Saturday, February 28, 2009

Thank Goodness for Keadby

Never has a lock been more welcome than the view of Keadby coming into sight.

Coming out of Ferriby on the high tide at 0730 I skirted the south side of Reads Island. To begin with there was not much of a problem with the island plain in view. As the trip progressed the wind and waves got higher. Some of the waves were really quite big and not for a restful journey with a narrowboat.

No time to listen to the radio or have a cup of tea from the flask with all my time taken up with looking for changes in the water to indicate the sandbars. At the end of the island the channel became a bit narrow it seemed.

Once into the Humber proper the wave became even bigger and more of them started spraying over the roof as the bows cut through the water.

I reached the line of red buoys and then used the GPS to follow my previous route in reverse.

After a while I met up with the Humber Survey boat working from side to side of the Humber. I slowed to let him through and with the waves coming head on and his bow wave coming at an angle the boat started to roll and there was a lot of violent movement up and down as well as from side to side. Very scary. After changing my underwear I followed the GPS track up to Trent Falls. All the way here the waves were large and moved the boat about quite a bit. I felt rather sorry for the cat who was hiding below.

Trent Falls presented me with yet another problem. The waves were coming head on and the River Trent was to the south. I now had to turn the boat side on to the waves to get round and in to the river. This was worrying. As I reached the line of stakes a calm patch appeared and I turned with much rocking and rolling around.

Into the Trent. The tide was now starting to ebb and my speed dropped and not wanting to thrash the engine I kept the speed to 3.5 mph.

The big boys were still at home. Thankfully. Whether this was because someone had mentioned that there was an idiot on the Humber with a narrowboat or not I cannot say.

On the way down the Trent I had found that the speed would drop if I was too close to the bank. On this part of the trip I used this to keep the speed up slightly. Towards the middle of the river my speed would drop to 2 mph.

Wonder of wonders. Keadby Lock came into sight at 1230 and I was inside safely by 1330.

An item I will have to get is a hands free gizmo for the mobile. The wind makes it impossible to hear anyone.

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