About Us

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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 18 September 2023

In two halves

 Sept 17the

With Huddersford Heritage gathering not until the 23rd, a couple of hours cruising a day is enough. We didn't get going then until mid-morning, hmm... leaves already on the stern deck, Autumn is just around the corner.

The first stop the services for loo emptying and water, then off to Polesworth where we had decided to stop. It was nice though, to moor before lunch and have a relaxing afternoon although for Ian, with the Rugby on afternoon and evening  TV was a must.

Compliments about my flowers happen on a daily basis. Considering they were planted in June, I reckon the canal water must be good for them.

 Geese at Polesworth

Sept 18th

I had literally woken at 6.50am, Ian was already up so I shouted for my first cup of tea. The sun was shinning and it looked lovely outside. But then Ian appeared, "How do you fancy setting off early." Hmm, hadn't really thought about it still being half asleep as I was. "Forecast is not good" said he "Rain coming in by 10 am." Groan...okay dear.... I was up, washed, dressed and had the tiller on by 7.15! By 7.20 we were away!

In the main the journey was good. At Glascote locks, even at the early hour of 9 am, there were boats coming and going. Always busy on these locks!

Turned right at Fazeley junction, my lookout (Ian) waved me on and off to find a mooring at Hopwas.

Skies looked ominous, would we make it before the rains came. 

At Hopwas we could have stopped, plenty of space but with the sun still shinning and still no the rain we continued on. Tomorrow's weather would be bad, the Beeb is always right...right?, the further we could get the better/

 If ever a canal is in need of sorting, this place was! Those reeds, they are a bane of boaters lives and at first we were lucky not to meet anyone.

So where does the canal go?

I ask you...this was ridiculous!

Dunstall Bridge

Just before Tamhall Farm Bridge, a boat was seen. I have said it many times, if only there was some sort of hand signal code to beckon boaters on. Having negotiated the single boat width channel because of those reeds,  I pulled in behind a boat to allow that boat to proceed. I had to stop, a stupidly moored boat totally in the wrong place made it impossible for us to pass. But there was a stand-off. that other boater had also stopped. I frantically tried to wave him to come on but still he waited. So what to do...this could go on for ages I thought, and I almost pulled out to continue but a good job I hesitated because he suddenly decided to wait no longer and started forward. Phew!

We stopped at Whittington. Rain was in the air and it was lunchtime after all. If only we could have stayed, it was a nice place with good TV and internet reception. But we had to move. And it wasn't because another boat turned up and moored right on our front button, there was no need really as plenty of space available, but no, he pulled back so close that even his ropes crossed ours!  Now what was I saying about noone wanting to moor near us? From the sublime to the ridiculous it seemed!

A long length of free moorings!

Rain just started.



 Anyway the reason was how we had to secure FS. Hardly a bolt holding the piling, the cladding pins were not really securely in place so every time the wind blew or a boat came past, a continues knock was heard as the piling stretched and contracted. We moved then, just around the bend. Got nicely tied, a spring was put on, both went inside and then decided how silly it was for us to stop now when the sun was shinning and how we might be able to make Fradley. So FS was untied and we started to leave just as another boat came around the corner. What happened next was very unexpected and that will be for tomorrow's post! 

And seen on route,

Approaching Pooley Country Park

The Golden Tower standing out in the sun

Rows of historic boats at Alvecote

A wonderful display of garden ornaments

A beautiful morning

And wildlife


nb Bonjour said...

Hi Irene, I've just read on Old Nick's blog that Kay uses a flash of the headlamp to beckon people on, like some car drivers do. I've never seen that before on the cut. We find at the distance you make the 'holding back' decision the other boat is often still so far away you can't quite see them if they are beckoning!
best wishes

Pip and Mick said...

Maybe that boat had read your previous post about git gaps! :-)

NB Oleanna

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hi Debby, It would be a good idea if everyone knew what a light flashing meant. The holding back doesn't happen that often I suppose, just have to cope the few times when it does.

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

You could well be right Pip. I hadn't thought of that. (: Xxx

Adam said...

We moored in exactly that spot, with no bolts in the piling. I resorted to a pin instead.

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

We could have done that too Adam, but Ian dislikes using pins because of those idiots that don't slow down! Cross pinning helps when necessary, but if piling is present, he will always use cladding pins.

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