Friday, 26 April 2013

Friday 26th April 2013
A long day today, 6 hours of running, much longer than we normally do.
After the disappointment of not getting our new water pump we have decided to press on and hopefully get the pump on our way back in a few weeks time.
We set off at about 8.30 this morning, the first lock was Bulholme and luckily there was a keeper in attendance waiting for a gravel barge. He penned us through because the barge was about 15 minutes away. These days we carry VHF radio which is very handy for just that situation, and not long after the lock we met Fossdale, the gravel barge, at Pilkington Corner. Because we had the radio we knew he was there and we had a chat as well.
Ferrybridge flood lock was open so we cruised through easily, carried on to where the Navigation splits, with the canal part turning right, while straight on leads to Bank Dole Lock which drops down onto the River Aire. It's the way to go if Selby and York are your destination. We turned right, passing Kellingley Coliery,

one of very few coal mines left in this country. We carried on through Whitley and Pollington Locks, much of this section is flat and open allowing today's cold wind to whistle across.
 Wide open and windy
Showers all around us
Lots of shower clouds were building up and at one time there were many showers around us, but none of them dropped on us.
 We turned at Southfield Junction onto the New Junction Canal. This very straight 6 mile section has 1 lock and 7 lift or swing bridges, all but one of them are powered. That one is at Sykehouse Lock, and makes operation of the lock quite awkward. The BW key unlocks the manual swing bridge, and when that is opened it allows the paddles and gates to be operated, but it means that passing crews cannot hand over without shutting the bridge, which may be impossible if the boat is long enough to foul the bridge.
We reached the end of that straight section at what seems to be an unnamed junction where The Stainforth and Keadby Canal join in and have moored up for the night. A fine place, well out in the country.

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