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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.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Got there in the end.

Late yesterday afternoon I went sloe picking or tried to, they were just that bit too high for me to reach. All the big juicy sloes were at the top of the bush so collared Ian in bringing the boat hook to pull-down those high branches. In that way, a good quantity was picked so all we need now is to purchase more Gin.

Today we made the Thames. But not before doing several more locks and one lift bridge. Now I had read on someone's post (can't remember who) that this lift bridge refused to stay up and they resorted to using the boat pole. I didnt need the pole as I had a much better 'keeper upper' in my 'man that can'.

Reaching Dukes lock FS descended and then I took a right turn towards Dukes cut. One more lock took us onto the cut and a 10 minutes cruise, passing the Kings lock weir and finally we were on the Thames. Here we turned right and headed upstream.

Turn left towards Kings Lock and right toward Eynsham Lock.
 The first lock was at Eynsham. The self-service board was up which was all well and good but where do we get our licence? Ian was emptying the loo at the service point and I happened to spy a lock keeper going into his hut. Tapping on his window he told me that from October 1st no more assisted locking from the keepers. "All we want is a licence" said I. "Ah in that case I can assist you with that" he stated.

Eynsham Lock

At the service point

The only way to close the gate if you don't want to walk around..
 We did get some help from him though, he opened both gates. But it did mean having to close the far gate which was a bit of a pain as normally we only exit through one gate. So £185 lighter and clutching our month's licence, we made for Pinkhill Meadow. Here back in 2015 I was lucky enough to photograph a hunting Barn Owl. The owl had been named 'the Pinkhill Owl' by Sue Nb No Problem XL long before I got to see it. This is one of the reasons for stopping here for a day or two. I live in hopes of seeing it again.

Pinkhill Meadow.

And on the journey.

Lock by Dukes cut. Nothing to stop the paddles dropping so this hook was used instead.

Sunk in Dukes cut

And this on the Thames.

Pinkhill Lock
 And seen on route,



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