Friday, 6 June 2014

Perfect Cruising weather.

It was twenty past nine when we crossed the Stanley Ferry Acquaduct. The sun was shining and it was warm. As we cruised between the tree lined banks of the canal a Swallow skimmed the water catching the midges that flew just above the surface. In the trees a blackbird called. Even with the noise of the engine I could still hear the chatter of small birds. A glance to my left and there's a Heron stood perfectly still,looking as if it could be a plastic model. From around the corner comes Birkwood bridge and just beyond our first lock. Then a flash of colour in the trees, a Jay, always a lovely sight. We drop down the lock and now we are in open country,cows and horses in the fields. It's not far to Kings Road lock. Altofts on the ridge on the right, in the distance a Buzzerd makes lazy circles high in the sky. Geese graze in the fields, Canada Geese to the right, what look like Pink Footed Geese on the left. Marlene comes up to take the boat into the lock,she has been doing some washing. After Kings Road lock we are brought back to the real world as we pass under the M62. Woods now on our right,fields to the left. On a rise in the fields a flash of red,Poppys. It seems appropriate with the 70th anniversary of D-Day. One end of Fairies Hill moorings is to our right as we approach Woodnock Lock. As we get close the owner of the wide berth boat that is moored at the water point opens the lock gates for us. We thank him as we pass into the lock then chat as we drop down on to the River Calder,this is a drop of thirteen foot six inches. It's calm on the river as we pass the lower enterance to Fairies hill. The large mooring for the Gravel barges is on our right, sadly the gravel now goes out by road. As we carry on another Heron stands in the water. Then just round the bend two herons fly up,we don't often see two together, they circle over the boat like two teradactels. We are now getting close to our destination,going under the Methley road bridge I recall when it was built and a bailey bridge was put across while it was under construction, I was young then,where has the time gone. Finally we arrive at the junction with the River Aire and Castleford lock,closed dispite the river being low. I operate the lock while talking to a former lock keeper,who had worked this area for forty odd years. This then is where we will moor for ten to fourteen days. It has taken us two and a half hours to come down and it's days like this that make it worth while.hope you enjoyed the trip as much as we did.

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