Patience Tilly Patience. 30th August

Naburn Water Point Pontoon to Naburn Visitor Moorings

Levels were certainly dropping this morning, but would they get low enough for us to head downstream tomorrow? Our main hope for the day was that the levels would come down enough, early enough for us to play do-ci-do and reverse back to the 48 hour moorings and let Tilly out. We all had our fingers crossed.

Just as we were about to tuck into breakfast we heard an engine and movements from outside. Had someone else arrived? Or was someone leaving?

It was the latter. The Abandoned boat was on the move. Kenny, the Lock Keeper had managed to track down the owner the other day, the chap hadn’t been pleased when he was told his boat had been moved. He apparently changed his mind when he heard that his boat would have sunk if no action had been taken. A couple of days ago smoke was seen coming from the abandoned boats chimney, but nobody saw him until this morning. He asked the hybrid boat to move out as he wanted to be off, so they did as requested. His manoeuvring meant that he ended up across the sterns of everyone else and required a push and then his bow pulling round so that he didn’t remain pinned to us for the rest of the day. He said nothing, headed off upstream, Kenny said he was headed to Linton Lock. Each to their own!

Tom decided to study the charts and lots of words about the Ooose. He obviously needed some assistance so I lent him some, sitting on the book to keep it warm. Very helpful I thought.


The lady from NB Gandja came to say hello, we’d been wondering where abouts of the river they’d got to. They had enjoyed their trip up to Ripon and on their way back they had moored at Boroughbridge when the river started to come up. Someone from the homemade vessel, No 9, had knocked on their roof at about midnight and suggested that they should move to the floating pontoon above Milby Lock. The following morning some C&RT staff told them not to move until the level dropped. When it did they had called Kenny at Naburn, but he told them there was no space, so they headed into York Marina as the river was due to rise again. She was hoping for a discount as they weren’t using any of the facilities, just electric and water, at £27.50 a night! Glad we’d headed to the lock! They plan on heading to Selby on Tuesday, so we may see them again down the way.

To while away some of the afternoon we tagged along at the very back of an heritage tour around the lock. These were taking place over the weekend with a volunteer talking about the history of the Ouse and Naburn Lock. We missed about a third of it, but did find out that the lock island had once been home to a corn/flint mill and workers cottages. The mill and lock were serviced by a blacksmith in one of the buildings which still stands.

Up to the yale lock

The chap showed photos of the floods on Boxing Day 2012 when the lock island was under water, right up to the yale lock on the office door, quite impressive. Neither Mick or myself remember that flood, November 2000 was the highest recorded, the gate across the bottom of the lane by my dad’s house had only one bar left above the water on that occasion, I suspect in 2012 there were at least two bars visible.

1.3 the moorings should be visible

Back at the boats the level was getting more and more promising. Tilly did her best to be patient, waiting for her shore leave to return. We waited for a view to come back to each side of Oleanna. Being hemmed in without a view was getting to all of us. At least you got to go outside!!

So nearly there!

The afternoon wore on, Jo had headed out to the park with her kids and a friend, maybe we should have done the boat shuffle before she went out. Mick chatted to Kenny and Richard, both of us heading down the lock in the morning, we’d be joined by a couple of cruisers heading to Goole. We waited and waited. Was that Tiger Storm we could hear? We waited. That had to be them! I baked a loaf of bread for Mick and then got a fish crumble ready for the oven.

At half an hour past my dingding the back of Oleanna dipped. Tom went to chat with Jo She, She needed to settle the kids then could move her outside and give us some back. This all took way too long, a Tiger Tom should understand my needs and hopes, but they just slid away.

About to be set free

As Jo pulled back we could just see the edge of the moorings glinting in the evening sun, any earlier and we’d have been paddling. Everyone was out and ready to move round. Jo winded and headed off up the cut to wind again and return to the visitor moorings so her kids could have easy access to the bank.

Then it was our turn. Mick reversed Oleanna back to the nearest end of the moorings. A blast of reverse then an adjustment with forwards meant he flooded the moorings, luckily my end stayed dry, well drier as there was a layer of sticky silt that the ducks had been paddling about in.


Doofer moved outwards, the hybrid boat pulled back and Richard reversed NB Isabella back towards the moorings. Doofer and the hybrid moving back in, both against the pontoon. They will be following us down the lock in a few days time.

As we finished tying up, the beeper went announcing that the crumble was ready. It also meant that it was way past cat curfew. Should we risk letting Tilly out for the first time in days. Our decision was no. Should she get carried away and stay out overnight the tide would not wait for us. She would have to make do with a view tonight.


0 locks, 0.06 miles in reverse, 1 boat gone, £27.50! 5 boats shuffled round, 0 milk at the shop, 7pm land visible, 1 balloon, 1 so so bored cat, 2/3rds of a tour, 1 loaf, 1 crumble, 6 days without a view, 2 sun setting vistas revealed, 1 early night.