Five Winds. 9th March



Sun streamed in through the bathroom porthole this morning, the forecast surely must have been wrong! Tilly headed out for eight hours of shore leave and we settled down to breakfast.
Within what felt like a couple of minutes someone had turned the outside light off and rain was starting to hit Oleanna at a diagonal. The forecast had been fairly accurate. 
Tilly came and went getting damper each time she headed off into the sideways trees, but the rain wasn’t going to put her off today.
For weeks I’ve been moving around a bag containing damp crystals, today was the day they would finally get used. In the bedroom we have several damp traps, some in cupboards, one under the front steps and a couple under the bed. They all needed emptying (some of them quite full) and then topping up with crystals. The hardest one to get to is under our bed in a gap between our underbed drawers. To get to this I have to lift the mattress and slide an arm through the holes cut in the bed base. Reaching just as far as I can to get hold of a small damp trap, which needs to be tilted to come through the hole.
First attempt my elbow got stuck, but before I panicked I managed to work it free. The sliding portion of the base wasn’t quite lined up, so it just needed adjusting so as not to trap me again. The trap was full to the brim with water so I managed to position a cloth to catch any overflow as I tipped it through another hole.
The wind just too much to get round

As the morning progressed so did the build up of wind  and rain. A narrowboat came along, the chap at the helm intent on getting somewhere, keeping his speed up to avoid being blustered around. He passed us, then ten minutes later he had winded and was coming back straight into the wind and rain. There being no visitor moorings free by the boat house he’d returned to join us, or so we thought.
He came past us, winded and looked like he was heading to moor up, but then carried on past us again where he winded another time. Maybe he was trying to moor with his bow facing the wind, keep the lapping of waves to the opposite end of the boat from where he sleeps.
Again he came past us, winded and then tried to wind again, this time the wind really wasn’t going to give him a chance to get the bow round. He let it win and carried on  that bit further to where the canal widened giving him more chance to get round. This time he succeeded and then came in to the bank behind us. Here there is only one bollard of any use, which he managed to get his centre line around. Three spikes were hammered into the ground to tie the rest of his ropes to before he could go inside to dry off.
We hadn’t considered moving today due to the weather. Quite glad that wasn’t us.

In the afternoon the sun came back out, the wind still blowing a hoolie, but at least it was brighter. A glance out of the side hatch and there were two sheep. Sheep in Goole?! Hadn’t been expecting them. They looked bedraggled, one with it’s wool clinging on in a few places and bare elsewhere. Then  another four came past, stopping to trim the grass for a while. Desperado sheep, going it alone.
Grazing the towpath

A walk along the towpath later on to stretch our legs meant we caught up with them. Two sat happily in the sideways trees, the other four trimming the towpath, pausing to have a good rub on fencing. 
A satisfying rub
Apart from the wind it was a beautiful day, quite a shame not to be cruising. If we’d have moved off yesterday we’d be on the Aire today where tight bends and the wind would most certainly not have gone together, so we were glad we’d stayed put.
Sunny again
An old rail line leading to the docks

The river levels have been dropping gradually all day, but with the downpour this morning they started to go back up in the evening.

Nearly finished
Who’s been here? They smell funny!

Our booking to head up the River Ouse is on Wednesday, the forecast that day is not appealing with very very strong winds. At the moment we’re hoping things improve and we just have to postpone it by a day, but we’re also aware we may have to we cancel our trip altogether.

0 locks, 0 miles, 8 hours, 4 wet paws, 1 soggy moggy, 2 windy, 5 winds, 6 damp traps, 1 lodged arm, 2 fittings, 2 adjustments, 6 inches, 1 more fitting needed, 6 desperado sheep, 6 roll and folds, 1 block of puff pastry, 1 conpooperated cat.