Thursday, 30 July 2009

Rain, Rain and more rain.

It would seem that every day we must have our quoter of rain. This morning was no exception.While in the throws of this mornings heavy downpour when the sky was very dark the solar panel regulator showed that we were using more than they were producing. We ran the engine for an hour to compensate and heat the water.
After the downpour Richard and Gill arrived with baby Duncan,Richard took me to the local garage for some diesel. On this part of the system there seems to be a lack of boat yards that sell diesel. I can't imagine what those based here do.Perhaps someone will let me know.
This afternoon Marlene and I took a walk round some of the local footpaths around the Washlands. The sun had come out and it was warm, a nice change.
Last night Graeme finally phoned at half past seven and we walked up and met them in the local pub(I think it's called the Ferry Boat but I'm not sure). It was a very good night and very nice beer,Speckled Hen.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

A few days visiting family.

Since my last posting on Friday we have been off the boat visiting family. We first went to our son Richards on Saturday, then we borrowed the car(our old Renault Scenic)and went down to our Daughter Pamela's as Monday was our Grandson Archie's first birthday. We had a birthday tea on Sunday when Archie's Auntie, Uncle and cousin came as well as his godfather and his wife. On Monday we went to Sacrewell Farm Park near Peterborough,Archie loved seeing all the animals. Then on Tuesday we set of back,with some trepidation as the old car was playing up. There was alot of strange noises coming from the gearbox in every gear but fourth. It is not easy trying to drive over a hundred mile in fourth but we did it except when we had to stop. Then it was a quick sprint up the gears and back into fourth,with lots of funny looks from the people around us.On the way back we called to see Marlene's two sisters in Featherstone (W/Yorks).
Today we are back on Doublefracture at Stanley Ferry waiting for a phone call from our nephew Graeme to say whether he is coming down here for a drink this evening.
Today's pictures are the Mill pond & inside the mill at the Farm Park.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Returning Luke.

It was quite breezy on Wednesday morning,but was helpful when I came to turn the boat round to retrace our route back to Castleford, where we had to return Luke to his mother on Thursday. At Whitley Lock we filled our water tank then went through the lock.Our aim was to moor at Ferrybridge Wednesday night, then do the last stage up the river to Castleford on Thursday morning. As we approached the mooring and lock the lock gates opened to allow us through, however we moored just before the lock and the gates closed again. I went and spoke to the lock keeper and bought two pump out cards so we could pump out when we got to Castleford. I was told that a sand barge would be going up river at about 9=30 Thursday morning, so we decided to leave at 10-o clock. On Wednesday evening My sister Jennifer brought her grandson Charlie to see us again,and arranged to travel with us next morning,without Charlie who was still at school.
Next morning Jennifer arrived just after the sand barge had gone up river. At 10-o clock we passed through the lock as planned. About 15 minutes into our journey we passed a sand barge that was coming down river empty. Mooring in the 24hr moorings at Castleford lock we pumped out and waited for Gill to collect Luke, which she did around 3-o clock. Just after that Jennifer left to catch her train back home, While Marlene and I walked up to visit My mother once again.
This morning we got talking to the couple in the mooring next to us to discover their boat had been built at Fox narrow boats where we had started out from in May.After a quick walk into town we then set off for Stanley Ferry where we were planning to stay the night.As I write this it is a lovely sunny evening and dinner is cooking, what more can any one ask for.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

A long game of pool.

Moved from Ferrybridge to Whitley bridge on Monday morning. It was strange going through Knottingley and seeing it from a different angle,seems a long time since we lived there. When we got through Knottingley Luke took the helm, he's quite good when he is being sensible. In the evening Jennifer, Malcolm, Mali, Heath and Charlie came with there friend Dave to see the boat. Thanks for the eggs Mali.
This morning we carried on through Heck and Pollington, then turned right down New Junction Canal to the lift bridge at Sykehouse where we moored and had lunch. At pollington lock Marlene operated the lock while I did the boat, a first. In the afternoon we walked into the village and had a drink at The Old George, Luke and Marlene played pool. I must say it was a rather long game(Marlene won).Tonight we will stay here then turn round in the morning and head back the way we came.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

In the shadow of the Cooling Towers.

Morning arrived with more rain,although it didn't last too long. While we were eating breakfast boats started heading toward Bulholme Lock. After we had eaten, Luke and I walked down to see how low the river was. It was in amber on the scale so we decided to go to the tap and fill our water tank. Going up there Doublefracture seemed to lack power, so while the tank was filling I opened the weed hatch and put my arm into the water to find enough plastic,rope and wire to fill a bucket(see picture).
With full power restored and our water tank full we headed for the lock. At the lock we were one of three boats going down,as we were last to enter the lock we all stayed on board and the other people operated the lock. Leaving first we led the procession down the river to Ferrybridge lock. Of course arriving first it was my turn to operate the lock. It had started to rain again so we moored for the night in the shadow of the cooling towers.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Fast stream warning.

We stayed at Lemonroyd Lock on Thursday,taking a walk down the river and across the first bridge then returning up the opposite bank. Back in 1988 the open cast mine at ST Aidens breached the river bank, flooding the outcrop and causing the river to run backwards for a time. After the breach they did away with the old Kippax Lock, rerouted the river and built a new lock at Lemonroyd. Now it is hard to see where the old Kippax lock was. On Friday morning we left Lemonroyd and headed back to Castleford.As we were nearly there one of the large tankers came towards us, the bow wave caused us to bounce about a bit. As we approached the flood lock at Castleford the traffic light was at red, as I pulled to the side to see what was happening a sand barge came across my bow, passing from the river Calder into the canal section. When it had passed through the lock the light went green and I followed it through.
This morning as we walked into town we noticed that the river was high and flowing rather fast,so when we got back to the boat I walked down to Bulholme Lock to see if it was passable, Unfortunately it was too high for safe passage down the river section to Ferrybridge(see photo's). This was a problem as one of the grandchildren was coming for a few days. Looking at the river tonight with young Luke, it looks to be dropping quite quickly. Hopefully we should be able to move tomorrow or Monday.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Persistent Rain (while traveling).

Today we had to move from Castleford because our 48hrs were up. I find it strange that there are no longer term moorings. On the Peak Forest canal there were 7 day moorings,and this was in a holiday area. It's a strange policy. Our move took us up the river Aire toward Leeds We then moored at the top of Lemonroyd lock(see pictures).Rain was a problem all morning,ending in me getting soaked while operating the lock. After lunch we walked into Woodlesford along Fleet Lane and returned along the canal towpath, carrying our umbrella's. Naturally the sun shone all afternoon.It is now a lovely sunny evening.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Big Boats.

This morning Doublefracture started to move on it's mooring ropes,looking toward Bulholme lock(which is a good distance away)I saw a large tanker coming towards us. These boats are long and low in the water. The water that is pushed before them is considerable,moving the boat well before they draw level with you. A little later another large boat, this time carrying sand came up from Bulholme lock with the same effect. Meeting one while we are moving must cause us to bounce about a bit.
Changing the subject, let me say that while we have been away from the boat for the four days our solar panals have worked well. Our fridge freezer works on 240volts,even so we have still had plenty of power on our return to Doublefracture. Before getting the solar panels we dare not leave it for two nights without running the engine.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Visiting Mother.

Have been away from the boat since Wednesday evening visiting family.Came back Sunday lunch time. Waited in all afternoon for our nephew Graeme to come pay us a visit,however he didn't arrive until this morning(apparently he'd been watching the cricket). We left Stanley Ferry with Graeme and his wife Lesley on board. The plan was to spend a night at Altofts lock, but there were no visitor moorings,so we dropped our passengers and continued to Castleford where we moored for the night. While on our way to Castleford Richard and Gill phoned to say they would meet us there. They stayed an hour or two then went home to meet the kids from school.
Tomorrow we will Visit mother in Allerton Bywater, which is a short walk from the Castleford Mooring. Another night moored in Castleford

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Stanley Ferry, at last.

Every time we make an early start something happens to slow us down. Today was no exception. All went well till we reached Greenwood flood lock. The lock had been closed by BW because of all the rain last night. It took over an hour before we could open the gates. Lunch time arrived, however we ate while we traveled.It was around 17-00 hrs before we reached Stanley Ferry visitor moorings.A long hard day. Most of the locks are in a bad state of repair,paddles stiff and big heavy gates that don't open fully. We spoke to two men who were walking on the tow path at the junction with the Dewsbury Arm, when we passed a pub further down they waved from the Garden.Pictures were taken at the junction with the Dewsbury Arm

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Back on the Move.

We returned to the boat Sunday evening after a good family weekend ,which included a visit from our nephew David and his wife Jane. Leaving our mooring at Aspley Basin we set off down the Huddersfield Broad canal quite quickly we came to Turnbridge Loco lift bridge. Here we had to stop the traffic then lift the bridge so we could pass under. it is done by pushing buttons not winding like the lift bridges on the Peak Forest canal. This stretch of canal has a lot of duck weed, infact in places it looked like a green carpet it was so thick. Luckily this kind of weed is on the surface and didn't foul our propeller.
We soon ran into the showers that had been forecast and they were very heavy at times. The three and three quarter mile(including 9 locks) took us till lunch time. We now turned onto the Calder and Hebble with its wide locks. It was still raining when we set off after lunch, so by 17-oohrs we had had enough of being wet so we moored for the night at Shepley Bridge Marina visitor moorings.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

A weekend on land.

It proved to be a longer day than we expected on Thursday. We started well at 08-30hrs and made good progress through lock 21 to lock 12. Then we met two boaters who were stuck in lock 7 on their way up. The problem was the usual one lack of water in the pounds. I was informed they had contacted BW. We decided to have lunch while we waited to be told what BW wanted us to do. There was plenty of water flowing from where we were filling the lower pounds, so we were asked to wait two hours then we should be able to continue and pass the boat coming up just above lock eight. Before the two hours were up the boat coming up(Five ways) arrived at our lock. They had very kindly drained the pounds again to get them selves up leaving us short of water again.
It took until 16-00hrs to get water levels to a point where we could continue. In the time we were waiting we booked a mooring for the weekend at Aspley Basin, they also arranged for our Boat Safety Certificate to be done on Friday afternoon. Once we got moving again we decided to push on till we got to the Basin on Thursday night.We finally arrived at 20-30hrs tired and hungry.We had a quick meal of egg and fried potatoes, then showered and changed then went for a well earned pint at the pub next to the boatyard.
On Friday we did some cleaning and Marlene did the laundry. In the afternoon John Walker came and did our Boat Safety Certificate(it passed),he then very kindly dropped us at our Richards house where we are staying for the weekend.
Today Pamela, Nathan and Archie are also coming to Richards for the day. We are going back to the boat Monday and will continue our travels on Tuesday. The picture is Doublefracture entering lock 21 leaving Slaithwaite.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

On the move again.

This morning we walked back up the locks to Marsden, on the way back we had a look at the reservoir which is very low. We were just about to have lunch when two men from BW came to say the repair had been done and we could continue our journey. They worked the locks from 31 to 27, at the entrance to 27 Marlene squeezed past the boat that was coming up when the damage was done. After that we were on our own. As I worked down the locks Marlene followed with the boat. Coming out of lock 23 we were passing through Slaithwaite(pronounced Slouit in these parts). Passing right through the centre to lock 22 we dropped down to the visitor moorings and stopped for the night. After our evening meal we walked round town,calling at the Shoulder of Mutton for a pint of Black Sheep(Marlene had 1/2 a shandy).Back to the boat for a quiet evening, a long day ahead tomorrow.