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.

Saturday 30 June 2018

Search and rescue for a ditched plane (simulation).

 Last night watching the sun go down...magical.

Is that a fin I spied?

 A decision of where to go was a difficult one to make today. I needed to do a shop and Ian wanted to go to Ardmore but the only place where we could do a decent shop was Waterford. This meant either a long trip up to New Ross to cross the River Barrow or catch the East Passage Ferry with a cost of 12 Euro's but saving us a good 50 km. The ferry won!

So, the first port of call once across was stop for the Tesco shop. Here we were shocked! The prices for staple dietary requirements were astronomical. I ask you...2 Euro for a loaf of bread and nothing under 6 Euro for wine....well it's almost enough for this lady to give up on drink!

We ummed and ahhed over were to go next. Our biggest problem now that we are in County Waterford was finding somewhere to stop for the night. Ardmore is sadly lacking in either wild camping sites or paid ones and our water condition, as well as having to empty the loo, was getting critical. The only place where we could water up and empty the cassette was at a place called Helfic Harbour. So head for there we did.

Typical we missed the left turn toward the harbour and ended up going up a steep hill with nowhere to turn. Then suddenly a lookout layby presented itself. Here we stopped to take photos and was met by a local lad who told us that the harbour parking for campers was closed for the time being. All to do with a search and rescue simulation for persons in the water after a plane had ditched. This included the RNLI life boat, Helicopter rescue, Civil defence search and rescue, Police, Ambulance and Coast guard. He also informed us of a layby near to the harbour where we could stay until the planned incident had finished.

Look out point.
 So the wrong turn did us good and a very pleasant afternoon was spent watching it all unfold.

Lifeboat launch

Yacht rescue

Cliff rescue

A helicopter hovered overhead.

The safe return of the yacht
 By 7pm all the rescue vehicles had disappeared and luckily we were the first in the car park. Water tank has been filled and loo emptied at the toilets (permitted for a 25cent fee). Car park is now full and some very noisy children playing opposite but the view again is wonderful and worth any agro.

Friday 29 June 2018

A visit to a haunted house

Beautiful moonrise yesterday evening, first with a lovely orange glow and then the reflextion on the water about an hour later but I found without a tripod difficult to take. These are my poor attempts.

Travelled all of about 30 km to a place called Hook Head Point. Here a lighthouse shines it light day in day out and has done for 800years! The oldest working lighthouse in the World. To read about it click here.

After a delightful morning and a quick bite to eat we headed all of 6 km to the so-called haunted house at Loftus Hall.  We paid our 16 euro senior rates for a 45 minute tour. Of course a lot of what was offered was trying to scare us all but what I most loved about the place was the complete lack of any renovations and how delapidated every room was. Again to read about the place click here 
So we had a seance with a ouija board with supposedly scary strobe lighting and a card game played by hand picked 'landed gentry'. Ian and me were just plain peasants! But it was  all good fun and very atmosperic. A look around the gardens and we back tracked to Hook Head where wild camping was on offer. We are parked right by the shore so hopefully the sunset tonight will be spectacular.

Loftus Hall

How the hall used tpo look like

The rear

Loftus Hall gardens

Thursday 28 June 2018

Saltee Island & Puffins

Another hot day on the cards so plenty of sunscreens was needed. Today we booked to go to Saltee Island to see the seabirds and especially the puffins. A small boat arrived at the pickup point with seating for 12 persons. Us as well as two elderly gentlemen sat at the back. Big mistake! As soon as the boat left harbour the captain put the power on and consequently the amount of water gushing in through the sides and the drain holes at the back meant we all got drenched.

15 minutes later and very wet we arrived at the island. Tide was out so the only way to get on shore was by dinghy and then across very slippery rocks. Unfortunately for me, I was the last to get into the first dinghy to the island leaving Ian behind to catch the next one. Not so sure-footed as in my younger days, a gentleman came to my rescue as I was teetering on one of the rocks unsure of which way to go and took my arm to guide me to shore. Ian being the Gazelle he is negotiated the hazard without mishap.

Saltee Island

Ian with his white cap at the back

We had nearly four hours on the place to please ourselves and first thing was to find self-appointed Prince Michael's throne.

Only house on the island

The rest of the time was taking photos....all 360 of them and mostly of the Puffins. Oh don't worry I'll not put them all on here but if anyone wants to look at a selection feel free to click on this link.

Not sure if these Guillemots had chicks under them


Dolphin seen far out to sea



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