Monday, September 07, 2009

Back out of Sheffield

We had quite a pleasant stay in Sheffield’s Victoria Quays. It was pretty quiet for a city centre location, not many people wandering about and very few boats coming and going.

Friday I spent doing oil and filter changes on the engine and gearbox, and adjusting the stern gland. Then Saturday was a chilling out day, feet up in preparation for the race on Sunday.

I maybe should have kept them up a bit longer, my time was once again down on my personal best for the 10K. I must be getting old…..
Still, I was placed 619th out of 7500, and 20th in my age group, so it’s not all bad.

Heading for the finish of the Great Yorkshire Run

As we walked back to the boat, these guys have about 1Km to go.

Neil and Val arrived late afternoon, delivered by his sister Ruth and fella Rodney, from their pub in Salford. They brought their football mad grandsons with them, the oldest, Connell, is training with the juniors at Burnley. We had a good catch up with the news before they set off back, leaving us with 2 extra crewmembers for the next 10 days.

Meg and I had had enough of the limited walking opportunities from the basin (you can only sniff along one stretch of towpath so many times…) and we were expected at Tinsley Top Lock at 09:00 today to meet the lockie, so we decided to move out last evening, and moored on the lock landing for the night.

Leaving Victoria Quays.
We’ll be back, but probably not to stay for so long. A couple of nights would be enough.

We were ready and waiting for the lockie, and he turned up promptly at 9 o’clock. A different one this time, Dave was in Birmingham, so we had Graham instead.

After the first lock we were joined by another boat. Howard had picked up his new boat in Sheffield on Sunday, and came down to stop at the marina overnight. He was crewed by his mate Chris.

Sharing the Tinsley flight.
With Neil and Chris on the tillers, Howard and I going down to set up the locks, and Graham closing up and padlocking behind, we made short work of the flight, arriving at the bottom after just 2½ hours. Then we had Jordans and Holmes lock to do before saying goodbye to our chaperone.

Seyella above the weir at Jordans Lock

Two more sensibly sized locks and 2½ miles later and we arrived at the first of the oversized barge locks.

In Eastwood Lock

Neil was suitably impressed, he’ll be more so if we meet any of the boats that the lock were built for….

With plenty of crew, both boats rattled along downstream, through Aldwarke, Waddington and both Mexborough Locks, arriving at Sprotborough at 17:00.

Old mill near Mexborough
Cruising on Mexborough Cut
A long day by our standards, 8 hours, but Neil’s been on the tiller most of the day, and Mags has been able to put her feet up, so it’s not been too hard. The weather has helped enormously, we’ve had the best day for a couple of weeks, warm, dry and sunny. I hope the rest of the week is as kind….

Locks 20, miles 14½

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