Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Thorne down to Keadby less the bit for wind

 During the last few days at Thorne BW work boat went past. Spotted it later bit further down towards Keadby and it arrived today at Vasons Bridge.

 Before we undertook the arduous journey down to Keadby, (well it was hard to get ones backside into gear so to speak) I topped up with a gas bottle, some derv a length of rope and a new battery.  The new batteries work a treat and even without the engine running have managed an hour or so telly in the evening. Just a bit of wind so as there is more coming it might be best to get the trip over and done with.

 While doing the business a snake was spotted in the water.  Having not put a pic of one on the blog I thought this an opportunity not to be missed. You can just see its tail while it is hiding in the tyre/fender at the mooring.

A quick poke with a pointed stick (not really I just moved the tyre slightly) and it decided to move on. Its between three and four foot long.

 My first canal serpent :-)

Two of us are heading off to Keadby and the wind is increasing.

 Can't remember what this one is called but its an exBW workboat thats being converted on the canal side at Bluewater Marina.

 The conversion is giving it a nice shaped bow.

Mumble mumble discontent DRM.  I hate going sideways down the canal due to the wind.  The other boat turned around at the first bridge.  It is a bit on the flat side round here with nothing to slow the wind down. Can't say I entirely blame him.  Several goes needed to get off the moorings as I go down towards Keadby.

Fed up at one spot so stopped to make a cup of tea and get some apples for a tart.

 Every bridge seems to have a bit of open ground off to one side and the mooring is always on the leeward side to boot.

There are still a number of cygnets (13) on the run up to Keadby.

 Thank goodness for the view.

 Vasons Bridge and I am stuck.  The wind is so strong that I can't get the bows to stay out long enough to start the boat moving. Ah well at least its a quiet place to moor up.

It doesn't seem to be so bad really.

 Still can't get it to behave and after 3/4 hour work manage to get the boat to the other side with the hope of jumping at the bridge hole when its open but in the end can't be bothered.


  Following morning its even worse.

 Waves getting higher.

 Some of these are well over 2ft high and the crest of some are on the gunnel.

 Couple of boats have come up from Keadby.  Its quite calm there but the moment you come through the bridge hole the wind takes over.

Still bad and tonight its started raining.  If it rains hard enough it should flat out the waves and I won't get seasick. :-)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sheffield (missed it) and back to Thorne


Due to the amount of water going over the top of the gates the powers that be or BW in this instance have locked them up with a non-standard lock so to progress one needs to ring up and book a lockie.  The one that arrives I felt I knew but was fairly sure that it wasnt up here.  Later I found him in a Waterways mag when a feature had been done on him and his length. Very helpful he was too. Even offered to have a word with the private moorings further down so I could stay the night.

This is the furthest that we went and turned around (just enough room) in the basin after the next lock.  The weir can be seen from the gates.

Then its back to the lock where the lockie is waiting to let me out for the trip back to Rotherham. Taking care to miss the small bit that juts out on the bend.  I missed the bit that was above water but bumped the bit below while avoiding an oncoming boat. Oops.

Soon as we are back the lock is set up for us and off we go. 

We are right on the edge of Rotherham and apart from the factories and buildings appearing through the trees we could be out in the coutryside miles from anywhere.

Lee walked on towards the town centre and it is just around this corner.

Rotherham is just as scruffy from this angle too.  Its a pity as there is a lot that could be down to improve the canal at this point.

A minute later and its industrial time again.  Many of them are derelict and there is an almost brand new building here where the canal walls are dropping into the cut. Must be a bit worrying for inhabitants.

Turned the corner and it the Humber Princess unloading. At the stern a crew member is painting. Ok. But PINK. They must go astern from here back to the basin and past all the moored boats.  I cock-up and a few boats could be flattened.

and its out the other side and back to the lock for a night or two. There is an old canal off to the left and its name is the Duke of someone or others canal. I think. It can be seen from the road bridge.

 As we left the next day it was difficult to miss the fact that a wedding was on the cards.  The Lockkeepers cottage is privately owned and on the lawn in front the ceremony will take place. Hope the weather stays well for them.  Visitors came from as far away as Crawley :-)

The major question on everyone that comes up here is "Where is the bacon sandwich factory?"  The smell of cooking bacon is overwhelming now and again.

 Stopped at the lock for a few moments to pluck up the courage to try and operate the gates.  They worked at the second try this time.  A quick trip out of the lock to Asda to stock up.

 The view up the side of the Aldwarke lock towards the weir.

 A short distance away and there are gantries all ready to put stuff back on the canals and rivers.

 One or two place along the canal and there are new apartments, houses and flats for sale.  The area looks much improved to the way it looked a few years ago.

and its back to Swinton and Waddingtons. 

 There is one reason the old boats are vanishing. They are being cut up for scrap. Not a lot left of this one.

I wonder if they will ever get this reopened and a route made to Barnsley.  It would be nice to have another ring to travel on.

Another quick stop to shop at Mexbrough.


and another place with space for moorings.  Mind you I wouldnt want to stop here at the moment.  There is rather too much ammo left lying around for the Oiks to throw at you.

and yet a few yards further on and it is tranquil and very pleasant.

Time to start looking for a mooring for tonight with the hotel near if a "facility" is required.

The mooring from the bows. Top up with water at the lock in the morning.

Its not far now down to Sprotborough. 

However the scumbags are out.  I spotted the kids running about on the viaduct and luckily I knew that the surface up there was concrete with no stones that could be hurled down.  They still managed to try spitting on us. WHY

Someone somewhere has been doing some work to keep the heat in.  Wish he had keep it to himself.  Bits of it floating all the way down. At least the duck has somewhere to stand.

At last the church comes into view.

and Wyre Lady is out ferrying people about. We passed them up near the viaduct.

Stayed the night and moved on to Doncaster.  The lock is quite near so Lee walked up to get it ready for me.

Big isn't it. :-)

I saw these the last time I was up.  Have they started breeding does anyone know.

Delightful weather and it nice to be out.  The run to Doncaster is just a slow chug.  We have visitors coming on-board today.

Through the lock and as we go under the bridge I am sure that the train from Sunny Scunny goes overhead.

 Happily the mooring is all but empty. One would have thought that everyone would be out in this weather.

 Lees grandchildren and daughter come on board for a trip down the canal to Stainforth.  Zack has figured out how to use the throttle already.  This can be a bit awkward when getting off the boat to tie up :-)

The stopping of all the traffic whilst the boat goes under the bridge at Barnby Dunn went down really well with the youngsters. The oldsters just grumped about missing the dog mess :-)

Decided to stay the night just across the canal from the New Inn.  Nice pub and decent food.


Gosh! another boat. 

This is in the book as a mooring place.  I am not so sure.  Its the old loading area for the pit but is now used for motorbikes and burning rubbish.

Anyone into brewing beer.  I spotted some hops growing wild along the canal bank.

Its back to Thorne for a few days to sort out the flat. Decided to head off out onto the canal for longer runs next year.  Might even get a winter mooring again.

Took Abz down to the flat and had a long walk onto the sands near the Fitties.  Sadly there was a marsh in the way but after a was Abz shoes were almost back to pristine condition. There was a biplane going up and down the shore line.

Bit of a close up and he has a wing-walker on board.

No visit is complete without icecream and a photo on the 0 degree line and reference to GMT etc. Abz already knew having come here with the school.

We all loved the narrow gauge railway

 Walking back to the camper and there is a station in the middle of the line.  Here there is a cafe, bar and museum.  The trains look superb.

with cranes for doing that heavy lifting that sometimes needs doing.

But Abz was not very impressed by some of the visitors who seem to be incapable of reading the sign that is on each item of gear.  Do Not Sit On Exhibit. Adult would lift their little darlings into the drivers seat for a photo.

 and they are not all perfect.  There is still this one which is a piece of work in progress.

Outside the train is in the station waiting.  Not sure what for but it did.  Just like the real thing :-)

Meanwhile back at Thorne I spotted this lady walking past.  Why is she wearing a dress made out of my curtains in the flat. :-)

 The weekend saw the Regatta at the marina.  Not very well advertised I thought.  No mention on Waterscape website. A line of vintage or should that be veteran cars. The weather for the first day was fine but on Sunday it rained or drizzled then sun came out before raining again.

A display of diving gear from the Historical  Diving Society and I well remember doing handstands against a wall to let drain out certain substances after a long time inside a diving suit.

The balls on water was a great hit with youngsters.  I think they should have been on the canal though :-)

Then there was this fellow advertising a wildlife sanctuary. Gorgeous or what.

The pirates were out and about. Later there was a display and someone had a heart attack.  Not sure if it was as a direct result but the bangs were loud enough.

One or two nice old cars

Spotted this one for Andy.  Only £1500 too