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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.

Thursday, 21 March 2019

And when there is no road link....

Groan....another VERY early alarm call, not by the ducks pecking away at the hull or by cars, lambs trains etc being particularly noisy but by the water pump suddenly springing into life waking us up from a deep slumber. Talk about giving us a shock! Only 5.45am why should the thing start now! A ridiculously slow drip from the galley tap was the culprit! Took all night for the pressure to drop low enough for the pump to kick in. For heaven's sake...couldn't it have waited another hour? Anyway needless to say we didn't bother staying in bed so by 7am we had got underway.

Stockton locks came up all too soon. Here we met several workmen carrying all manner of building material along the towpath. Me being nosey asked why carry all that gear. Turns out the lock house needed some work doing to it and with no road link, they had to trundle everything along about 1/4 mile of towpath. Bit of a B if you happened to forget the screwdriver!

Ian and I took it in turns to lock wheel and boy did I realise how unfit I was. That paddle gear on all of the locks on this section of the GU is of a 'worm gear' type which requires at least 21 turns of the windlass to raise the paddle. Hard work or what! Exhaustion doesn't come into it. More like bl**dy knackered after I had finished my stint. Now I know why I hate the Hatton flight of 21 with the same paddle gear needing at least 25 turns. So glad we are not going back that way!

I hate this type of paddle gear!
 Another staircase lock to do at Bascote. This time only two chambers making it easy and quick. Follow the instructions posted and you won't go wrong.

Having arrived at Radford Semele we stopped for lunch. Tried the TV with thoughts of possibly staying the night and found not a single channel on either the main aerial or the Omni aerial. I need my TV so we upped stakes, travelled a further mile to open countryside and tried again. Success. All the main TV channels and one very happy girl. Not far now to Warwick and Saltisford Arm. Ian phoned Ian (manager of the moorings) who told us space would be found even if we had to breast up. We need to stay until Wednesday 'cos NHS calls for check-ups again!

And wildlife today,

Low rise and....

High rise!

No wonder this bee crash-landed on the Solar Panel. Look at what it's having to carry!

About to nest build?

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