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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, 27 October 2018

We pass at last.

It doesn't matter how many times you travel the same stretch of water, there is always something different to look at and experience. Today was no exception.

Setting off around 9.30ish Boveney lock was just around the bend. Welcome news from the lock keeper saying Romney lock was manned. Needing water we stopped at the bottom but had to turn against the flow into the weir stream to get to a concrete bank by the water point. So a warning to other narrowboaters. This is a very high bank which means the gunwales get tucked underneath the concrete and short fenders are a must hanging from the handrail to stop the cabin sides from being damaged.

Lock to the right, waterpoint to the left.
 I've mentioned before the glare off the water at this time of year. Only just noticed this cruiser in time.

There is a cruiser to the right.
Eurika, no more straining to open those gates and surprise surprise, where Romney lock wasn't manned yesterday there were two lock keepers today although I think the one in blue was a volunteer. This lock was the busiest since coming on the Thames nearly a month ago. Everyone was making a mad dash to get through Molesey lock before the stoppage on the 29th. Miss this deadline and you're stuck on the Thames for three months! You can't even get back to Dukes cut because Cookham lock will be out as well.

Here the lock keepers had a problem fully opening the gates. In fact, I had just cast off when the gates started shutting again. But although the gates wouldn't go back into the recess the Lockie let us through with care.

That's as far as the gates would open.

Cruised past Windsor and along the tree-lined Crown Estate and it was here we finally got to see Sue and Vic. Going in opposite directions so no chance of a stop and chat and apart from a brief wave and hello we went our separate ways. But I must say No Problem XL was looking good after all the work done on her. Take a look here & here on Sue's Blog. Sue, Vic, next year maybe?

And there they are.

Sue hidden behind her camera.
Gosh, some moving boats scare the living daylights out of me and this one was no exception. Seen in the first photo on the wrong side of the river then cuts straight across FS's bow in the second.

Reached Staines and found the perfect mooring on a pontoon. Sainsbury over the bridge and Wetherspoons to the right in town. Can't get better than that.

On the journey,

Well, it was blooming cold this morning.

Before setting off. Zero outside, brrr

Windsor again
 And seen on route,

Cadging a lift. A Grey Wagtail

Wing flaps down. I'm coming into land.

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