Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sooooo glad we moved!

Yesterday morning we were in two minds whether to head down to Selby on the afternoon ebb tide. The weather was appalling, windy with driving rain.
The forecast predicted the wind dropping in the afternoon and the rain easing, though. Instead of heading downstream we thought about spending another day at Naburn then heading back to York for a couple of days, before tackling the tideway on Thursday or Friday, when we would be able to go down first thing in the morning.

Around Naburn Locks yesterday morningSAM_3473 Naburn Locks

At this time the river level was where you’d expect, although the indicator board showing previous flood levels was unsettling!

The board is central in the picture above, just to the right of the window.SAM_3474 Naburn Locks
You can click to enlarge to read the dates. The highest was November 2000, about 5 feet above my feet when I took this picture.

Looking back across the locks, the camera level is the November 2000 flood level!
SAM_3476 Naburn Locks
That’s a lot of water!

The lock island used to be occupied by a water mill, long demolished, but the navigation workshops are still here. The machine shop on the end must have been powered from the outside either by water of steam.

Pulley and driven axle on the end of the machine shopSAM_3479 Naburn Locks
The axle runs through the building at high level, with pulleys along it’s length connected by flat belt to machinery on the shop floor. Engaging a clutch would have started the bit of kit when needed. The same principal was used to power the Lancashire cotton mills. Initially by water, then later by more reliable steam.

We had a discussion and decided to go, even though the weather was less than clement.

All on our own in Naburn LockSAM_3483 Naburn Locks
You can see the rain lashing down. The lock keeper is up on the right, next to the console. All tidal locks on the inland waterways are keeper operated.

Looking back at Naburn Locks and weirSAM_3484 Naburn Locks

From this point on the camera stayed under cover, my last two died on days similar to this… Maybe I should invest in an underwater one.

The rain eased a little as we passed the confluence with the River Wharf..SAM_3485 Wharf

For the first hour or so the water was fairly slack. The last bit of the flood tide was being balanced by the stream of the river.
Then the tide started to ebb and our speed started to increase. We had been told not to hang about.
We left the lock at 16:25, sunset was just before 7 o’clock and we had 15 miles to go.

It was a cold, wet, miserable trip down, the only highlights being the friendly and sympathetic wave from the bridge-keeper at Cawood Swing Bridge and a sighting of an otter crossing the river and climbing the bank. Sorry, no chance of a picture.

I‘d been warned about the speed of the flow under the two Selby bridges, but it was still a bit of a surprise as we shot through at maybe 10 mph. “Just line up in plenty of time and go for it” I’d been told. You don’t have any choice….
The lock-keeper was waiting for us waving from the entrance piling. I went past and turned back upstream creeping up along the bank, then turned in cleanly.  The lockie was pleased to see us; like me he was drip-wet through. He’d seen boats up and down regularly through the day, mostly between Selby and Goole. We’d only seen one other boat on our stretch of the river, heading up to Naburn.

We were just tying up in the basin when he went past in his car, heading for home and a bath and supper.

We’ve had a couple of phone calls this morning, Bob and Cath on NB Lyra wanted to make sure we were OK, they’re in Clarence Dock in Leeds, watching the River Aire steadily rising. And Arthur, who had visited us in York, rang for the same reason. He told me the river through the city is now above the flood bank where we were moored on Monday morning and a narrowboat just along the Museum Gardens has sunk when it’s mooring ropes pulled it over in the rising waters. The York Rowing Club had a webcam looking across the river, you can see how high the river is.

With the Aire at Castleford currently four feet above normal, I guess we’ll be on the Selby Canal for a while…

Locks 2, miles 15.


Sue said...

So pleased you are safe. I was going to phone you if you hadn't blogged!

Look at this on the Ouse..


Mike, Mags, Poppy and Abbey said...

Glad you two are safe


That's why we bailed out of the water catchment for the Ouse - The video says it all.

Mick n Mags

Alf said...

With the amount of rain thats been pouring down I reckon you will be there for a week at least, but Selby is quite a good little town, could be in worse places !! Enjoy !
PS the picture in your previous blog (plenty of rooms here) is in fact a holiday "cottage" for hire complete with a day boat, look at the boatyard web site for details.

Geoff and Mags said...

Thanks for the comments, people.
We're fine here in Selby basin, access to facilities and shopping, so, as Alf suggests, if we're stuck here for a while it's not a problem.
Still raining though.

Andy Healey said...

Glad you got out Ok. The flood marks at Naburn for November 2000 brings back memories of a phone call from father that his garden was flooding in Rawcliffe nr York. Quick 150 mile journey from St Ives, Cambs, but was too late, water up to the light switches downstairs.
Can't believe that no residents or local boaters could not alert the services in time to rescue the NB opposite the rowing club.

Geoff and Mags said...

Hi Andy
Apparently the water at Naburn is now over the lock gates, so I guess there'll be another mark on that board...
I think all the boats had cleared off after seeing the forecast, but that path above the moorings is very busy. As you say, it's a shame no-one thought to notify someone!

Steve Heaven said...

We thought that we were lucky, but you cut it finer!!

Geoff and Mags said...

Hi Steve
Yes, it was a bit close....