaq as a person who knows no strangers, and I find people on the cut are far more likely (by about 5 or 6 times) to be responsive to a hello, a wave, an impromptu chat.
I think you may have had a bad run lately with speeding and/or idiotic boaters - but as you know, they are not the norm, merely an aberration. And there are idiots in every sphere of life - dare I say it, we even have some here in NZ!!

Big hugs, Marilyn and David

PS When are you coming back here?
PPS About the only time this last season that our boat was in danger of being hit/grazed with much shouting was when a certain boat attempted to stop in less than its own length beside us in Penkridge - and there I was down in the engine bay changing the oil ... ;-) ;-)

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Yes, of course, you are right Marilyn. We can't fault the comradery we get on the cut. It's not that which is the problem but the sheer ignorance and rudeness of some boaters. We will still be cruising but not as often. As for coming to NZ that is still in discussion. We thought of buying a cheap campervan and spending several months touring and then flogging it when we return to the UK. It's all in the pipeline at the moment but rest assured you will be first to be told! (After the children of course). Oh and as for the sudden stop when we saw Waka Huia, to sail straight past and not seeing that oily figure emerging from the engine 'ole, well what a sight we would have missed. (: Oh and of course we wouldn't have sampled your delicious cheese scones. Xxxx

Marilyn McDonald said...

Cheese scones were one thing - but what about the haircuts!?

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

How could I have possibly forgotten the haircuts? .NZ here we come....it's haircut time!(: Xxx

Robert said...

I am rather saddened and shocked to read this - having only just discovered your blog! I haven't been on the cut since the early 2000s, but always hoped to return. I hope that there will be something to return to! It is bad enough that the lack of maintenance is finally taking its toll on the system, but it seems that ignorance and rudeness is becoming more of an issue on the cut, as it is in everyday life.

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