Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Taking Root….

Yes, we’re still at Gargrave! Although we’ve not been here all the time. We had a very pleasant few days out “in the wilds” above Bank Newton, then a couple of very windy ones on Friday and Saturday. The foot high waves were running past the boat, the ducks stayed under the bushes, and most of the boats stayed tied up. There was the odd intrepid crew out and about, but it must have been a struggle, with 70 mph gusts recorded. One hire boat crew actually called out BW, having been blown into the shallows at the edge of the channel and not being able to get afloat again!

Walking the Pennine Way back towards Gargrave.
Lamp-post painting

After the wind we had a couple of fine days, so on Sunday had a gentle meander to East Marton, turned and came back to our mooring spot. Now, with the right hand side of the boat bankside, I was able to clean and tidy that side of the cabin. I’d not been able to do this since the towpath changed sides at Dowley Gap, the other side of Bingley.

Double Arch Bridge at East Marton
A couple of years ago we were moored at Ellesmere, just off the Llangollen Canal. I was busy using T-Cut and then Turtle Wax polish on the cabin side when a woman off another boat told me that she uses Johnson’s Baby Lotion! I thought at the time she was taking the mickey, but several boaters seem to do the same, so I thought I’d have a go. Tell you what, it works! The gloss isn’t as good as with polish, but it certainly restores the colour depth of the paint, especially on the red. And it’s a lot easier. I’ll just have to see how well it lasts, now.

We were intending to move back to Gargrave on Tuesday, but the forecast was poor so we took advantage of the second day of fine weather and dropped back down the 9 locks and 2½ miles to the village on Monday instead.

Bank Newton Top Lock
Monday night was clear, but the predicted rain arrived by morning and it was pretty miserable all day.

Moonrise over Higherland Lock before the clouds gathered.

Once again, most boats wisely stayed tied up, only the hire boats out of Silsden and Skipton braved the elements.

Today it’s a fine day again, but a bit raw after out first frost of the autumn. I actually wore a jacket over my shirt on my morning run, and was glad of it.

Talking of running, I’m not sure whether to be relieved or disappointed. I didn’t get an entry through the ballot for the London Marathon next April. Still there are alternatives if I really want to put myself through the punishment of 26.2 miles. There’s one down in Stratford Upon Avon on the 25th…… I’ll have to think on it.

Just picked up my email alerts from BW, and it appears there’s a slug of pollution heading down the River Trent from up Stoke way. A mixture of untreated sewage and cyanide which has already had a major impact on fish stocks. It’s due at Burton on Trent this afternoon, so I expect the river section of the Trent and Mersey Canal at Alrewas will be shut for a while. I hope there’s no long term damage, I always enjoy this short section between Alrewas Lock and Wychnor. Express and Star report here.

We’re heading to Skipton tomorrow, and maybe a bit further on. I’ve an old workmate who now lives at Bradley who I’d like to look up. We’ll stop at Eshton Lock to pick up a load of solid fuel from Fred Green on the way past.

Since last post, locks 9, miles 5½.

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