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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 30 September 2023

Things one chats about at locks.

 Sept 29th

So now I have developed a cough, Ian was worried and said I must take a Covid test. Well that was negative so what on earth I have picked up is anyone's guess. Anyway good old Actifed has been taken three times a day so fingers crossed I stop hacking soon.

It was about a twenty minute cruise to the top of Buckby Flight. A boat was already ascending and a volunteer lockie was on. I was asked on entry to the lock if I was prepared to wait for another boat to arrive. Hats off to this volunteer for asking that question, most don't bother. Normally we would have obliged but our time is precious at the moment. The reason for a hasty cruise to Milton Keynes is because of a funeral on the 2nd Oct. We must be in Wolverton on the 1st, a car has been hired so it's imperative that we get there and find a mooring. So I mentioned not having seen another boat following or one coming down from the Leicester GU Arm, it was agreed by all parties that we should proceed.

GU Leicester Arm

Would you believe it, paddles up and FS half way down when a boat was spied heading for the lock. I shouted to the volunteer that we would wait for them at the next lock and please could he let them know. . Ian then walked on to get that lock ready leaving the lovely volunteer to get me the rest of the way down.

You can tell the colder weather has arrived. Not sure what this boat is burning but it certainly not smokeless coal!

Waiting for them to arrive.

The boat duly arrived, a lovely chap who was feeling very sad today. This was to be his final cruise on  nb My Talitha, the boat was going on brokerage at Stow Hill Wharf. I asked from which direction he had come from. The boat had been moored just before the junction on the Leicester Arm, ah...so that explains why I didn't see a boat on the move when I looked.

Interesting what you find out about folk whilst chatting in a lock. Both his sons were getting married this year and how he hoped for the grandchildren to arrive soon. Hmm.... I don't think he quite knows what he is in for! Then he related the story of the time he got wedged by his fenders being down at Napton lock. Hmm, strange then that he has continued with this practice in spite of that. He also mentioned the interior of his boat My Talitha has some of the wood fittings that came out of the super yacht Talitha owned by Mark Getty Chairman of Getty Images. I'm sure this statement was true, but so far I haven't been able to verify it.

The flight of seven took no time at all. Only the second lock had to be filled, all the rest had boats coming up.

He's going to have to shift!

We said our goodbyes at the bottom lock, we to find a mooring at Nether Hayford, and them for a bacon butty and a cup of tea at the Café at Whilton Marina.

 The intrusive noise of the M1 was with us for over a mile, that in itself was bad enough but the sun directly in our eyes made it extremely difficult to see. Even so this boat drew my attention. If we come back this way late November I wonder if it will be sitting on the bottom.

It was nice to moor up by 2 pm today. The wind was quite gusty, proper waves appeared on the water. And my mooring skills were brilliant, or so I thought. Came in nice and slow, touch of reverse and in came FS to nestle neatly next to the towpath, it was a text book manoeuvre. Then Ian burst my bubble, nothing to do with any skill involved, it was the wind blowing toward the bank that did it!

And seen on route


Adam said...

My Talitha had to be moved out of the way at Rugby Boats so we could get diesel! And the boat behind us at Buckby was also going down to go on brokerage, but at Whilton.

Nice to see you today — hope it’s not as long before the next time.

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

We did wonder where My Talitha was to be moored as we came past Rugby boats. Appears the only available space was not the most convenient for visiting boaters!

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