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 4 September 2023

Should we have moved it?

 Our plans to leave early went a bit awry. A second cup of tea was brought in to me at 7 am and Ian, instead of getting dressed decided another half hour in bed wouldn't hurt. By 7.45 I mentioned we should get up and then "fancy a boiled egg for breakfast?" I enquired!

Pulled pins then a tad before 9 am. I took my place in the cratch, ever hopeful to see another water vole. Searching the reeds and signs of one swimming across the cut, not one to be seen. I was in the perfect position to take a few photos though.

At the junction I was on lookout and gave the sign as FS's bow broke free off the bridge hole that all was clear. Turn made I noticed that burnt out boat we had seen 10 days ago but had now left the bankside mooring and was well into the channel. That cone showed the hazard, I can imagine the panic on some boaters faces when they suddenly came across it!


Charily Dock lay ahead, I don't usually get this view of it being on the helm like, it doesn't get any better the more years that have gone by in fact more clutter seems to have been added.



With only about an hour cruise ahead of us before we got to Hawkesbury Junction, a phone call from David (Waka Huia) to say no moorings were available near to them. We had been in communication since leaving Snarestone and decided to keep them company and annoy the hell out of them for another week. So we stopped at the end of a line of boats, Ian went ahead to see if anything was available and phoned me to say there was space and to bring the boat. By the time I arrived to where he wanted me to pull in, David had arrived. Well I took one look at the gap and said "No chance". Why is it that some men insist that things are bigger than they are? That gap was way too small but to keep that man of mine happy I tried. So I did a reverse parking manoeuvre, Ian grabbed the centre rope and pulled FS in. But I was right! The bow stuck out a good foot and only if the removal of the button fender was done could FS have slotted in. Then Marilyn arrived. Leaving David with me, she took Ian to Waka Huia with the idea of moving a plastic cruiser back several feet. This boat had left what she calls "a git gap" and if moved the space would then be big enough for the 57 ft that FS was. One problem with that. the owner was not on board!

Now don't get me wrong, no boat owner would ever move another boat without permission but this boat had an over stay notice and information given to us from other boat owners, it had been there since May! So no qualms at all about what they were to do next. Nothing is ever simple though. Just untying ropes and pulling it back would have taken a couple of minutes but that boat had been there so long, both forward and aft ropes were wedged through the cladding and was impossible to move. So back to FS came Ian to fetch the crowbar.

With Ian releasing the bar holding the cladding and a bit of pulling and tugging by Marilyn, the ropes came free. Then it was just a matter of tying it back up, shifting Waka Huia back a tad to touch bumper to bumper with the boat behind (he was fine about it) and for me to bring FS to try and get in. It was another of those" I'm never going to fit" moments but this time I had to eat humble pie. Marilyn had measured, Ian had confirmed and yes with another reverse, got nestled against the side with inches to spare. 

Never going to get in there!

okay...so maybe I will

David putting on a 'spring'

Lunch was had on board Waka Huia, two of Marilyn's and Davids friends Julia and Mags also joined us. Served up was a mixed salad, veg lasagna and a sweet potato side dish. God that girl can cook and to finish the meal, an apple crumble, ice cream and custard. Yummy!

The afternoon was spent chatting, Julia and Mags went about 5 ish, Ian and I stayed for cheese and biscuits which went down brilliantly with the Port and Sherry served in slightly bigger than normal sherry glasses.  Cards were played, much hilarity and swearing as David won hand after hand and then Marilyn  called it a night. For them the day had been long! We are now so looking forward to the next few days and making the most of the short time we have left before they depart back to NZ.


Jennie said...

So good to see the four of you together. Have a fab few days. Hopefully one day you will be within striking distance from us so we can meet up again. Jennie xx

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

It is always a pleasure to be with the McDonald's even though they do work us hard and make us get up early! We will miss them when they leave for NZ in a couple of weeks' time so making the most of our time together.
Sorry to read about Monty. I remember him well especially standing guard on the back of the boat. I have sent you a comment on your blog. Take care. Xxx

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