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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.

Friday, 23 October 2020

Unexpected cruise down the Erewash

 So....how wrong were we to think our last voyage on the Erewash Canal for this year had come and gone. No...a phone call came from Norman, ECP&DA chairman, with a proposition for us. "How do you fancy taking Pentland (ECP&DA workboat) down to Long Eaton lock and leaving it with one of the members on their garden moorings"? Gosh just what we needed to ease the boredom, but we did inquire as to why. It was all to do with the continuing problems with the pound being drained between Dolkholme and Long Eaton locks. The finger had been pointed to the 'little darlings' supposedly raising the paddles but it transpired it was actually boaters leaving the bottom gate open and with a faulty ground paddle that refused to close, the pound water just drained away. So C&RT had asked ECP&DA if they would go and see what could be done.

Wednesday then, I took Pentland out from the Great Northern Basin, through the swing bridge and moored her next to FS in readiness for an early start on Thursday. Now here is a bizarre scenario and one maybe could be answered by your good selves.  The back aerial (for the bedroom TV) is raised by a good 4 feet missing any boats moored nearby. So why then when Pentland was brought in next to us, we lost the signal all together? Even Ian, my man that says he knows it all (or he likes to think he does) was completely baffled! Answers on a post card please (or preferably in the comments box). Anyway checks on Pentland were done before the off on Thursday and good job too because the stern gland was completely devoid of grease, nothing to prevent the water coming in, so very relieved Ian picked up on that as I didn't fancy that 'sinking' feeling!

Early to rise then yesterday morning. Ian estimated a good 6-hour journey, especially in these autumnal conditions. Those still cruising the cut at the moment will understand that statement. Leaves...massive amount of them on top of the water but more importantly those hidden beneath the waves attracted to the spinning prop and sticking to it like leeches! You can always tell when the leaf ball is at its worst when the boat gets slower and slower even when the revs remain constant. Knocking out of gear and a quick reverse usually does the trick but short-lived when just as you get a good head of steam, back you go to a snail pace again.

Langley Bridge Lock

See what I mean!

 Had a few dramas as is our wont. Pentland is old...very old...and its gear box is a right pain. Not the ease of movement from idle to tickover and beyond. No more like brute strength on the throttle to get it into forward or reverse. Then the mild panic as you try to knock her into neutral and realised she is still in gear and not going to stop! A frantic jiggle with the stick  throttle and a sigh of relief as she does as she is told. Very nerve racking at first but by the end of the journey both Ian and me had the handle of her!

At Stenson lock one of the top gates wouldn't close. Thankfully we had the right tools for finding out why, a very, very long boat hook. This is what we pulled out.

Joined at Hallam Fields lock by a lone Cygnet and it wanted to get into the lock! Even with Ian trying to shoo it away, it was having none of it so determined it was. Ian got a proper telling off by it as he approached the bottom paddles!

And the reason why it was so resolute? Parents and siblings were below the lock.

 Nearly at the troublesome lock and this seen on one of the canal side houses.


Eventually reached the lock in question, top offside paddle all taped up, this was the one to be repaired. Then on the descent immediately the reason for the repair was seen.

Ian's guesstimation was spot on. 6 hours from departing Langley we finally tied Pentland on the garden mooring. Just needed to get ourselves back to Langley and our work was done. This could now be something we are asked to do more often, probably not as far as Long Eaton but any trip away from the winter mooring will be a bonus.

Oh, and now for a head scratching moment. Why is this narrow boat confined to a large garage? You will have to scroll to the end to see why.


And wildlife



The answer? It's a fabulous unique and very clever painting on a property wall.


nb Chuffed said...

Hi Irene, nothing to do with this post, but how nice to be out again! We heard a fascinating programme on fishing on radio 4, 15th oct at 11.30. It was Chris Yates the carp man, at a secret location where there was rumoured to be a huge carp. He was just chatting in a lovely way about the whole business of sitting waiting queitly in nature as well as actually fishing and it was excellent. I forgot about it till you posted!
have a good winter

KevinTOO said...

Hi Irene, now don't quote me on this, but I think TV signals come in either the Horizontal or Vertical direction it depends on the transmitter set-up. If you're receiving a Vertical signal and if Pentland was moored next to you and possibly in the line of sight from your aerial to the transmitter than that might be the reason. If however your local transmitter is pushing out a Horizontal signal then I have no idea whatsoever.... Moral of story, moor Pentland at Trent Lock or read a book! ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

KevinTOO said...

Additionally, this may explain it all better than I have done...

Tom and Jan said...

Irene I would have thought your mother would have explained this to you when you were very young. Despite your doubts..... Listen to Ian because he actually does know everything! :-)

Pip and Mick said...

Hi Irene

I long ago gave up trying to uderstand the dark science behind television signals. There is nothing logical about setting up an aerial. Nowadays I just plonk our aerial down on the roof somewhere and tune the telly. If it doesn't work I plonk it somewhere else until it works. I must say that since we've had a Moonraker aerial it is very rare to not get any reception.

In our house in Scarborough we get perfect reception from a bit of disconnected cable with no aerial at all!


Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Oh, I do so wish to go fishing again. Unfortunately, no fishing allowed here at the Basin although many a person do flaunt the rules! I'm hoping for more excursions with Pentland, it all helps to break the monotony of a winter mooring. I have purchased a painting by numbers though. Three Labs in a country environment. That should keep me occupied for a while.
All the best to you both. Xx

Jennie said...

I do love that painting on the property wall. Good to see you out and about. We are glad we moved the boat last weekend and not this! Take care and stay safe. Jennie xx

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hi Kevin, Gave that web page a look, thanks, and noticed something about foil back insulation blocking a signal. Now I have no idea what insulation Pentland has but I'm going to put that down to the problem. To resolve any future issues Ian will link it to the satellite. Means more cable to run the length of FS but at least it will keep him busy (:
Good job Pentland is usually moored in the basin, she will only come out next to us when needed.

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Ah but Tom, my mum said she was always right so you see, I am taking a leaf out of her book :) Xx

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hi Pip and Mick, We have never had much luck with the aerial flat on the boat roof but maybe we have the wrong type of aerial, it's one of those small rectangles types. Ian is going to link the TV to the satellite which should, hopefully, resolve any more problems. Xx

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hi Jennie, That painting is so lifelike even to the tiller shadow, clever and very well done.
I do hope we will be out with Pentland more often, it all depends on what C&RT have planned for the society and to date, there is quite a list! Covid might scupper any chances though as most of the Friday workforce come from within Nottinghamshire, and they are set for tier 3!
Take care of yourselves. Xx

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