Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Good to be on the move again.

We finally moved out of Skipton today, although we have had two changes of view while we were there!
On Saturday, with Meg now fixed but with a review on Monday, we moved around the corner, away from the bus station and pulled in above Eller Beck next to Victoria Mill. But it was a bit manic, with boats maneouvering for the swing bridge nearby, and the trip boat Cobbydale zooming past at regular intervals, so on Sunday morning we shuffled on a bit further, now up to the 7 day moorings between Brewery Lane and Gawflat Swing Bridges. It’s actually one of the best bits for mooring in Skipton if you can get in just before the Herriot Hotel. A low wall alongside allows it to be sunny and also gives a clear shot at the spot in the sky for satellite tv. Terrestrial reception in the town in pretty poor, at least from the canal.
Meg’s follow-up appointment at the vets went well, it was the surgeon who operated on her that we saw, and he was very pleased with the healing progress. But we do have to go back again for a final sign-off next Monday. So I guess we’ll be toddling off back again on Sunday, unless the weather is particularly dire, in which case Meg and I will catch a bus.
We are very pleased with the attention Meg has received at the vet, Ashlands, near Tescos and only a short walk from the canal. They are efficient, thorough and caring, and very reasonably priced, too. Recommended.

Anyhow, today dawned bright and sunny but we weren’t off so soon. A visit to the shops for fresh stuff, then a shuffle up, just a boat’s length, to the water tap, took us until about half-ten. But then we were off, through Gawflat Swing Bridge and heading out of town. IMG_1942 

Reflections under the by-pass bridge

A beautiful morning…

We passed a DIY boat, made up of various bits of salvage and supported by a pair of pontoons.

Whatever floats your boat…

Inscribed on one of the roof supports – “This is not a raft, nor is it a ship. It’s an instrument playing an unending melody” Hmm, OK. Looks like a shed to me...

We passed several more ordinary boats today, there does seem to be more about up here these last couple of weeks since the kids went back to school. A lot of hire boats, from Silsden, Skipton, and further afield.
I got chatting to a New Zealand lady (I’m sorry, I’ve forgotten your name) who had hired a boat from Mercia Marina near Derby. This is the third time they’ve done this, hiring for a seven week period, and they’ve covered quiet a few waterways on their extended trips. They read this blog, and Tom and Jan’s. But they won’t be able to catch up till they get home. So, good to meet you, and I hope you enjoyed your trip.

We had four swing bridges to deal with today, Niffany was extremely stiff as usual, but Thorlby and Highgate were fine.

Thorlby Swing Bridge, with the ridge of Sharp Haw rising behindIMG_1952

Mags is happy…

Last winter contractors were doing quite a bit of bank repairing along here, installing fabric edging backfilled by dredged silt. Now the new edge has consolidated the local farmers are putting up fences to stop the sheep from floating away. If an animal with a full fleece falls in it’s pretty much curtains for it.

Easier than a big hammer…

Sleepy sheepies dozing in the sun


We had just one lock to do today, the first since Bingley. We caught up with a boat here, unfortunately a fat hire boat out of Silsden so there was no opportunity to share.

Silsden fat boat going into Holme Bridge Lock

I pulled in, tied up and walked up to give them a hand, just in time to prevent the lady flooding the fore end of the boat as she wound up a gate paddle first. These are deep locks and the gate paddles are considerably higher than the boat deck! I explained the use of the ground paddles… This has box paddles, but they’ll encounter cloughs further up.

Holme Bridge Lock, bottom gates inscribed with poetry…IMG_1960 
“Super High Way, Super Wet Way. Super Slow Way, Super Low Way” Super.

We pulled in on a favourite spot above the lock, just past the aqueduct carrying the canal over Eshton Beck. We’ll stay here for a couple of days before moving up to the Gargrave visitor moorings later in the week.

Thanks for the thoughts about Meg. She's actually talking to me again now! While her gums are healing she's been having sausages for a treat instead of chew sticks. I think I may have made a rod for my own back... I may be looking to offload several bags of Dentastix, Rodeos and pig's ears!

Locks 1, miles 4

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