We May Be Here Longer Than An Hour! 25th August

Scarborough Railway Bridge to Naburn Water Point Pontoon

What a rainy morning. Before river traffic commenced the water was fairly calm, fast flowing past us but calm. One boat came past heading down stream and pulled up at the bottom of Museum Gardens, a kind of hybrid of cruiser and narrowboat.

Just above water

As the rain lashed down around us I had quite a long messenger conversation with my old college friend Nick. We’d been hoping to catch up whilst being around York, yesterday would have been a perfect time to meet, a sunny evening, but it was too short notice by the time we got into town. The plan had been for him to visit this morning, but with torrential rain that simply was bonkers. As we’ll be staying north this winter we hope we can catch up at another time.

Our mooring last night, 4 inches above

The level had gone down a touch this morning, so at least when our Sainsburys delivery arrived nobody needed to be wearing wellies! Our shopping was quickly sorted, quarantine goods went into the shower cubicle where it would be drier than the welldeck. Fridge items came inside to be dealt with, but that was put on hold until we’d pushed off, winded and headed back towards Naburn, the river level was not going to stay where it was for long.

Guildhall Building Site

At the back of the Guildhall a large floating pontoon was tied up to where the trip boats sleep at night, this had been brought from Queens Staith. It looks like the building works are supplied by road to Queens Staith, loaded onto the pontoon which is towed to the back of the Guildhall where it is craned off onto site, much easier than bringing everything down the side of the Mansion House.

Heading downstream under Ouse bridge

Our progress on the river heading downstream was fast and we made it back to Naburn in about an hour. The level hadn’t started to rise here so we decided to give Tilly some shore leave before it was likely to be cancelled.

A few puddles but it looks like it won’t drift away

Now on the third different bit of towpath near Naburn Lock, Tilly was very tentative to step off, but on seeing that there was some dry land she soon jumped up onto the bank and headed off. She’d been given a couple of hours leave.

Mick tested the depth here . To the sides of each ladder are large chunks of wood to help protect the ladders and boats from each other, but in rising water these may well be something that your boat could end up sitting on. We didn’t plan to be near them for very long.

Mick went to chat to the Lockie who lives on site. The water point pontoon had been vacated by two cruisers yesterday and already Richard and Heather had moved onto it. Breasted up against them was the widebeam we’d seen at Linton Lock. This is where we should move to as the level is set to rise much higher than it did the other day. We just needed to leave the end where the water point is so that people could access it.

The one thing we needed now was Tilly. Mad cat woman time, in the gale that had now settled in. Shouting and shouting, listening for birds giving away her location or for her to reply to me. Nothing.

I walked up and down, spending more time where she spent most of her time before. But of course we were now moored nearer the lock and there was a good patch of trees at that end.

No blistering but not smooth

I did the circuit again. We emptied the yellow water, trying to be interesting, but we failed. Another circuit, then another. I checked the paint I’d applied yesterday, thankfully it hasn’t blistered up. I still wasn’t interesting enough! Another circuit. Eventually I heard a reply. Thank goodness she hadn’t gone walkabout and lost her scent in the wind! She came trotting back out from nowhere and jumped straight on the boat.

Time to make a move.

View out the front

So right now it decided to tip it down. We’d both put coats on, but not waterproof trousers. There wasn’t far to move, but we both got soaked in the process. We pulled alongside Doofer the widebeam, their bow curving away from us so I opted to throw our bow rope over their T stud. I did this very well, but also managed to catch their full bow and button. I tried again a couple of times, but also got their anchor.

View through the bathroom porthole

I am cautious stepping onto other boats, you don’t know how grippy the gunnels are, having bad grip in one hand doesn’t help either. I waited for Mick to acknowledge that I was going to step across, not wanting any movement between the two boats. When I felt safe I hopped over made sure our rope was round their stud and climbed back on board Oleanna to tie up. We were now the third boat breasted up to the pontoon.


One boat has been sat on the moorings for the last few days, nobody on board, just loose ropes. Mick had chatted to the Lockie about it, should they move it to the pontoon? With the Leeds C&RT office closed the Lockie couldn’t get contact details for the owner and he shouldn’t move it without permission.

Suspect we’ll all be here longer than an hour

A while later we could see the Lockie and the chap from Doofer bow hauling the narrowboat along to join us. Jo had originally pulled up to where we’d been the other day on the high wall, but the Lockie wasn’t keen on this. Levels are due to rise in York to around 3m, so he advised her to move alongside us which would be safer. Everyone was out battling against the wind and rain, boats rafted together. We adjusted ourselves to try to level up the sterns for safer access across to land, which was just as well as Jo was about to take her kids to Leeds.

Breasted up ready for the Tsunami

All safe now we sat and waited for the levels to come up. This took it’s time. We’d all been in a rush to get breasted up in the wind and rain as if we’d been expecting a tsunami from York.

I forwarded the forecast levels to Andrew in London for them to think about. If the river does come up that much the pontoon here will be at the same level as the water point, any higher then wellies or waders might be needed to get on and off the pontoon, who knows if the camping field will remain above water?!

During the afternoon we only had a four inch rise. I finished making some buckwheat lasagne to use up the bolognese sauce from two days ago. The gluten free lasagne you can buy in shops isn’t that good, but with my sour dough starter and a bit of resting time my version is far tastier.

0 locks, 5.7 miles, 1 wind, 2.13kg leg of lamb, 6 boxes wine, 4 inches spare, 1 AWOL cat, 1 howling gale, 4 abreast, 1 behind, 3 kids evacuated, 1 Tiger Storm, 4 inches only, 0 view, 1 tasty lasagne, 2 boaters and 1 cat safe.