Hold Onto Your Hats, And Phones! 3rd September

West Haddlesey Flood Lock to Whitley Lock, Aire and Calder Navigation

Another attempt to find my phone this morning. The endoscope was used again, but came up with nothing. Then we both had a trawl with the landing net. The bottom of the canal is certainly not smooth, rocks get in the way then all of a sudden there is another foot of depth. So after a while we gave up.

Last attempt

Last time this happened I was able to purchase a new phone from Argos and get a new sim card from EE relatively easily, so I tried again. The phone I had is no longer available, but the next version was out of stock at Selby, Doncaster and Goole. I could order one, but it wouldn’t be delivered until the end of the weekend. Another model was checked out, a similar spec, this one a little bit more expensive of course was ready to be picked up in any store I wanted!

The Flood Lock

Not wanting to go back to the nearest option, Selby again, I checked stock elsewhere I clicked the buy button, then made an appointment to visit the nearest EE shop for a sim card. Time to plot our route to Goole.

The rain yesterday had lifted the river levels a touch. A quick check of the levels board on the other side of the lock. Through the muddy residue I could make out a few inches of green, yesterday there had been a foot. Time to make a move, not wanting to get stuck again.

All around the lock at West Haddlesey there are figures and bunting. I’d originally thought they had been made to keep youngsters occupied and to celebrate VE day. But now I’m not so certain. Maybe they are for some sort of pagan ritual. The shrunken head on a branch was a touch alarming!

Leaving the lock behind

Leaving the lock as found, one top paddle raised a third to help keep the levels on the canal up, we turned west away from Eggborough Power Station. Then back to face it, then away again. Blimey it was windy out there!

A moving boat!

I kept a close eye out to see if at any one time all three power stations would be visible, but as a third one came into view another would have just vanished behind a river bank.

Oleanna pushed her way upstream, in and out of the wind, the current stronger than when we’d come down. An hour later we arrived at Beale Lock and worked our way up. Swifts dashed and darted across the lock cutting, today there was no white dusty scum on the water or in the air.

Bank Dole Lock

Pushing on we had a snack and a cuppa as we cruised, passed a couple of boats heading down stream and another hour later arrived at Bank Dole Lock where both bottom gates had been left open. This was to our advantage, but a right pain if you’d been coming from above. I hopped off, Mick pulled over to the port side, roped up, gates closed, then I lifted the starboard side paddle, the port side not working.

Last manual lock for a while

Our last manual lock for quite some time, we prepared for a wait as its an extreamly slow filler. I was surprised that we were just about level after twenty minutes. Although the last inch took its’ time before the top gate could be opened.

At Bank Dole Junction the big boats here have had a reshuffle. Sometime very soon gravel barges will be starting to do the journey from Hull, to Goole and then on to Leeds. The position of the big boats would have caused problems for a fully laden commercial craft.

Ready for commercial craft to pass

Heading eastwards we passed Kellingley Colliery, the last deep-pit coal mine in Britain which closed in 2015. Now very little gives away the site, the odd mound of slag, but all the buildings have been demolished and the sign by the wharf have now gone.

On the other side of the railway a huge solar farm spreads across the land, Eggborough Power Station (old power) in the back ground.

Some familiar boats were passed. What felt like a new stretch of moorings on the off side close to the M62. One boat with a lot of fenders. We could have stopped at the Jolly Millers Moorings, but decided to carry on, we knew a better place for Tilly.

Under the M62

Just under the M62 is Whitley Lock. The key of power would now be doing the hard work for us instead of my arms and windlasses. It always seems such a huge amount of water for one little narrowboat to change height.

Below we pulled into a space and tied up. Tilly had the run of the grassy mooring for the rest of the afternoon. Mick down loaded my settings onto the phone we use for Waterway Routes so I could keep an eye on the world, no one can call me yet, I’ll need a sim card for that, but within range of our wifi I can keep an eye on emails etc.

I’m not sure about it here

I hate it when it’s blowy up my bum! So not fare. Then there were woofers. One who’s Tom was really thick. ‘He’s not seen a cat for years’, he then sat at the nearest bench to Oleanna and let his woofer sniff round everywhere I’d been. At one point it looked like it was going to come inside! Apparently last time they tied this outside up I liked it, I’m not so sure now!

Come and play conkers!

She came out and we had a good game of conker. Her conker skills with her toe were really quite good. I got to chase them all around, but when I did catch them they were a touch too spiky and they looked very covid like. I think I’ll stick to playing with my bedoingee balls inside.

4 locks, 10.39 miles, 1 right, 1 left, 0 phone fished out, 1 temporary phone, 1 ordered, 1 appointment, 1 river, 2 canals, 1 blowy day, 21 conkers.