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Showing posts from August, 2013

River Ouse, Selby Canal, River Aire, Aire & Calder Navigation. York to Woodlesford

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It’s been a bit of a dash across Yorkshire for the last few days. After passing the amazing array of weird and wonderful watercraft moored downstreamfrom York , we arrived at Naburn the day before our tidal crossing was booked. We were joined later by Shambles and Mandakini, plus Chris & Jan on Squeezebox who were all going to be on the tideway with us. The gates were due to be opened at quarter to three in the afternoon, so just like Selby on the way up, we had the morning waiting around, checking and re-checking everything and drinking far more tea than was good for us. This time of course it was a lot more sociable; our little gang had been together for a week or so and we’d all become quite friendly.
By three o’clock a little line of five narrowboats and a  plastic cruiser were out on the river.
For the first hour or so we were pushing the tide, (The lock-keeper lets you out before high tide so that there’s still enough water in the river when you get to Selby to get you over…

River Ouse, River Ure, Ripon Canal. York to Ripon and Back.

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It took about 3 hours pushing against the river to get to Linton. When we got there we found a plastic boat tied up to the far end of the rather short lock jetty, its G&T swilling occupants blithely ignoring the “For Lock Operation Only” sign. Due to the strong current sweeping round the bend from the weir we had to come in at a fair lick and we were only going to get one stab at it. As our big steel boat came rather rapidly towards their small fiberglass one, they began to appreciate just how vulnerable their position was, and that not spending £6 for a day on a proper mooring might be about become a rather large false economy. For some reason they all got off. We got it bang on perfect; we kissed the jetty, Ann-Marie stepped daintily off and demurely swung the front rope around a cleat while Dave gave a blast of reverse thrust and we stopped about 4 feet from their very expensive looking stern, parallel to the jetty and with a quarter of our boat still out in the river. They all…

River Aire, Selby Canal, River Ouse. Beal Lock to York.

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Although we didn’t realise it at the time, our trip from Beal Lock to West Haddlesey was particularly uneventful. We casually cruised down the river with no commotion whatsoever,
turned into the open flood lock at the start of the Selby Canal,
gently moored up on the floating pontoon and naively presumed it was always thus.
Martin and Yvonne on NB Evolution, who we met at Castleford and who have considerably more boating experience, did the same journey the following morning and arrived at West Haddlesey shortly after we left. We met them again at Selby and their journey had been the exact opposite. They told an alarming tale of rising water, strong currents and wind pinning them to lock moorings. We’re rapidly learning about the unpredictable nature of rivers and it’s certainly making life exciting, if a little tricky to organise.
We, dear reader, also have a tale of the riverbank. We went for a walk back to Beal to recover our car. The footpath marked on the map alongside the Aire…