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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 10 November 2023

Back and forth, how many more times?

 Sometimes things happen that are completely baffling. Yesterday late afternoon a boat joined us but not before he first winded right by the bridge. This was not a designated winding hole, just the bank having eroded to produce a wider channel and we presumed this manoeuvre had been done by him many times before, Anyway the boater never secured the boat, instead stood on the back deck looking toward the bridge. About 10 minutes later we noticed he had been joined by a lady and then the boat left, ah so this was why he had been waiting. Thinking nothing more of it, we were very surprised when early evening he arrived again and did the same thing of winding by the bridge. This time he secured the boat and nothing more was seen. But then....when we were ready for bed, around 10 ish, his engine was fired up, ropes untied and off he went. Both of us commented that it was an odd time to leave but hey ho...there is nowt queerer than folk! In the early hours of the morning and just as it was getting light, we were woken by loud voices and that same bloody boat coming past. He winded at the bridge yet again, water disturbance was such that FS bucked and rolled like a bronco. I legged it to the front to see what was happening and managed this photo. He then dropped someone off, presumably that lady, and departed back past FS without slowing down. Well we were flabbergasted and somewhat annoyed at the inconsiderate behaviour of some people. Sleep was a distant memory and instead sat in bed drinking tea and doing the daily New York Times Wordle which, I might add, I got in three guesses! 

Even though we were up so early our time of departure wasn't until mid-morning. We treated ourselves to bacon, eggs and mushrooms on toast. Once ready to depart the winter warmers went on, it was blooming chilly outside. I was on the helm, Ian below making bread. The railway is now our neighbour and flooded fields at the base of the embankment were very much in evidence. In one sizable amount of water sat an Egret and then a little further on was a Heron. Obviously not after fish, maybe worms instead?

 I was getting chilly, mentioned this to Ian who did the gentlemanly thing and took over. He also happened to say how wrong he was about reaching Norton Junction today. Wow, someone hold me up before I faint. Ian to admit he was wrong? Unheard of! Mind you to be fair, he is right more often than not but don't say I said so...right!. So we won't be having to make that decision of which way to go today. I did notice on CRT stoppage page that the bank pilings had collapsed between Kings lock and Blue Bank lock on the Leicester line due to the floods, and initially the navigation was closed. Further update mentioned only 4 boats could proceed every Wednesday. Passage had to be booked and must have one of CRT guys on board with them.  This may make our decision much easier. Personally I think we should forgo going back on the River Soar and continue towards Braunston and eventually the T&M instead.

With diesel and coal stocks low we called in at Rugby boat sales. Diesel was £1.20 L self declare and coal roughly £20 a bag. Gosh the coal has gone up substantially. We only paid £17.50 a bag from Jules fuel boat about 3 weeks ago. 

6 more bags purchased.

As we left Rugby boats a swarm of flies suddenly appeared. Arms frantically waved. those little buggers were determined to get up noses and into mouths!  Loads settled on the roof, where did they all come from. Turns out a sewage farm was nearby, mystery solved.


With the time being well after midday a mooring was found at Weedon. Shame the trains are so close but as I said earlier, the railway has become our neighbour and will be until we almost reach Norton Junction, another 4 miles further on

Today has also been very productive with wildlife, a sparrow Hawk flew past and then a little later a Kestrel flew from tree branch to tree branch trying to get away from FS. 



Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

Isn't the M1 pretty close too?


Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Yes and right until the lock 8 of the Buckby Flight. Good job we won't follow it heading for Leicester. Our decision is to head off toward Braunston.


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