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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.

Monday 25 September 2023

Feline intelligence, I don't think so!

 I have to seriously question the intelligence of that cat! I think the owner has been moored along this stretch for quite a while, a bird feeder station was in the hedge! So this morning, as soon as I opened the back doors, the cat nearly ended up in the canal ...it was sitting on our back deck and right behind the starboard door, surely it heard the bolts being undone and the the back slide opened. I don't believe it's deaf...it heard its owner shouting for it the other day and high tailed it back to the boat. Anyway,  did it move???? No. It was only by sheer luck I saw it before fully opening the door! I had to coax it off the back deck And then, with the rain beating down, instead of going back to its owner's boat, just sat in the middle of the towpath getting very wet! Huh....and I thought cats were supposed to be smart. This one was most definitely not!

The mizzle continued as we left our mooring, Goodbye was said as we crept past those boaters that knew us and waved at those that didn't.

 It was extremely tight past the bridge with double-breasted historic's one side and traders boats on the other.



Once free of the site moorings good headway was made, very few boats were on the move in fact only three passed as we made our the way to Fazeley. We did see Nb Bonjour, there was a very brief chat as we cruised past. Lovely to see them, I think this was the first time we met but their blog has been read many times.


 It was just before the junction we stopped to take on water, gosh we have two large water tanks but having sat at Huddelsford since Tuesday, having showers and doing washing, the tank gauge showed only 40 percent of water left. We watched as a hire boat made a bit of a pigs ear doing the turn, although to be fair, the wind was more of a hindrance today than a help

Birds at Fazeley Junction

 What is it about Glascote locks on the Coventry Canal? Whilst watering only three boats came past, two of which turned right towards Birmingham and just one turned left toward Coventry, I was mightily surprised then, to see two boats waiting to ascend the first lock. I can not remember a time when we haven't had to queue, even in mid-winter! Anyway, the first boat had already entered the lock but the second boat, instead of moving forward to allow me to secure the rope onto a bollard, left it to go and help a single hander up. But the wind made the stern drift across the channel, it was that loosely tied to the bollard by the centre rope it was never going to stay by the side.

So with the wind blowing I struggled to keep FS near to the bank. Ian had already walked ahead and my strength is not what it used to be so I thought sod it,,, and moved as far forward as possible just so a bollard could be reached. This did mean the bow of FS was now further forward than I would have liked. Consequently when that boat's stern started its to return to the bank, FS was well and truly wedged between his stern and FS's bow!

 Ian returned and decided for our ascent to be quicker he would help the next single hander up the flight too.

 That left me to do the lock but then, seen coming toward the stern of FS, a hire boat with plenty of crew on board. "Would you like some help" said one of them. I was not going to refuse that offer and two out  of the 4 gentlemen on board saw me up the first lock.

Unbeknownst to us then, we would be spending quite a time with them the next day.

I caught Ian at the last lock, he had let water down and as I arrived the gates opened. Both of the locks had been slow filers, seemed to take an age to do the two in the flight, I decided a mooring was to be found sooner rather than later. Time was way past 2 pm, Ian happily agreed, the Rugby was on later and he wanted to see the Scotland v Tonga match. We stopped not far past the next bridge. But this was to be our downfall as we later found out, that is for tomorrow's post.



nb Bonjour said...

Nice to see you again! We have met before back in 2016 when we were still aboard Chuffed, and here is the evidence - http://nbchuffed.blogspot.com/2016/09/a-happy-meeting-on-erewash-and-bit-of.html
My photo of you is here - https://stillchuffed.blogspot.com/
Best wishes
Debby and Dave
PS your flowers still look amazing!

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Wow, thank you for jogging my memory. It was the boat's name and colour that threw me completely. I remembered Chuffed and meeting you and I should have put two and two together.
My flowers have been a source of wonder for many people, even I'm amazed at how good they look after nearly three months! It appears that canal water suits them!
It was lovely to see you both. Hopefully, paths will cross a lot sooner than the seven years it has taken.
Take care and enjoy the rest of your cruise.

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