Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Trent Lock to Zouch

Nice sunny day again. Called in at Kegworth Marine to see if they could do a service, but they were too busy. However they supplied 164 litres of diesel @ 61p/l, so can't complain.

Some of the locks on the Soar are very stiff, but we had occasional help. Tied up just above Zouch Lock, effectively just one day behind CanalPlan's schedule for us.

6.2 miles, 6 locks (inc 2 flood locks left open), 3.5 engine hours

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Nottingham to Trent Lock

Another sunny day. Stopped at Beeston to meet up with Andrew Chard, who came for a coffee. Then filled up with water at Beeston Lock, and went up on to the river section.

Arranged with Debdale to do the blacking next week, probably Thursday / Friday. They agreed to have a look at the seal on the propellor drive lubrication at the same time, but indicated there may be a wait for parts.

Tried to visit Mills boatyard on the Erewash to get the 250 hour service, but the mechanic was elsewhere. On the phone he recommended a yard in Kegworth, though it wasn't entirely clear which one.

Continued up the Erewash to the first winding hole, then came back and tied up just above Trent Lock.

10.4 miles, 4 locks, 6 engine hours

Monday, 28 September 2015

Gunthorpe to Nottingham

Set out, once the mist had cleared about 10.30. Late morning after getting up to watch the eclipse of the moon in the middle of the night. Lovely sunny morning. Explored the navigable bit of the Trent down to the County Hall moorings, before coming back and going up Meadow Lane Lock.

Went into Castle marina for a pump-out – DIY for £12.50 without Blue. Bought a new chain and a new windlass from the chandlery.

Reversed back up the cut a bit for a shop in Sainsbury's, and tied up facing the right direction for the morning.

13.2 miles, 4 locks, 8 engine hours

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Newark to Gunthorpe

Set off around 11 a.m., once the mist had cleared. Very nice section of the river – far more interesting than any other part so far. The sunny weather really helped. Lots of family groups and fishermen out on this Sunday.

Tied up on a floating pontoon above Gunthorpe Lock. Very good mooring, and so far very peaceful.

13.6 miles, 3 locks, 5.5 engine hours.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Torksey to Newark

Fine but foggy morning. Cruising on the tide up to Cromwell was difficult – the visibility could have been dangerous if there was more traffic or worse weather. As it was, it cleared after an hour or so, and we cruised in bright sunshine.

Through Cromwell Lock and Nether Lock, and tied up on the wall before Town Bridge. Moorings very bad – very difficult for Mgt to get off the boat and up the wall.

21.9 miles, 3 locks, 6.5 engine hours

Friday, 25 September 2015

Lincoln to Torksey

Another fine day, clouding over and getting a chilly during the morning.

Winded in Brayford Basin, took on water at the Lincoln services, and made good time back to Torksey. Investigated whether we could tie up nearer the lock, but in the end came back to the 72 hour visitor moorings.

11.2 miles, 0 locks, 4 engine hours.

Thursday, 24 September 2015


Had a day exploring Lincoln.

0 miles, 3 engine hours

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Saxilby to Lincoln

Fine day. Ran engine for showers first thing. Set out for Lincoln around coffee time. Found a space on the visitor moorings just before the bridge – though it was all pretty full.

Walked up to the Cathedral around tea time, and joined in the Evening Prayer service. Ran the engine again in the evening.

5 miles, 0 locks, 5 engine hours

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Keadby to Saxilby

Bright, generally sunny with some cloud. Warm without being hot, especially on the river. Went down Keadby lock at about 11 a.m. to catch the tide. Smoother exit than at Selby. No problems at all with the navigation, and did 6 - 7 mph on 1400 rpm most of the way up.

Torksey lockie informed us that tomorrow's tide for Cromwell would be late afternoon, so we decided to go up on to the Fossdyke and visit Lincoln. Tied up in Sexily.

33.3 miles, 2 locks, 7 engine hours

Monday, 21 September 2015


Drizzly day, at times raining harder. Went to see boats go down Keadby Lock at around 10 a.m., then spent the day mostly inside, apart from a walk late afternoon, once the sun came out.

0 miles, 3 engine hours

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Stainforth to Keadby

Generally fine day, though got a bit cloudy and cool later on. Rang Keadby lock to postpone our move on to the Trent until Tuesday, in view of Monday's weather forecast.

First up was Thorne Lock and swing bridge. CRT's Brian appeared as we were working the system out, having been called from Rotherham because a boat was apparently stuck in the lock. He helped us through, and I mentioned yesterday's experience with Bramwith lock, which he said he would report.

Stopped in Thorne for water, and visited Sainsbury's for a few things. Chatted with the couple on NB Two Can, and then went with them through the bridges down to Keadby. However the second bridge, Moores Swing Bridge, closed very slowly, and then reported an error. We couldn't get the key out. Rang CRT, and within a few minutes Brian reappeared. By this time I'd pressed the emergency shutdown button – and was then able to retrieve the key.

Meanwhile the other couple had gone down to work the next bridge, but must have got fed up waiting for us. However, we caught them up later, and went on together. This included the sliding railway bridge just before Keadby.

12 miles, 1 lock, 1 lift bridge, 6 swing bridges, 1 sliding railway bridge (!), 7.5 engine hours

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Whitley Lock to Stainforth

Bright, sunny day. Are & Calder / New Junction Canal / Stainforth & Keadby Canal.

Nearly came to grief in Bramwith Lock, when the back left corner of Erin Mae got caught on the lock wall as we went down – I was pulling her in with the stern line to stay clear of the cill in this short lock. She was tipping well over to the right. Dropped bottom paddles. She dropped clear before we could get back to let more water in to the lock. Big scary moment.

Didn't like the moorings just through the bridge in Stainforth, so tied up just beyond the winding hole a mile further on.

14.5 miles, 2 locks, 3 swing bridges, 3 lift bridges, 5 engine hours.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Selby to Whitley Lock

Came through the swing bridge first thing, then tried to find Tesco's to buy anti-freeze and some milk. Turned out to be a very long walk. No anti-freeze, so bought 2 litres of pre-diluted stuff from a motoring shop.

Day was fine and sunny later until a touch of drizzle at 5.30. Made good time down the Selby Canal,  though we had to work the flood lock, and on to the A&C main line. Moored up below Whiteley Lock.

15.8 miles, 4 locks, 1 swing bridge, 8 engine hours

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

York to Naburn

Decided to move to Naburn in the morning, in view of the Met Office weather warning. Lovely, fine day when the mist had cleared. River had risen 9 inches in the night – a reminder to be careful at Naburn where, again, we won't be on a floating pontoon.

Got a bottle of gas at York marina (£27.75), but their solid fuel was very expensive. A boater at Naburn gave the number of Coopers, who deliver to Selby basin on Thursdays, so I ordered a couple of bags of Excel, to await our arrival.

After lunch at Naburn, I re-fitted the air intake for the Webasto, and topped up the header tank too much. Had to disconnect a pipe to get the liquid out, and lost the contents of the header. So we need to buy some more anti-freeze.

6.3 miles, 0 locks, 4.5 engine hours

Tuesday, 15 September 2015


Raining quite heavily first thing, but cleared up later. Took the bus to Ripon and back. Then went to choral evensong the Minster, and out for a pizza after running the engine for a while.

0 miles, 2 engine hours.

Monday, 14 September 2015


Quite a lot of drizzle during the day, and the overcast sky meant the solar panel did nothing to stop the batteries dropping. But I ran the engine only from about 4.30.

Wandered again, a bit aimlessly, around some of the city, and walked down The Shambles.

Got in touch with Keadby lock keeper, who was helpful in thinking about tides and times.

0 miles, 3 engine hours

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Selby to York

Lock keeper Nigel had said 7.30 a.m. for going down the lock. It was actually a little earlier. I'd already checked the weed hatch. Had a plate of breakfast going down. Day was fine but chilly at first.

The tide was flowing but not too bad. Erin Mae tilted to the right as she got caught in the flow – makes sense but I'd expected a tilt to the left. There was a lot of debris in the flood, some of which we had to be careful to avoid. Once we left Selby it was all rather uninteresting because of the high banks.

Got diesel at 73p from York Marina. 100 litre cut-off, so that's what I got, for convenience. It was nearly full. Good place.

Tied up above Lendal Bridge. They were still doing repair work on the moorings, but we breasted up against NB Isobel, since they suggested it and were going to stay only a couple of hours.

19.8 miles, 2 locks, 4.5 engine hours

Saturday, 12 September 2015


Early rain dried up, and we went to find the lock keeper at 11.30, but he wasn't around. Brought Erin Mae up to the water point, and then back to a slightly different mooring.

Went to visit the Abbey in the afternoon. After a cuppa got the anchor out, and checked the weed-hatch. Ran the engine plenty.

0 miles, 4 engine hours.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Castleford to Selby

Set out around 10. Weather generally fine but windy. Warm end to the day.

Wind caused a problem at West Haddlesey Flood Lock – the junction between the river section and the Selby Canal proper. Thought we had to go to the pontoon to see what the lock was doing, but another boat was there. Tried to nudge up to let Margaret off the front, but the wind started to blow me on to the bank. Reversed hard back into the river, but too shallow for much traction. Meanwhile wind continued to blow me on to the bank. Eventually got just enough clearance to swing round and head for the lock, which was completely open anyway.

Good run through – did it in about 50 minutes less than CanalPlan suggested. But this must be the longest distance we've ever done in one day.

18.2 miles, 5 locks, 1 swing bridge, 6 engine hours

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Leeds to Castleford

Fine day, warm when the sun was out. Ran the engine first thing, did a small shop in the Tesco Express, and slipped the mooring at around 9.45, to come down River Lock and onto the Aire & Calder. Filled up with water in Clarence Dock.

First lock on the A & C didn't seem to be working, unless it was just that we weren't reading the signals. CRT sent Andy over to help. After that it was straightforward cruising to Castleford. Two of the locks had CRT staff or volunteers who helped us through.

Tied up in Castleford, on the last after the first bridge. Numbers of boats moored there, including some big ones, though the official visitor mooring seemed to be on the other bank.

11 miles, 8 locks, 7.5 engine hours.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015


SG on 63 this morning after another night with the inverter off. Lower than the day before, but probably because of watching the football during the evening. Ran the engine first thing and for an hour in the evening. Dull day – not much solar. Breakfast at Philpott's. On to the Armouries Museum, which failed to inspire. Walked around Clarence Lock / Leeds Lock and investigated the first lock on the A & C to see how it worked. Then walked in to the town, and visited the Henry Moore Institute Paul Neagu exhibition, then the art gallery next door.

Rang Selby lock-keeper to check the system. Booked in for Sunday morning – 7 a.m. will catch the tide. Back on Thursday – Naburn lock at 10.30 a.m. looks good.

Played the piano outside Sainsburys in Leeds Railway Station.

0 miles, 3 engine hours

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Apperley Bridge to Leeds

Got away well, knowing this would be a long day. Two triple staircase locks had seasonal lock-keepers, and we had help from oncoming boaters at Kirkstall lock. Day was grey, and even threatened drizzle at one point.

Tied up on Granary Wharf,  just below Office Lock. There had been some talk of a charge being levied, but nothing has happened so far.

Extracted three bucket-fills of water from the engine compartment, and cleared the weed-hatch.

8.9 miles, 12 locks, 5 swing bridges, 6.5 engine hours.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Dowley Gap to Apperley Bridge

Generally fine day, with some good late afternoon sun. Started out in the company of NB Deolali for a 2-chamber staircase lock and a single on, before they left us while we stopped at Saltaire for a visit.

Worked the remaining locks and bridges on our own, including the final one at Apperley Bridge during rush hour.

Tied up opposite the marina, to see whether they might look at the Webasto connections, but they are shut tomorrow.

Will try turning off the inverter tonight to see what happens. Last night SG dropped from 70 to 30 during the night, having been at 100 when we stopped for the day.

6.2 miles, 8 locks, 6 swing bridges, 7 engine hours

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Riddlesden to Dowley Gap

Had thought about stopping at a boatyard before the 5-rise locks to see if they could locate a leak from the Webasto, but they didn't look like anywhere I wanted to stop. So we pulled up for water above the locks, and waited to go down. Had to wait about 2 hours while a wide beam and then a narrowboat came up. So we ran a wash while we waited. Went down with NB Deolali – very wet in places.

Tied up at the Fisherman's pub at Dowley Gap, just above the final staircase locks.

4.6 miles, 8 locks, 3 swing bridges, 8 engine hours

Saturday, 5 September 2015


Visited East Riddlesden Hall. Walked down to B&Q to buy a new big torch.

0 miles, 3 engine hours

Friday, 4 September 2015


Bus to Keighley to see if Screwfix had a screw for the back door lock cover – no. Caught the bus to Oakworth, walked down to the state and back, and ate lunch in Holden Park.

SG a.m. 48%, ran engine 2 hours a.m and 2 hours p.m. Some sunshine in the afternoon.

0 miles, 4 engine hours

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Kildwick to Riddlesden

New territory at last! Got a pump-out at Silsden (£15 with blue, but not sure he rinsed out very well).

Countryside much the same, but the Riddlesden moorings are pretty much on a building site.

5.5 miles, 0 locks, 9 swing bridges, 7 engine hours

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Skipton to Kildwick

Moved up to the water point. Got some manuscript paper from Smith's while it was filling, then did a final small shop in Morrisons. Started travelling about 10.30, and got to Kildwick in time for a slightly late lunch. Tied up a bit further beyond the winding hole than usual.

5.1 miles, 6 swing bridges, 3.5 engine hours

Tuesday, 1 September 2015


Big launderette visit in the morning.

0 miles, 1.5 engine hours