About Us

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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.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Lock obstruction at Audley

Blast....last night I broke the water jug.  Wanting 800ml of hot stock for a risotto I was preparing for dinner and with only a measuring jug of 500ml, I had the bright idea (or stupid as it turned out) to pour the 500ml into the jug and then top up with the remaining 300ml. But what happens when boiling water is poured directly into a glass? Yep, it cracks! So there was I frantically mopping up the hot stock pouring out of the crack, picks up the jug and the bottom falls out! Hey ho, one lesson very quickly learned.

Opening curtains first thing and a red sky greeted me. Hope this doesn't mean bad weather was on the way.

Today we had 16 locks to do, 5 at Adderley and 11 at Audlem. Plan was to stop near the Shroppie Fly so we can have a quiet Christmas day tomorrow without having to move on. The first 5 locks were full, apart from having to top up slightly through leakage, and we sailed down the flight in double quick time. Different matter at Audlem when the top lock had a huge reed mound right across the mouth of the gate. Before setting too to tackle the problem, a small cupboard right next to the lock housed a small fridge and in the fridge???? Icecream in small cartons. Well, chilly day or no, we just had to purchase 3 to go with the Christmas Pud tomorrow and with the cream I bought to go with it..double the indulgence. Yummie.

So to the reed mound. Try as Ian might, removing it from the water was a no go. Trying to open the gate to push it out of the way was also a no go but with swinging the gate backwards and forwards he managed to get the gate open. Trouble then was where it had stopped, directly in Merlins path. Nothing for it but to bring it in with me and hope it didn't stop me from leaving at the bottom.

Left the lock without a problem pushing the reed mound with me ready for the next boat to bring it back up with them when they ascend.

Looking down Audlem flight.
Seemed to bode well when the next 7 locks were all full and congratulated ourselves on a speedy descent but all change when the last 4 locks had to be filled. Another 4 locks were still do do but we stopped on the visitor moorings above the Shroppie Fly. Tried tuning the TV and again no channels found. I wanted TV on Christmas day so after a shop in Audlem for last minute bits, a bag of coal for the stove to keep us warm over night (last night was a tad cold to say the least) we pulled pins, descended 3 of the 4 locks and moored by open space and brilliant views. Keeping fingers crossed I tuned the TV while Ian held Merlin on the centre rope. Success at last when 86 channels appeared on the screen.

This will do nicely now until Boxing day.

Oh, and I must say a proper hello to the chap with the gorgeous English Bull terrier puppy. We had met before but it was only when Ian reminded me that the penny clicked. He reads my blog and we last met at Fazeley Junction. So hello and a very Merry Christmas to you and your adorable puppy.

And on route these Goosanders


Paul Clark said...

Hi Both

Merry Christmas. Hope the TV now works throughout (says he sitting in Tenerife with a choice of about 3 Spanish channels to choose from - at the moment a dubbed episode of Big Bang Theory seems to be holding my daughter's attention)...The "mergansers" - definitely good "winter" birds - are actually Goosanders rather than (Red-breasted) Mergansers. The females are very similar (RBMs are if anything slightly shaggier), but if you check out the males you'll see the differences more readily.

As a relatively new blog reader I'm a bit confused about Merlin's place in the scheme of things. Is it just an Anglo Welsh boat that you are moving for them?


Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Thanks Paul, always get those mixed up. Yes, we are moving Merlin for Anglo-Welsh but she is actually our boat. We bought her in 2003 and put her in the hire fleet for Anglo-Welsh to run. She has been to Great Hayward for a repaint and blacking and we are now returning her to her base at Bunbury.
Marry Christmas to you and the family and enjoy your Spanish getaway. Xxx

Alan Montague said...

Twas me again, Alan N.b. Quinquireme and my new companion is Jack, 5 months old and keeping me busy, I've only had him about 3 weeks.
I knew you were en-route having read previous post but I recognised Ian anyway.
Merry Christmas to you both and safe enjoyable cruising.

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hello Alan, Thank you for your Christmas message. Lovely to have met you and hopefully next time we can have a decent natter. That little Jack of yours is just gorgeous and no doubt quite a handful. Have a great Christmas and hope to meet in the New Year.

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