Barges Barging. 17th September

Near Swing Bridge 4 to Goole Services

I know I missed a bit! And the tunnel bands need a repaint.

Enough of that painting malarkey, time to do some boating. But first there were some mushrooms that needed eating up which came accompanied by some baked beans.

Not the full works but a nice start to the day

Once Tilly had had a couple of hours competing with a kestrel for friends, she returned home and the back door was firmly closed. Still a chill in the air but the sun made an appearance which made for a pleasant early autumn cruise.

Our mooring had felt like we were the only boat about, with little footfall, apart from a slightly startled horse we’d felt quite on our own a perfect place for Tilly. At the junction though we could see where everyone had been hanging out.

Straight on!

We headed straight on, passing a gull sat on one of the rocks that stops you from going on a jolly into the reservoir.

Keeping an eye on us

Under Beavers Bridge before the bend to the north to face Drax Power Station.

Before the M18 Bridge there was a field of gulls, bobbing on the surface. I set my camera to Burst Mode as we approached waiting for them to make their move. As we ploughed through them they rose into the air, then circled round us to come back in and land filling the surface again.

No 10 is now accompanied by an old tug, showing off it’s fine funnels.

Oooo, red interiors!

The wind turbines stretch off to the horizon behind Rawcliffe Marina, half of them turning, competing with Drax to produce clean electricity.


A Red Kite (I think) circled over the trees and canal, looking for an early lunch.

Under Goole Railway Bridge and through the stop gates we could see that our chosen Tilly friendly mooring was full. Several boats took the space and what was left was filled with fishermen, we hoped there’d be space for us near the services.

The Aire and Calder Navigation is So congested!

Fortunately there was, just enough room for us on the moorings before the water point, which was half taken up with a little sailing yacht. We tied up and had lunch, followed by topping up on water and disposing of all the rubbish we’d created during the last few days. Sorry the bins are now quite full.

14 day mooring full of boats and fishing

Then a top up of diesel. We winded and came into the gap, the bow breasted up to a boat on the corner who has a large fender positioned for just such moments. Once filled we winded again and returned to the moorings, our space still avavilable.

New yellow neighbour

Across the way alongside Exol Pride a new lick of yellow paint glinted off the side of Fusedale H. Then a huge cloud of smoke came from it’s exhaust, three chaps busy on board.

About to set off

They pulled away towards the docks and our VHF radio crackled into life. The Harbour Master sounded surprised that it was Fusedale, their radio not working as it should. They were asking for permission to enter the harbour waters to wind and then return, their aerial in need of some attention. The Harbour Master commented on ship movements at the docks and that Farndale would soon be making it’s way up off the river.

Duck Island

Fusedale and Farndale are two of the gravel barges that will, next week apparently, be starting to do regular journeys from Hull to Leeds. The chap at Goole Boat House reckons there may be as many as 6 barges in the fleet. Today these two were out doing trial runs.

Later on we heard Farndale come off the river, his radio working better, but their radar a touch dondgy, they needed to fill their tanks to get under a bridge and then would be out of the docks and the incoming ships way. We waited to see if they pulled up alongside Fusedale, but by the time we headed to bed there was still no sign.

Tilly helping to put things away

Under the dinette got a good sort this afternoon. All the painty stuff needed to be stowed away again. The cupboards got hoovered out and a sort, a pair of flipflops and an odd shoe of Micks are now destined for the bins.

0 locks, 7.22 miles, 1 straight on, 2 winds, 1 full water tank, 52 litres diesel, 1 gravel barge, 1 tug, 0 mid aft line, 1 dodgy aerial, 3, 1 shoe, 1 duck island, 0 shore leave for Tilly, 1 last lamb curry.