Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Stopping in York

The water of the Selby Canal was very clear but there was a lot of duck weed as you can see below. Thankfully this didn't cause us the same trouble as the blanket weed
on the Chesterfield Canal. However once we reached the basin it took us a while to
Much weed on the Selby Canal
moor as we had to clear the weed to get alongside. On Wednesday at about 5 pm we locked out on to the River Ouse. Traveling with the tide it only took us 3 hours to travel the 15 miles to Naburn! We spent 2 nights there as Paul needed to do some work on the engine. All being well we carried on on Friday arriving in York at lunch time. We made the most of our 48 hour mooring.
A sunny stroll through the walled city of York
 Took the open top bus round the city, twice! We learnt that the streets are called Gate. Gates in the wall are called Bars and bars are called pubs!
We also visited the Castle Museum, housed in the old women's prison. Also managed to see a show. Follies, which was very good.
We left York on Sunday morning just as Dragon Boat racing was about to start!

Many people enjoying the sunshine and the river.

One of the York Bars
Yesterday was an interesting day we reached Westwick Lock and there was a narrow boat stuck in the bottom of the lock. It's bow firmly wedged behind the gate. They asked us to let in water to bring them up but we were very concerned the boat was at an odd angle. Called Canal and River Trust. However something we did must have moved the boat and we were able to free them and we were all able to continue.  All this took about an hour! We moored and had lunch before anyone from Canal and River Trust arrived! Finally we moved off the river and we are now moored just outside of Ripon. We did a quick mooring yesterday just at the start of a thunderstorm!

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

On the way to York

We left Doncaster on Tuesday a week ago today. After a brief cruise we moored at Long Sandall Lock to have coffee. Very glad we did as following us was this big oil

Big boat, makes lock look small.

tanker. We were more than happy to watch it go through the lock and carry on ahead of us!
Not much commercial traffic on the waterway these days so it was good to see a ship in action.  We carried on that day for another 5 swing/lift bridges and one lock. Although along this stretch most are electrically operated so I just have to push a button! ? This took us off of the South Yorkshire Navigation and on to the
Guillotine gates either side of the aqueduct.

New Junction Canal. This picture is of the aqueduct near the start with the guillotine gates a either end to seal it. Thankfully these are left open.
This is only a short  canal, so Wednesday saw us join the Aire and Calder Navigation arriving at Goole later that day. Wednesday evening we had a totally unexpected visit from Adrian and Sarah. Some friends we made when we last visited Stafford Boat Club. They live in Leeds and had picked up from the blog that we were heading their way. So they drove over to see us. Hopefully we will see them again in the coming weeks as we will eventually head towards Leeds.
Waterways Museum at Goole
We spent a couple of pleasant days at Goole. The docks here are run by Associated British Ports and there are ships of all shapes and sizes! We also visited the Waterways Museum, very interesting, and I did some washing and was able to peg out!
We left Goole on Saturday making our way back on the Aire and Calder on past the point we joined it. This morning we have turned on to the Selby Canal, I will let you guess where that leads! Tomorrow we plan to head out of Selby Lock on to the River Ouse to York.

Friday, 29 June 2018

Back in Doncaster

Peace Garden, Sheffield
We ended up staying for nearly a week in Sheffield. We had a nice mooring in the basin which was only a short walk from the town. Quite a hilly town though, I suppose there was a clue in all the locks we had to work to get there! We were very lucky with the weather. On Saturday it was Armed Forces Day and we watched the parade which ended in the peace Garden. The picture above was taken the day before. We did do a lot of walking. We visited the Cathedral where there was a nativity scene all made from steel. Very apt for Sheffield. On Sunday we walked along the river to visit Kelham Island Museum. Got there just in time to see the huge steam engine running. It had been used to help in the manufacture of steel. The museum was all about the history of the making of steel and was very interesting. On Tuesday my cousin Dawn with husband Dave came to see us. Not seen them for a couple of years so it was good to catch up. We are going to see them tomorrow and stay a couple of nights. Wednesday and Thursday was us travelling back down the locks. On our own on the Tinsley Flight this time, but we did have a lock keeper to help for some of the way. We arrived back in Doncaster this morning and will be here until Monday, then it will be off to waters new.

By the River Don in Sheffield
At the entrance to Kelham Island Museum

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Arrived in Sheffield

We got our washing done eventually, arriving at Thorne Marina on Wednesday more than a week ago now. We bought tokens for the washer only to then find out the water was off as they were having the showers updated! Nowhere else to go so we just waited and we were all done and on our way by 4.
Tanker passing by
Last Thursday was so windy we didn't go anywhere at all. Friday we reached the end of the Keadby and Stainforth Canal and turned left on to the South Yorkshire Navigation and on to Doncaster. This is part river and part canal with a mix of electric and manual locks and a few bridges. It is a wide canal and some of the locks are huge as there are oil tankers and gravel barges operating on the waterway. Some go as far as Rotherham. We did meet a tanker but moored just before it passed us!

Two boats one captain
 We spent a couple of days in Rotherham. There is a lovely park. Friends Jane and Kelly came to see us on Tuesday as they were staying not too far away in their motor home. The final stretch up to Sheffield has to be booked. All 14 locks. There were 2 other boats booked in with us today. Yallambie and Kismet. Both boats we had seen on the Chesterfield Canal and a couple of times since. They are traveling together.
Still only one captain!
3 boats is not the ideal number when climbing a flight of locks where the locks take 2 boats. All of us being seasoned boaters we made a plan. With Yallambie breasted along side Falcon. This with Tina and I working the locks. With Kismet following with Brian helping them with the locks. A very enjoyable trip. Now having a quiet evening!

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Another week passes!

Where does the time go. On Thursday we arrived at West Stockwith all ready to lock down on to the River Trent on Friday afternoon for our last section of the river.
Keadby Bridge
 We discovered that friends Dave and Jan on Yesdear were arriving at West Stockwith that afternoon. Needless to say we met up in the White Hart later for a few jars!
We didn't lock out on to the River until 4pm the next day. The tide determines the time. We were on the outgoing tide so a quick trip! A bit nippy out on the water. Once again Paul made a good turn into the lock. This time with the added pressure that Yesdear was already in there. All went
Water cascading over the gate, Keadby Lock

Friends Dave and Jan on Yesdear
smoothly and we were glad to moor a short distance from the lock.
We are now on Stainforth and Keadby Canal, part of the South Yorkshire Navigations. Not many locks on this stretch, but lots of swing bridges and a lift bridge. Some are electrically powered, but yesterday Paul had to help me close a road bridge.
Dave and Jan moved on ahead of us the next day. We walked a short distance to watch them through the sliding railway bridge. Apparently the only one remaining in the world. There is a signal box by the bridge and you toot your horn and the bridge with 2 rail tracks moves to one side so the boat can pass through.
We were very lucky as having watched Yesdear from one side we then watched another boat from the other side, where Paul took the picture!
Making our way along the canal
Railway bridge closing
via Seven Lakes and Crowley today we arrived at Thorne. Been shopping today and tomorrows plan is to catch up on a mountain of washing!

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

The Chesterweed Canal

With Graham and Pauline

Fish in the canal!
 On Friday Graham and Pauline met us at the Hop Pole  and after taking them for a cruise we came back to the pub where we had a lovely meal. Saturday we went back to Retford with the intention of getting the train. However just after we moored it poured with rain! So we postponed our trip until Sunday. The weather was much better so we got the train to Kiveton Park. From there it was a short walk to the head of the canal. Where we had hoped to reach with Falcon. The water here was very clear. So few boats! Could see lots of fish in the water, even in the photo!
We then turned back to walk down the canal. Just flat for a couple of miles where we found our selves at the top of the Giants Staircase.  This is a flight of 21 locks. Including 2 tripple staircase locks and 2 double. It doesn't finish
Just love the name of this lock.
there, another flight of 3 locks brings you to Shireoaks. I must say it was easier just walking than having to work all the locks, twice! Once in each direction, but not the same. We didn't even meet any boaters we could help.
We had planned to go somewhere for lunch at Shireoaks before catching the train back. However the cafe there was shut down and the pub a short distance away wasn't answering the phone! So we bought sandwiches in a little shop and walked all the way to Worksop!
There we got the train back to Retford before finally getting our pub meal at The Ship. Very nice it was too. Yesterday saw us starting our return trip. The picture above is the lock we passed through yesterday. Should be back to the River Trent either Thursday or Friday.

Friday, 1 June 2018

Chesterfield Canal

See baby on mum's back
 Setting out along the canal we met this lovely family. There were six cygnets in total. Breaking my own rule of not feeding swans from the front of the boat, they practically climb in, we fed them so we got lots of pictures. Moving along the canal we reached Retford on Saturday.
On Sunday we had lots of visitors. Paul's RAF mate who lives in Worksop, about 5 miles away, arrived with wife Pauline. Bringing our friends Sheree and Alec with him.
Enjoying the sunshine with Sheree and Alec
Sheree and Alec have come to stay for a few days. After lunch, with just 4 on board, we set off towards Worksop. 2 locks and through the third lock and all was well. With all of us back on board Paul soon came to a stop. There was so much weed around the prop it wouldn't turn.
More weed, one of ten!
Managed to get the bow in fairly close and with the plank at a very sharp angle I scrambled ashore climbing the bank admidst the nettles and prickles! After discussing our options Alec too made a break for the bank! We went back in time to when horses pulled the barges. This time there was no horse so Alec filled the gap and literally pulled us along. Not an easy task as Falcon weighs more than 20 ton. I had the bow rope but didn't pull other than to steer as this would have just stuck us on the bottom. We did finally make it to the next lock. We worked up through then moored on the pins at the top and called it a night. Not good practice to moor on lock pins but by then we had had enough! It was about 6 and we hadn't seen any other boats.
Weed cutter, but too late for us.

 Setting off the next day Paul got most of the way to the lock before he had to throw Alec a rope! The locks are close together so this time we were prepared with 3 of us walking. So up the lock and again Paul had to crawl in under the stern, from the inside and reach back to cut the weed and pull it back out. In total he had to do this 10 times in just under 2 miles of canal.
We struggled on for a short distance and managed to get into the bank and moor for lunch. After discussing our options we reluctantly decided the only thing to do was turn around. This meant we had to manage to move on a short distance to the winding hole so we could turn. Paul had to pole around as once again the prop was full of weed. Eventually we made it back to where we had lunch and moored for the night. The trip back was no easier, then as we reached Forest Bottom Lock we met the weed cutter. A bit too late for us! The Chesterfield Canal only connects at one end so if we carry on we still have to turn and come back so by boat we have given up. However tomorrow we plan to get the train to the limit of the navigation (not Chesterfield, the canal no longer goes that far) and walk part of it.