Thursday, August 25, 2016

Through the green carpet to Thorne

Red sky at night?
This wouldn’t have given shepherds any delight though, it rained on and off all night! It had cleared up by the time Meg and I went out, but remained dull and overcast all day.

Leaving Keadby

This end of the Stainforth and Keadby Canal is infested with duckweed, lemnoideae, and seems to be worse each time we come this way. Luckily it doesn’t have any effect on the prop, not consolidated enough I guess.

It was pretty thick as we approached our first of several moving bridges, Vazon Sliding Rail Bridge.IMG_1544
The line crosses the canal at an acute angle, so the solution to allow boat passage is to slide a section of the track away, at 90° to the alignment. They do like their clever engineering up here, don’t they! There’s a bridge keeper on duty, and we timed it well between trains, opening the bridge for us as we approached.

Through the gap you can see the next bridge, a conventional one, this.

Mags comes through Vazon Swing Bridge, the railway bridge in the background.

Cutting a channel through the green stuff
Built for large commercial barges the canal is wide, deep and very straight!

Since everyone cleared off from the Keadby moorings yesterday it’s been very quiet. In fact we were the only boat there for most of day. No-one was moving on the water this morning, then we had the excitement of seeing one approaching in the distance. It looked a bit odd, and as we got nearer we saw why. It was a weed collector for the duckweed.
I think they’re fighting a losing battle. I reckon it’s growing as fast as they’re removing it! There were some clearer patches where they'd been working, but they were being encroached upon again.

The farmers around here have diversified into wind!

We had several bridges to deal with, mostly swinging, some manual and some semi-automated. The last but one carries a road near Wyke Well and, just to be different, is a mechanised lift bridge.

Wykewell Lift Bridge.

The weed thins out as we get near Thorne, passing Tyler Wilson’s boatyard. Our shell was built here in Thorne and shipped to Northwich for fitting out.IMG_1558

One more bridge to go, and it’s the sneakily hidden footbridge, lurking under the new Thorne Road Bridge. The chap off the last boat on the permanent moorings waved us forward, then walked up and opened it for us.

The grandly-named Princess Royal Swing Footbridge being opened by the kind gentleman on the left.
It can be a bit of a pain; the latches on the gates don’t always engage properly so you can finish up walking backwards and forwards across the bridge, giving them a rattle then trying again. All with your boat waiting below and pedestrians waiting at either end.

Just beyond are end-on moorings in front of the sanitary station, and we were able to manoeuvre into one berth. This’ll do for tonight, we can fill with water before we leave and the village is handy for shopping.
Tomorrow we’ll head on, looking for somewhere quiet for the Bank Holiday weekend.

Locks 0, miles 10


Sue said...

Ha, I had to laugh... The weed cutters.... Weed cutter for that stuff? Well OK shovelers.. A PR exercise to show they are doing it. But they can't it just closes over after 20 minutes!

Naughty-Cal said...

That footbridge is a nightmare. Don't think we have ever managed to get it to work first time!

Geoff and Mags said...

Hi Both
Yes Sue, I think it's a bit of a pointless exercise, clearing up the weed as they are. It needs sorting though, it'll be having a detrimental effect on the aquatic life in the canal. Another thing that needs sorting is that footbridge, you're right Naughty-Cal. I struggled with the thing last time, you can't believe how relieved I was to see the guy wave us through!