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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.

Friday 24 November 2023

2 lock landings, one being hogged and the other full of folk.

 Certainly felt the chill in the air this morning, stepped out of FS and immediately went back inside for coat, hat and scarf. Ian as usual was out in a t shirt changing the chimney from the tall to our cruising short one, does this man never feel the cold? Anyway we untied and headed off towards the river where I was pleased to see he had put on a jacket after all.

Beside the lock was another 'proceed with caution' boards. I wanted to see just how high the river still was and below lock was the height, gauge. Hmm, it was well down and in the green. Ian happened to say the caution boards would probably be like that all winter, duh... of course they would, these were not the notices to say whether the river was in flood or not, but purely advisory that water levels could change at a moment's notice!

There was, however, a notice stuck on one of the beams. An obstruction was by the weir and to keep well to the left. Ha...who in their right mind would go toward the weir anyway!

No obstruction seen, but just beyond the weir were reeds....loads of them and well out into the stream. Could be an interesting meeting of two boats at that point! 

Doesn't look wide enough, and I wonder how many first time hirers have panicked when they saw this.

By Wychnor lock, an idiot moored on the landing! Do these people not have a brain cell in their heads, or is it just they couldn't care less and have the 'let's make it as difficult as possible for everyone else' attitude! 

I couldn't hold out, the wind was too strong and blowing FS away from the side!

My least favourite part of the T&M was that lengthy straight bit with the A38 running alongside. It was noisy, and I was very glad when the canal veered off to the left and the vehicles headed off to the right.

Have I mentioned how windy it was today? Passing Barton Turns Marina, the wind was gusting through the entrance, proper waves too.  

Barton lock landing was having work done on it. CRT, with the help of volunteers, were stripping the grass from the coping stones. Even the rails had a lick of paint applied to them. Nice to see a neat and tidy loskside.


Ian took over the steering, I had been standing on the back since leaving Alrewas and boy was I cold. I only just got feelings back in my hands by placing them near to the stove when I happened to noticed Ian was about to go through that very narrow bridge 36, near to the gravel pits. There are not many bridges quite like this one, so to get a photo from the front while I could seemed like a good idea.


Not long after I took the photo our doorbell rang (yep, we have put one in as a crew alert button and I must say it works a treat) It would appear we weren't far off Tatenhill Lock. Oh, well...best get all kitted up again.


Another quarter of a mile and we reached Branston Water Park. We took the last ring on the 48-hour moorings, stopping just before the tree. Not that we expected it to uproot in the wind mind, but didn't fancy having to sweep all the leaves off the roof. And then of course there are those pigeons. We have been bombed in the past at that self same tree and seeing as I have only just washed FS, didn't relish the idea of having to do it all over again!

I think we may stay for tomorrow and continue our cruise on Sunday. It will give Ian a chance to sit still and raise that foot of his. It is getting better though, or so he tells me! 

1 comment:

Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

What a good idea a doorbell is! I always tooted for David - one for him to come up and a longer louder one if he failed to appear in a timely manner ...
That left hand opening at the overbridge is spooky - even for an owner when she's never gone that way before... The first time we were going that way, I was following someone - and that helped!
And I always think of that section of canal by the A38 as its 5th lane, it is so close and so noisy!

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