Monday, October 31, 2016

A fine day for a cruise

This morning started a bit dull and misty, and early! I normally wake at around half-seven, if I oversleep the Webasto heater, igniting at eight o’clock, gives me a nudge. And so it was today. I got up on hearing the hum of the air pump, but it was only when I went through to the galley to put the kettle on that I realised it was only 7 o’clock! I always forget to change one clock…

The sky had started to clear by the time we were ready to go at around half past nine, and by lunchtime it was a pretty good day, warm and sunny.

There was a boat on the water point above Woodlesford Lock, so we waited for them, sharing the lock before we filled with water below.

In Woodlesford Lock with NB Owl

The lock area is still well kept 10 years on…

Autumn colours below the lock

Lemonroyd Lock is only just over a mile downstream, past the now abandoned Fleet Oil Terminal.IMG_2151
The basin and arm to the left led to a lock down onto the River Aire.

The fisherman just above Lemonroyd Lock was complaining that his neighbour hadn’t got a permit!

Owl had pressed on and was moored above Lemonroyd, and the lady member of the crew had set up the lock ready for us. Not only that but she insisted on sending us down too!

It’s a very deep chamber, over 14 feet.

We rejoined the river below the lock…
…but this isn’t the original route of the navigation.

Following a major breach in 1983 the route was realigned and Kippax Lock removed, the change in level accommodated by the new, deeper Lemonroyd Lock.IMG_2162
I spoke about this when we came up here earlier in the year.

Easy cruising on the wide and deep channel takes us to Castleford where we left the river for the short Castleford Cut, with Castleford Flood Lock at the top end and Bulholme Lock at the bottom.

I don’t remember seeing that in September…

The wharf was there of course, but the painted sign is new. Now there’s little or no commercial traffic on the navigation it’d be OK to stay here, although the edge is a bit high for narrowboats.

CRT workboat on a mission…

…and a bit of high-level maintenance work

I didn’t expect the flood lock to be shut, but was still pleased to be able to cruise straight through.IMG_2170

Castleford Cut

Concentrating on lunch

We pulled in just before the old coal chute, at about a quarter to twelve.IMG_2173

It’s open and sunny a bit further up, but there was a cluster of boats already there. Still, we’re only here for tonight.
We’ve a week to get to Keadby, I spoke to the lockie there this morning and he’s got us booked in to pen out onto the Trent next Monday morning. It struck me afterwards that in the several trips we’ve done on the Trent we’ve never headed upstream on the tideway. First time next week, then.

The eagle-eyed amongst you might have noticed that John Sage is no longer on the roof. Now we’re clear of the short Leeds and Liverpool locks he’s returned to his normal position on the rack over the rudder.
I’m hoping I’ll soon be able to fill the vacated roof space with some firewood…

Locks 2, miles 5

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