Assisted Passage, Breach 34. 25th March

Well Canal and River Trust have been busy with notices. On the website yesterday they posted the following

Update 24/03/21

The Trust and its contractors are in the final stages of making the cofferdam watertight, to enable the cofferdam to be dewatered. We anticipate that our engineers will be able to carry out the first detailed inspection at the breach site shortly after Easter. Water levels continue to be carefully monitored. While passage through Goole Caission is not possible at present, the Trust is working hard to ensure boaters can once again pass between Pollington and Sykehouse Lock. We intend to operate this on a booking only basis from 12 April (in line with the Government road map).

Certainly the levels in Goole were much better yesterday. But another ten days before engineers carry out a detailed inspection!

Then today notices regarding assisted passage have been coming through.

From the 12th of April access through Whitley Lock will be possible twice daily at 10am and 3pm.

From the 12th April, we shall be permitting a once a day access through Pollington Lock and Sykehouse Lock at 10am daily to allow boats to transit between Pollington Lock to Sykehouse Lock.

Mooring and overnight staying along sections between Pollington and Sykehouse Locks is not currently permitted.

Passage through these locks needs to be booked 48hrs in advance by calling 0303 0404040, Mon to Fri 9am – 5pm

Why assisted passage? Because they need to control the water levels in the pound where the breach is and should two locks full of water be let out at the same time, the wave created would likely overtop the cofferdam.

This is all very exciting. Except we still can’t get out from Goole!

A is Viking Marina B Ocean Lock onto the River Ouse

But should we be able to escape out onto the River Ouse we would be able to turn left and head up stream to Selby.

C Selby Lock

Turn in at Selby lock onto the Selby Canal.

D Tankards Bridge, E Beal Lock

You can only pass under Tankards Bridge, the last on the canal, if you are under 7ft high as currently scaffolding is being used to reinforce the parapet wall which suffered damage last September when a vehicle struck it. From there along the River Aire where a width restriction of 10ft 5″ is in place due to silt build up behind the lock gates. Thankfully neither of these would be a problem for us.

F Whitley Lock

Once up Bank Dole Lock we would re-join the Aire and Calder Navigation and turn left heading eastwards towards Goole. We’d be able to pass down Whitley Lock one morning.

G Pollington Lock, H Sykehouse Junction, I Sykehouse Lock. J The breach site

Then down Pollington Lock the following day, turn right onto the New Junction Canal and up Sykehouse Lock. Then and only then would we have successfully escaped!

According to Canal Plan if we did this route it would be 40 miles 1 furlong and 8 locks, normally taking 13hrs 45 minutes. But with current restrictions it would take us 3 days waiting for locks to open.

A Viking Marina, I Sykehouse Lock

Without the breach in our way Canal Plan has the more direct journey at 8 miles 3/4 furlong, 1 lock, taking us 2hrs 45 minutes.

That’s a bit of a detour!

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