Friday, August 21, 2015

Duckweed and swing bridges.

That’s the two main impressions made by today’s cruise from Keadby. There was quite a bit of weed in the lock we came up yesterday, but above the lock some places were carpeted with the small round leaves of Lemnoideae, commonly known as duckweed.
It didn’t cause too much trouble with the prop, but I‘m glad we’ve closed circuit rather than raw water cooling…

We were getting ready to move off when I saw Michael and Linda, NB Poppy, with whom we’d travelled yesterday, setting out. So it was on with the engine, off with the ropes and we followed about 5 minutes behind. I was hoping that they would be delayed a little at the sliding railway bridge, giving us a chance to catch up. Not maliciously, there were a few swing bridges to do today, and by leap-frogging we could halve the work for both crews.

But it wasn’t to be, as soon as they were through the bridge-keeper closed up ready for another train coming.
The front carriage is just crossing the sliding span. with the railway and canal meeting at an oblique angle, the solution of a sliding deck carrying the rails, moving at right angles to the permanent way, was ideal.

All clear and we’re on our way through.IMG_6983 
Just ahead can be seen the first of the boater-operated bridges. NB Poppy has disappeared into the distance, not realising we were following.

The wind proved to be a problem. Blowing from the south it was straight across the canal, pinning the boat to the right-hand bank while Mags waited for me to open the bridge.

The canal is wide and deep, giving me the opportunity to open her up a bit in an attempt to catch up between bridges. And we did, just, at Godnow Bridge. Michael was just closing up as we came into view, so he opened up for us again. We went through, heading to the next at Medge Hall to set that ready.

Mowing the lawn?

And so we proceeded. We did Medge Hall, Poppy did Maud’s, we did Moore’s.

Moore’s Swing BridgeIMG_6992

At the mechanised Wykewell Lift Bridge the procedure came to pieces. Another boat, preceding us, already had the bridge up and let Poppy through, but we were too far behind to leave it up for us. It’s a fairly busy road that crosses here and traffic had started to build up.
So we did that one on our own.

From here we left the wide open fields and headed into Thorne, passing Blue Water Marina on the right.

There’s quite a few wide-beam boats moored here, several for sale.IMG_6994

Coming into Thorne centre there’s a fairly recently installed swing footbridge lurking just beyond the main road bridge. It’s not marked in the 2003 reprint of Nicholson’s, so beware! We’d caught up with the Poppy’s again by this time, and Michael kindly waved us through.

Moorings at Thorne are often at a premium, and the linear moorings beyond the service wharf were pretty full. But the short finger pontoons were completely empty!

So we pulled onto one, and Poppy pulled onto another. Mags wasn’t too happy with the back end stuck out across the channel, not sure whether it was allowed, but then two more boats arrived from the other direction and pulled on too, so she felt a bit more comfortable.IMG_6999
There’s still plenty of room to pass.

Quite a challenging day really, with that brisk crosswind making it difficult to manoeuvre at slow speed. Still, six swing bridges, one lift bridge and a slidey thing done today. No locks though.
Tomorrow on to Bramwith.

Hi Paul. Yes, I spotted that stoppage, and thought it might affect your planning. We’ll wait at Bramwith till Monday morning, but then we’ve really go to get on. Hope to see you there.

Hi Sarah. I do have the Trent Guide to hand when on the tideway, but it’s not absolutely necessary. All the hazards are well signposted. If you want one, you might be lucky at Keadby Lock. Give the lockie a call… You’ll have to book in with him anyway. You don’t have to worry about the gravel barges any more…Sad smile Just one point, the flood only runs for about two hours and the trip from Keadby to Torksey will take five. You’ll have to punch the ebb either at the start or the end of the run.

Hiya Nauti-Cal. Thanks for your comments. That’s where local knowledge comes in, eh. All useful to know.

Locks 0, miles 10.

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