A Small Diversion. 4th March

Sykehouse Junction to Goole Docks

Staying awake till late possibly helped us sleep through Freya biffing us around, or maybe she just lulled us to sleep as we both slept well. This morning we decided that we’d like to move on today, but the wind was still a touch too strong for us to push off. In fact it might have been impossible at times to push off even using a reverse Andy due to the strong gusts. So we just waited and let Tilly out into the wind instead of us.
Can I come in please!

That was nice of them! This outside yesterday had been really good, but today it was huffing and fuffing up my bum! If I stayed close to Oleanna it wasn’t too bad, but none of my potential friends come that close. So I had to brave the wind to find some play mates. This wasn’t that successful so instead I kept Her and Tom busy opening and closing the doors so that I could get treats for coming home.

No boats or windsurfers today

After lunch we decided to brave the elements and managed to push off. Instead of turning left towards Leeds we turned right to Goole. A top up of diesel and more bags of coal were needed and in the past Goole’s prices have been worth the extra miles. 

Nobody was out on the reservoir today, not surprising really. A few bends in the canal gave us a good view of Drax Power Station before it straightened off. Far in the distance, almost three miles away we could see boats in Goole. 
Blue bow coming our way

Zooming in with my camera it looked like there was a blue bow facing us. Exol Pride according to the C&RT chap at Mexborough is due up to Rotherham tomorrow, could it be on it’s way already? The blue stayed in view, but seemed to be staying put. However what was getting closer was a very big black sky that was hunting us down. The last mile Mick cranked the engine up a touch more, hoping we’d arrive in Goole in the dry.

Darkening skies behind us

As you come into Goole there are moorings on the off side, a narrowboat was tied up here and there was space should we want or need to join them. The Yorkshire Waterways Museum follows on the towpath side, which has numerous of it’s collection of old boats moored up outside. Several Tom Puddings amongst them, these used to link together in long lines to transport coal from the mines to ships at the docks. Then there is a short length of Visitor Moorings just before the water point.
Big boats everywhere

No luck today they were all taken, but  a space alongside the Goole Boathouse Marina showed itself. We’d be on pins, not ideal but it would do for today. Up ahead on the other side were two large old boats, both with blue bows, these were what I could see from three miles away. Quite glad it wasn’t Exol Pride.
With pins in and ropes tied the first hard cold balls of rain started to fall. A cold front directly overhead bringing with it hail. We’d made it just in time.
On the marina side of this outside lives a woofer, a fat round woofer, who thinks it owns this outside! Because of him I wasn’t allowed out, no matter how I protested they wouldn’t open up the door. I’d have put him in his place!

This Goole outside has hard wetness

Our arrival was a couple of hours before high tide at Goole. Mick turned the VHF radio onto channel 14 to listen in to see if any boats would be coming off the river. Looking at Vessel Tracker we also spotted that Exol Pride was heading up stream on the Humber from Hull.
Every now and then the radio would come alive, the Lock Keeper talking to boats still too far away for us to hear. Little Shuva (a tug that shuvs) was on it’s way from Howden to help with Prima Ballerina when it arrived and Exol Pride was at the apex (by this we assumed they meant Trent Falls). Water levels were given frequently at Blacktoft and at Goole high tide was due at 6.30pm.
Here she comes

A low rumbling noise gradually grew. Was this Exol Pride? A large white light shone from the direction of the docks, gradually we could make out that the bow was blue. Here she was slowing to moor up for the night. Each gentle touch on her throttle sent a huge wave in our direction as she slowly glided alongside another boat. Once tied up the wheel house was lowered, lights turned off and Exol Pride went to sleep.
Choppy waters
from Exols stern

0 locks, 6.36 miles, 0 access through the bathroom porthole, 1 right, 2 power stations, 1 space left for us, 1 hail storm, 2 boaters dry, 1 woofer, 3 blue boats, 1 prima ballerina, 1 exol pride, 1 parcel ready to go to Australia.