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.

Saturday 16 September 2023

May as well remove a shopping trolley, thought the volunteer lockie

 Would you believe we spent 6 hours in the pub yesterday! Kevin and Gunda are most definitely bad influences on us because once the lunchtime meal was had, the drinks kept coming. I started off on zero larger but that soon was replaced by the red wine and not small glasses either! By 7 pm we returned to FS, slightly worse for wear and what was this 'git gap' (Marilyn's saying which I have stolen) left between us and the next boat. Maybe no one wants to moor near us, could it be the top boxes and solar panels making us out to be dossers? This happens time and time again, we have even had boats leave as we moor up close to them. Anyway I'm probably being slightly paranoid, there must be a logical explanation but not yet found though.

So what was this nasty stuff in the water? made it look very yucky. It was not nice at all. Blooming stern rope fell in as I was removing it from the cladding pin, the coating looked like a brown gloopy substance and I couldn't even wash it off. That would have to wait until cleaner water could be found.


So much for the mini heatwave! I'm sure the Midlands area was included in the 27 degrees forecast on the Beeb. We were lucky to reach 20 deg today and with a slight breeze, made it feel cooler than it was. Once again it was a jumper and jeans day!

This morning we set off a tad after 9 am, our goal was to reach Atherstone town moorings to do a shop. As Ian was untying ropes, I had to smile at this poor runner with his dog coming across a family of Swans. 


Hoping boaters would have left the town moorings by the time we arrived, we dawdled all the way. A good job too as by bridge 31, and with us having to pass moored boats either side, the bow of a boat was seen coming through the bridge. Into reverse went Ian and unfortunately we nudged that moored boat. Thankfully no damage, it was just a scrape really, and with noone on board, couldn't even apologise.

it was that light blue boat we nudged

  Our concern over moorings were pointless though, because on reaching Atherstone top at 10 am, the volunteer lockies said we were the first boat to have arrived today. It was so quiet they wondered if a tree had come down blocking the channel. With this in mind they decided to empty the pound below lock 1, remove a shopping trolley that had been there for ages and refill before any boats (if any) turned up. Having been on duty since 8 am, they were very pleased to see us!

With only the two volunteers on, just the top lock and next were set for us. But we got lucky on the other three, every one seemed to have left the town moorings at the same time so it was one up, FS down until we made lock 5.


Wow, the Town moorings were nearly empty, we had our pick. The shopping trip was successful other than finding seeds to go in the bread mix. Lunch was had, we pushed off and proceeded to do the next 4 locks.

Between lock 8 and lock 9, with the bridge across a very short pound, was not where I wanted to meet another boat. But as my bottom gates opened, there in front of me and just exiting the next lock was my worst fears. Groan, I had a decision to make, hold back until they exited and came under the bridge, or make a dash for their lock landing before the gate was fully opened. I held back and was thanked profusely by the lady at the helm. She was terrified her tall chimney would get damaged in the bridge ole if she waited for me. Not sure why though, that bridge arch was high and FS would not have headed her progress. Never mind, it's nice to be thanked every now and again.

Our plan was to stop between lock 9 and 10, nice open moorings and very quiet but the pound was at least 6 inches lower than it should have been, not good to try and moor up in. Shame because it was the ideal place to get TV and watch Strictly Come Dancing which starts tonight.

So we continued to do the last two locks and find a mooring at the bottom and I insisted the mooring we found must have clear line of sight for the satellite. Guess what... where he beckoned me over to stop, just past the bottom lock, a bloody great tree overhung where he wanted me to stop, how on earth would that help my viewing! 

Anyway what he did first before securing FS was to retune the TV on our ordinary aerial and YES...BBC  was found so one very happy person. Ian also pointed out that the Rugby was on almost at the same time but on ITV. Hmm. let's just think about this one.... if he knows what's good for him, he will let me watch Strictly and anyway, he can watch the match on his laptop. Headphones have been charged so no excuse!

Out came the tin of black paint, we had only been moored about ten minutes. "What's that for?" I enquired. "To touch up the scratches made by you in the locks" he replied. Huh...what a blooming cheek I thought!


Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

Send our man who can back to me if you don't appreciate him - and make sure he brings his black paint ...
We are moored at the bottom of Foxton Locks now - about 6 or 7 boats have been past in either direction all day and we were the first in the top lock at 10.30am! The Leicester lock closure has had a huge impact! We are only one of 2 boats moored, and the other is moored on the waterpoint - no one has complained because no one has stopped!

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

I would gladly send him with the black paint, but he has decided to do the other side after we wind at Fradley. Oh, and I did get to watch Strictly. Said his life wouldn't be worth living if he hadn't!
I thought Foxton had a problem with one of the locks, it must have been repaired I suppose or are you staying at the bottom? You mentioned wanting to do them for one last time.
Best hunker down for today. (17th)Thunderstorms forecast!


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