Okay For Another Year. 26th March

Selby Basin to Gateforth Wharf


I’m not impressed with this outside. I’d hoped that sleeping on it might have improved it, but it hadn’t. Apparently when ever Tom and She have been here before it’s been all green outside. The other apparently, is that I learnt to swim here. They won’t let me out even though the green was to blame for my dip that time. They did however do a little bit of outside moving this morning, this improved the view slightly, adding a tree.

As we pulled forward to fill with water today’s Lock Keeper came over for a chat. He was here to check the lock over and listen to any messages on the answer phone, then head off somewhere else.
Selby Rail Swing Bridge

Selby Lock is normally kept full as the bottom gates are a public right of way, a full lock is safer to fall into than an empty one. The top paddles automatically stay open to help keep the lock full. However, for some reason last week the lock managed to empty itself. This coincided with a big spring tide, which as it came in pushed against the bottom gates. Because the lock was empty the only thing stopping the gates from opening were the chains tethering them. The force of the tide was too much and the chains gave way, opening the bottom gates. After the tide had turned the gates slammed shut doing damage to the bottom cill beneath the water. 
This means that the lock is constantly emptying itself, a boil below the gates evidence to this. The lock is constantly being filled with the top paddles up and the canal constantly being topped up through Haddlesey Lock from the River Aire at the other end of the five mile long canal. Divers are needed to access the bottom gates and also one of the hydraulic pipes has split, necessitating replacement. 
As we chatted we could hear the sound of a boat approaching below the lock. The Lockie ran over to check it was a work boat that had come out from Goole, heading up to Naburn so that when the divers arrive they will have a boat to work from.
There are apparently a couple of boats wanting to come down from Ripon Boat Club, but they are stuck there for the time being. No chance the lock will be mended this week.
Mark and Mick, old school friends

Just before 11am there was a tap on the window. Mark an old friend of Mick’s had come to visit. He was originally going to join us for the trip up to York, but as that was now cancelled he’d come to say hello. A guided tour, cups of tea and a catch up followed. 
All ticked off for another year

An hour earlier than expected Mick got a call from the RCR engineer, he was only a few minutes away so we gave him our location and sure enough two minutes later his van passed Oleanna. We have gold membership with RCR (the equivalent of the AA for boats), which has a benefit of a free engine inspection once a year. Mick does all the servicing, but it’s nice to get a qualified pair of eyes giving her the once over. As last year Oleanna got the thumbs up on everything, she’s good for another year.
Selby Abbey again

Whilst this was happening I popped off to get a few bits of shopping we’d missed yesterday, walking that bit further to Sainsburys. Here on the shelves they had organic grapes! Something I’ve been looking for for a while now. This means that I can now start a sour dough starter to be able to make bread, the grapes are needed for the natural yeast on them.

After we’d had some lunch it was time to get going. Mark and Mick winded Oleanna by the lock gates, the closest we’ll get to York this year.
Leaving Selby behind

Plenty of bikes and cars to hold up this afternoon at the bridge.
Now you see it

Now you don’t
We pootled our way out of town, a Kingfisher flashing his blue at us. A mile or so out of town it was time for Mark to hop off at a bridge (the edges of the canal tend to be quite shallow elsewhere).
The boys in the sun

We waved our goodbyes and carried on to find a suitable place for Tilly. Gateforth Wharf was empty again, so we pulled in and let the cat out.
Another year another licence

0 locks, 3.88 miles, 1 swing bridge, 12 cars, 7 bikes, 1 pedestrian held up, £2.50 grapes, 1 visitor, 1 box of red, 1 Lockie, 1 engineer, 21 points checked, 3.5 hours, 2nd time at Gateforth (sorry Naughty-Cal), 12 months new licence, 2 poor boaters next week it’s the insurance!