Friday, May 27, 2011

Bit premature on where I am :-)

I have had problems with the internet access.  The worst place so far has been Sprotborough where I was going to update the blog but with no signal I was out of touch for three days. Did pick up a text occasionally but that was it. 

Any way - left Barnby Dun when I thought another boater was about to go through the bridge but he was in fact only dropping in for water but kindly offered to operate the lift bridge for me.

I was determined this trip to call in at the little church I see every time I pass Sandall Grove.

Its a well cared for church but as with so many things nowadays locked up for security.  The church is full of bits that can be spotted as rebuilds and extensions.  Wouldn't like to hazard a guess at how many I saw in the few minutes I was there.

There is plenty of room to moor up if you fancy dropping in for a look.

Not far and its the first of the large locks at Long Sandall.  Make sure that you moor up securely here as the sluices open up not far from where the bows are while going up stream. 

Slight snag at the lock.  The keeper was there and operated from the tower.  He couldn't see that the bin men had been and the boards they use to cross the gates with had been left in place.  One is now severely dented and the other needs to be replaced. 

One thing that Long Sandall does have is a brilliant mooring with seats, play area and BBQ places.

The church of St George keeps popping up as you travel along with the flood defenses (I think) on one side and a large number of cleared, derelict, and used factory sites on the other.  Strawberry Island is soon in view and that means its only a few more minutes to the Doncaster mooring.

After a couple of days in Doncaster I decide to move on up stream to Sprotborough.

The lock in Doncaster does look very gloomy and dark with all the road and rail bridges over and around it. Another mechanical one as they all are for miles along here.

Inside the lock there is some really nice graffiti on one of the walls.  I hope the usual morons don't get their spray cans out.

On the mooring there are some lovely roses growing wild.  I will try and get a few cuttings on the way back and hope that they will grow at the flat.

Just past the mooring is a link into the River Don.  This would make a brilliant place to moor up with the prison on the left security should be ok one would think.

and this is where the River Don disappears off to do its own thing.

The old Clyde boat the Wyre Lady comes down with a private hire group with a party going on.  Didn't stop to give me a drink but the pirate ladies on the front did offer :-)

There are a few bridges along here to break the monotony of trees.  The furthest one is the A1.

At last the Sprotborough Lock. Wrong side mooring :-(

Several work boats moored just above and in the distance the pub which one moors opposite.

The Sprotborough Mooring.

The Wyre Lady has caught me up and the party is still in full swing. On Sunday she does ferry trips up and down the river picking up at the mooring outside the pub.

Behind the mooring is the weir which can be heard shushing in the background.

Still a few boats moving about including BW workboats.

and the Humber Princess makes an appearance going up stream fully loaded and a day later coming back down empty.

Out of Sprotborough and back on to the river. Tree lined and in the background of the woods are a number of quarries.  My rock hammer was itching to get off and have a look.

Some of the quarries are still in use and this one at Cadeby still uses the waterways to move the stone about now and again.

Conisbrough viaduct is quite a sight and massive as you go under it.  Graffiti artists have been at it here and taken their life in their hands to let us know that Daz has some white paint.

Conisbrough Castle gets a mention in the guide but there is no mooring to get ashore to have a look.  There are some bollards here so at some time boats must have moored up but I didn't try - just in case :-)

The entry into the system of the River Dearne.  There doesn't seem to be much water coming down at the moment.

Mexborough Low lock and another of those that have the mooring on the wrong side if you are on your own. With the large locks this is a ten day camel hike to get the gates open.

The start of Mexborough from jusy outside the low lock.

There is mention of an arch belonging to the church.  I can only assume that this is it.  I wonder how much longer it will last before it falls down.

Mexborough Top Lock and not far now to the mooring.

There are some bits of interest along the towpath.  A pair of rather large water snails I assume getting matey :-)

and soon after a rather large butterfly that has recently had the vegetation trimmed back. 

The view from the stern at Mexborough. Dash is soon ashore and giving the Magpies hell by the sound of them :-)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Donny here I come

Another of the BW work boats seem to have been sold.  One assumes this as the chap forrard is chipping the roof and I can't see this happening these days of health and safety.

 The 'Enforcer' Mark had been around checking up on boats that had overstayed their welcome and rather than push my luck decided it was time to more on towards Doncaster.

Its only a couple of minutes and its the Thorne lock.  It takes a little time to get through here with the swing bridge to be operated before you can leave the lock. Well going up stream at least.  Take care here as I did find a week ago that it is possible to leave both top and bottom sluices open at the same time.  They had been like this for about an hour by the time I got there and the level above the lock had dropped several inches before I had closed up.

In a wall at the lock is the above plaque.  Anyone know the story.  She must be linked to the lock in some fashion.

You trundle along and then you see something that reminds you of why it is such a joy (sometimes) to be on the canal. Ten ducklings all lined up on a plank of wood.

At Stainforth I pull in and moor up to make a cuppa.  Dash has a wander about but didnt find anything of interest so came back. nb Verity passed as I prepared to leave so followed up to Bramwith swingbridge.  As they held the bridge open for me I went on and prepared the lock.

Just a steady run now up to Barnby Dun and the lift bridge.

Behind me is the junction.  The New Junction to the left - route to Goole and Leeds - to the right Thorne and Keadby.

I decided to stop at the bridge and wait for another boat to come along and either share the work or pop through if possible.

However as the next and only boat this evening was the Humber Princess I decided to stay put.  Even though she is going at a very sedate speed she really moves the water about.  A little later the boat starts bumping again as the Princess enters the aqueduct over the River Don.