Monday, October 08, 2012

Gloomy day

No sign of the sun today, although it did try to brighten up a bit later.
We stayed at Stanley Ferry yesterday and Joan and Toby took Meg and I for a good walk along the river in the morning.

Misty on the water morning promised a fine day yesterdaySAM_3692 Misty morn at Stanley Ferry (1)

Fly Agaric ToadstoolsSAM_3694
My stick"!SAM_3695
Toby’s a feisty little dog. He’s a cross between a Yorkshire Terrier and a Shitzu, and had been kept just for breeding before Joan and Bob "rescued" him. He’d not been properly socialised with other dogs but has a permanent smile… D
Don’t know what you’d call him, Yorkzu? Shitshire? But he is cute.

Sunshine through the crest of Kirkthorpe Weir.SAM_3698
We said goodbye to Bob and Joan this morning, and set off into the gloom for Broadheath Lock.SAM_370 2Bob, Joan and Toby

Not a bit like yesterday, but a least it’s still dry.SAM_3704 Murky a Stanley Ferry

Arriving at Broadheath Lock I just had a drop of water to empty then Mags came in. The river and canal levels were much the same, only 3 or 4 inches difference, but after 15 minutes and still no level light on the panel, I decided to cycle the lock again.

Maybe I should explain. The mechanised locks have the gates interlocked with the water level. Unless the levels either side of the gates are equalised, the pumps won’t start to open the gates. There’s a light on the panel that comes on when the levels are OK. Which we weren’t getting.

After emptying and refilling the chamber, I got a go-ahead light and started to open the gates. With them just a couple of feet open the light went off and the gates stopped. I tried several times to get them open, but with the same result. Finally I gave C&RT a call, and a very apologetic woman turned up just half an hour later. With a lot of faffing about she managed to get us and a RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat), that was doing a Floating Pennywort survey, out and onto the river. She was then going to get someone out to sort it.

SAM_3711 Fall Ings LockA mile further on we reached Fall Ing Lock and the Calder and Hebble Navigation.
This is the point where you gird your loins for heavy gates and stiff paddle gear if you’re heading west. Or breathe a sigh of relief if you’re heading east. It’s the first of the manually operated locks, and is hard work.

Fall Ing LockSAM_3712 Fall Ings Lock
SAM_3714 Fall Ings Lock

A dogleg overlooked by new apartment blocks takes the navigation to Wakefield Flood Lock and back onto the river. With the water dropping rapidly I expected this to be open both ends, but that wasn’t the case although a paddle was raised at each gate.
SAM_3717 Wakefield Flood Lock
Try as I might I couldn’t open the bottom gates to let Mags out. In the end we had to resort to marine horsepower. Then, with Seyella out on the river and the gates closed behind, it was a challenge to get back on board. The semi-derelict lock landing is fenced off.

Flood Lock LandingSAM_3718 Lock landing at Flood lock
“Cooee, over here!”SAM_3719 Mags on Calder

She got back to the lock entrance and I jumped down three feet onto the roof.

Looking downstream to WakefieldSAM_3720 Upstream to Wakefield

As we set off upstream towards Thornes another narrowboat appeared from the town.
NB Edwina from Stanley Ferry had been left at Wakefield Marina when rising river levels put a stop to their trip. They were now heading the same way as us, to collect a boat at Horbury Bridge and take it back to Stanley Ferry. We shared the next three locks with them.

Thornes Lock leads onto the short Thornes Cut, which then rejoins the river at another flood lock. This time the flood lock stood open, so we were able to sail straight through.

NB Edwina follows us through Thornes Flood Lock SAM_3725 Thornes Flood Lock
Another mile and we left the river for a bit. There are two Broad Cut Locks, Low and Top. We moored here when we last came this way, just along from where NB Pipistrelle was sitting high and dry on the towpath after being dumped there by flooding. We heard yesterday that she was pushed back into the canal with a digger, causing a bit of damage and nearly sinking her in the process. They couldn’t get a crane near enough to lift her.

Broad Cut Low Lock in the distance SAM_3726 Broad Cut Low Lock and the Navigation

Broad Cut Top Lock was our last for today and where we parted company with our locking companions. The lads were on a mission; they were meeting friends at the Bingley Arms for a bite to eat, then heading back to Stanley Ferry with the broken-down cruiser in tow today.

Leaving Broad Cut Top LockSAM_3727 Broad Cut Top Lock
We’re moored tonight at Horbury Bridge, outside the Bingley Arms. Probably not a place to stay in the summer, the pub carpark looks down on the mooring. But it’ll do for tonight.

Locks 6, miles 7

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