About Us

My photo
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.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

It's been a sloe day!

Monday 2nd October

 A leisurely sort of day knowing we only had 10.5 lock free miles to do. The only thing to contend with was the wind. The canal runs parallel to the railway line for many miles so consequently lots of open fields with very little in the way of trees or hedging. So meeting moored boats was a challenge especially as tickover wasn't an option. We had to keep the revs up to 1000rpm to stop us going sideways into those boats although I must apologise to the owner of the boat we banged into moored by the bridge 'ole. That sudden gust took us right into it and having to keep left because of the bridge, there was no way of avoiding it.

We were on the lookout. Having bought more Gin, Sloes were now on our minds. Ian happened to spy a large bush full of them, big and juicy, but on top of a bridge. A lovely long length of piling for us to moor to. Unfortunately, in the process of bringing the stern in we got a bit stuck. Never mind, Sloes came first and trying to leave would have to be sorted out later.

Boat hook comes in useful. (No branches were harmed during our picking)

Another bowl full was picked and then we had the task of getting away from the side...with the wind blowing us back onto the towpath and avoiding that boat in front. Every time Ian pushed the stern away to try and eradicate FS from the silt, I put on the power, the tiller to the left to get the bow out. It was not going to happen and it was only by going into reverse that the stern got free and with Ian pushing hard on the bow, finally we could get clear of the boat. Ian literally lept back on FS without a thought of the consequences and managed to hang on...just. Phew....maybe we should forget picking Sloes in future, or then again.....the finished product is ever so nice! 

Blisworth Tunnel after the Braunston tunnel is actually a joy to travel through if one doesn't get that raised hair feeling. It is straight and seems to be wider...or is that my imagination. Fond of imagining things in this tunnel. For new readers click on this link to see why.

 I mentioned yesterday my concern of the position of the headlight. You may recall we were told it was too bright. We didn't adjust the angle waiting instead to see if they were indeed right. But this photo shows clearly that it is low and to the right so still unsure as to why they moaned at us.

You can see the beam directed down.

Took just 34 minutes to do the  3,076 yards (2,813m) long tunnel. Our Nicholsons also states it is the third longest waterway tunnel in Britain. And no boats met...fabulous. Hope for the same on our return in a few weeks. Very surprised not to see a single boat moored before the top lock at Stoke Bruerne. Most unusual. Good for us as we took the bollards before the disabled ones (they are painted yellow). So table booked at the Navigation and now we await the family.

Completly empty

And wildlife,

Not seen a thrush for a long time.
 And not really wildlife but couldn't resist.


Pip and Mick said...

Hi Irene
I agree that Blisworth is a far nicer tunnel than Braunston, that kink in the middle of Braunstan is a b****r.
As a matter of interest we have our tunnel light pointing UPwards and to the right so it points straight at the brickwork on the roof and nowhere near an oncoming steerer. This also has the benefit of highlighting any roof profile changes. We also have a bright torch at the back with us on the hatch again pointing up and right. Saves head banging!
NB Oleanna

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Good tip thanks. Must try that in the next tunnel. Xx

Blog Archive