Woodlesford Lock to Oil Terminal Arm
Mick was off straight after breakfast for our Saturday newspaper, heading up into Woodlesford, returning just in time for 10am and the Geraghty Zoom. Todays topics, dragons, being tongue tied and art patrons. Tilly had been refused shore leave as we intended leaving soon after seeing the family, so to stop her incessant winging at the back doors she and I had an extended game of pen at the dinette. This seemed to do the trick.
Before pushing off we emptied the yellow water tank and then pushed over to the water point to fill up. Rubbish was disposed of and Tilly got a fresh litter box whilst we waited for the tank to fill. NB Barley came past leap frogging us. At the time we thought we might catch them up, but then our plans changed.
To reach Selby for our passage up the Tidal Ouse to York we need to do a couple of hours or there abouts a day. Quite a few of the moorings will mean that Tilly will be deprived of shore leave, so we decided to only go a short way today. Our chosen mooring would have all she would want, shady trees for us and the possibility of a barbecue. But this would mean a longer day tomorrow to catch up, not really a problem.
A chap stood at the downstream panel for Woodlesford Lock pressing buttons. He was there for ages without the gates opening, so I went to see what was happening. He said that Barley had left the paddles up when they left. I assumed he’d meant the paddles at the downstream end. He stood and pressed the gate button, nothing happening, kept pressing the paddle button, nothing. I looked below the lock, there were signs that the level in the lock was higher than below, suggesting that the lock had started to fill itself after being used. A full lock is a safer lock should anyone fall into it and rivers tend to have sufficient water to cope with this.
I suggested he tried turning the panel off, removing his key and starting all over again. This worked and the lock emptied. I suggested to use my key on the top panel so that hand over would be easier, the chap agreed. Once in the lock he gave a thumbs up, just after I’d pushed the button to fill the lock the chap at the helm disappeared inside. Through the front doors I could see two of them were making a snack and drinks, they only came back up on deck when the lock was nearly full, admittedly their boat had only wandered about a bit in the lock as it was a gentle filler, but still.
Lots of people have been making comments about the state of the canals since lockdown, towpath cutting, reeds taking over, weed. But today here was the biggest thing I’ve noticed. Woodlesford Lock normally has the grass kept neat as my Grandfather would have liked to see it and the flower beds immaculate. Any dead heads removed and not a weed in sight. But today the grass is long, some flowers are in bloom but all around them is filled with weeds. One can only assume the volunteers who normally look after the area have been shielding.
Below the lock we cruised about a mile to join another boat in our chosen mooring. We winded so as to have the port side to the towpath and tried to get in. A few tries didn’t work, in the end we reversed back behind the other boat and tucked in nicely.
Here the towpath is actually a little bit away from the edge, giving us a grassy area next to us without so much footfall. Tilly got straight to work, rolled in the dust and then headed off into the friendly cover.
I mixed up some sourdough cracker dough and experimented with the flavouring. The last two batches I’d made were rosemary and thyme with parmesan. Today I went for paprika, mustard, garlic and pumpkin seeds. They were okay, but I’d forgotten to sprinkle on some seasalt before baking them. They could have done with a touch more flavour.
Then a batch of gluten free rolls were mixed up and left to rise whilst I got on with clearing the roof and preparing to wash the port side whilst Mick listened to the cricket.
Under where the plank and poles sit the red bar on the roof has developed some rust spots. So these got some attention before the roof was washed. On finishing the roof the batch of rolls had risen enough to be shaped and left to prove. This was all timed very well with washing down the cabin side which had got extreamly dusty in Calverley.
The barbecue came out and Mick chopped away at the big chunks of charcoal with an axe, they were soon glowing away and ready to cook on. Halloumi and veg kebabs and some pork and apple burgers tonight, all whilst Tilly had extended shore leave. Todays temperatures hadn’t been quite as high as we thought they’d be and by the time we’d finished eating it was decidedly chilly out, no sitting out to watch the sunset tonight.
1 lock, 1 mile, 1 wind, 10am zoom,1 newspaper, 1 empty wee tank, 1 full water tank, 0 rubbish, 1 unkempt lock, 1 twonk head, 0.5 roof clean, 1 cabin side clean, 1 big puddle of oil, 6 more patches of rust, 1 coat fertan, 4 kebabs, 4 burgers, 4 rolls, 4 glasses of wine, 1 chilly evening.